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Hockey tales: The New York Times visits Warroad

  • Blog Post by: Howard Sinker
  • February 4, 2014 - 12:38 PM

The third paragraph of Jere Longman's story in the New York Times explains why he went to Warroad before the start of the Olympics:

"Warroad, population 1,781, a civic snow globe six miles from the Canadian border, has as many indoor rinks (two) as red lights. The town has sent seven hockey players to the Olympics since 1956 — four of them from the same family, the Christians — and each one has returned with a medal. The hope is for a pair of golds at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia."

Longman tells the story of Gigi Marvin, whose family has lived in Warroad for decades, and T.J. Oshie, who moved there from Washington in high school and now plays for the St. Louis Blues.

If you were to drive through Warroad, Longman describes what you would see: "Olympic posters of Oshie and Marvin decorate the windows of downtown businesses from the T-Shirt Barrel to the Main Street Bar and Grill. Locals can take photographs with cardboard likenesses of the players. Their first names are included among the 46 signs along Highway 11 that salute each man and woman on the United States hockey teams headed to Sochi."

But the story includes other characters who go a long way to explaining what makes Warroad unique:

*The Astrup family, whose four children have hockey-themed signs on their bedroom doors. One is Olympic Players Entrance, another is the Penalty Box.

*Grant Slukynsky, who was named the top 10-year-old hockey player in Minnesota last year and whose backyard rink has a knock-off Zamboni fashioned from a golf cart.

*Mike Marvin, Gigi's father, who explains that age and gender boundaries disappear at the city's rinks. "It allows the average player to be good and the good ones to be great," he tells Longman.

As much as you think you know about Warroad hockey, the guess here is that you'll learn a few things. You can read the entire story here,

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