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Okinawan boys’ ice hockey team defeats Canadian team

Date Posted: 2002-11-15

Although there is no snow in Okinawa there is an ice hockey team called Haebaru Dragonfires that regularly practices in Okinawa’s only ice skating rink in Haebaru. All team members are between 10 and 15 years of age and the team has 25 members altogether.

The team accompanied by their parents made a visit to Canada from Oct. 25 through Nov. 5. During their visit the team played a game against a Canadian team, and to everyone’s delight and surprise the Okinawan team won.

The team was started soon after the skating facility in Haebaru opened. During the 2000 Okinawa G-7 Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien visited the team and even took a round or two on skates. During Chretien’s visit the team expressed their dream to visit and play in Canada sometime in the future, and now they have realized their dream.

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