Some call sports the universal language with the power to unite people from different backgrounds, beliefs or political affiliations, and in the divided world we sometimes find ourselves in, this universal language may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
In Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL playoff games has brought tens of thousands of people from across the city, across the province, the country and from other nations out to cheer on the teams they love and to take part in the street parties that have taken over much of the down town area.
Across Manitoba we see many taking part in the festivities from farmers who are proudly displaying their Winnipeg Jets Flags atop of seeding equipment to those who find themselves in a homeless shelters.
The game is uniting us, at street parties, in living rooms; in offices and in gathering places people are coming together. Since the first Winnipeg Whiteout Party over four weeks ago people have been feeding off each other’s energy as they continue to sport their jerseys on game days and fly their Jets flags and “Go-Jets-Go” banners. Not even time zones can dampen the sprit of die-hard Winnipeg fans with some watching from across the globe at all hours of the night.
Sport in general and hockey for us in Winnipeg and across the prairies is an important force that brings us together and ignites a sprit of renewal and team building. It is this very same spirit, one of pride and possibility that made our city and region the bustling economic powerhouse from times past, the same sprit that gave us the moniker of Chicago of the North.
It is hard to think of anything more uniting and as powerful as the team sprit that fills the stadiums and spills out onto the street at a Jets game.
Maybe it is this sprit that can continue to fuel pride in our City, and in Manitoba may be it is this reignited spirit that can move us forward. Perhaps it will be sports that not only unites us in living rooms and board rooms but perhaps locating where our pride and possibility lives can shake us from our tendency to make ourselves smaller and less important then we are.
So while watching the game or talking party in a Whiteout Parties across the city, the country and beyond, remember what it feels like to be full of pride and possibility in our home and in our ability to stand up and be counted, to compete as we are one of the few teams to be at the top.