In what we're calling 'Hockey Comes To The White House', the Obamas welcomed the 2009-2010 Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks yesterday to the White House.
Both the President and First Lady showed off their official jerseys presented by their home town team. The President received his jersey (and official Stanley Cup replica) after he made remarks to the team and fans on the White House south lawn.
The Blackhawks defeated the Philly Flyers in overtime 4-3, off a goal from the Hawks' winger Patrick Kane, to win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years. (Watch).
"We have a proud tradition in Chicago of believing that no matter how long it takes, how much we have to endure, it’s only a matter of time before our team finally wins it all", said President Obama.
"During the playoffs, even the Michael Jordan statue had a Blackhawks uniform on", Obama joked.
The President was also allowed to wear the Championship ring.
"That's what you call some bling, right there", said Obama.
We asked Washington Capitals’ defenseman Mike Green, the only member of the team present, about seeing the Cup on display.
“I’m not going to get too close to it”, said Green. “The superstition of touch it, then you know, you don’t win it. So, I’m not going anywhere near that thing.”
First Lady Michelle also joined in on the winning Chicago spirit of the day by having the members of the Blackhawks participate in street hockey with several local school children from Powell Elementary School and the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club in support of The First Lady's Let's Move project.
The NHL and USA Hockey have also offered their support of the First Lady's initiative by making November, 2011 Come Play Youth Hockey for free month. The organizations hope to help break down barriers of hockey by introducing the sport to all children around the country.
The Blackhawks took the Cup to visit wounded warriors at Walter Reed Hospital, and also helped the First Lady start a garden at Powell Elementary while visiting Washington. The team, who have won the last eight out of ten games, face the Washington Capitals on Sunday at Verizon Center. Game time is 12:30 p.m. (updated from 11:30 a.m.).
A Conversation With Neal Henderson
Former Hockey player, Neal Henderson has been teaching hockey to youth for over 30 years at the DuPont Park Ice Hockey Club. We caught up with him at the White House hockey event yesterday where he shared history of the club and African Americans in the sport of hockey.
Did you know?
The Font Dupont Ice Hockey Club is the oldest minority club in the area.
Washington, D.C. was the first place, and team, to have a minority player in the NHL. The old Washington Lions team of the 1950s featured Art Dorrington.
Notwithingstanding Donald Breshar, the Washington Caps have had four African American players.
The book Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925, chronicles African Americans in the sport.
Mr. Henderson has played hockey for several teams, among them: The Salt Lake City Sea Gulls, The Baltimore Mercury, The Washington Presidents, and The Washington Chiefs.
He currently plays with the senior league in Laurel, MD.
First Lady Youth Hockey Clinic| President Obama Welcomes The Blackhawks | USA Hockey
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