The Flying Farangs ice hockey club annually holds a charity game in Bangkok for the Thai Red Cross, but the members recently did something different, as they staged a game in honour of Rudy Pospisil and his round- the-world bicycle ride to raise cancer awareness.
The Farangs also veered from tradition when instead of holding a Team Canada vs. the World match, they split up the two sides regardless of nationality into two teams called the “Guess Whos” and the “Bachman Turner Overdrives”.
(From left): Adam Pospisil. Phil Haegeman, Rudy Pospisil & Ambassador Calvert on the ice prior to the opening face-off at the charity hockey game in Bangkok. (Photo/Tadasma Nagayama)
When it was all played and done, the BTOs won the game 12-7, outshooting the Guess Whos 33-21. BTO had a breakout second half of the game when they scored seven unanswered goals with their first line of Geoff McInytre, Andy Brine & Michael White scoring six of those markers. The Guess Whos top line of Henrik Olofsson, David Blomquist and Alexandre Gilbert had kept them in check for the first part of the game.
Nationalities represented in the game were Canada, the US, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Germany, England, & New Zealand.
Thai nationals Vanchalerm “Top” Rattapong and Pratch Siri took the opening face-off, representing the Guess Whos and BTOs, respectively. Dropping the ceremonial puck was Rudy, who attended the game with his son Adam, and Canadian Ambassador Philip Calvert.
Young Czech Jan Plisek and Czech Ambassador Victor Grepl tended goal for the Guess Whos while the Thai tandem of Neng Ohana and Rabbitboy Tongchai played net for the BTOs.
Texan Rachel Baird, ironically the only woman playing in the game, took the only penalty on the night – for hooking no less (she took a lot of kidding for that).
Before the game the teams lined up on their respective blue lines to listen to the Thai and Canadian national anthems, with the latter being belted out by Phil Haegeman as has been the custom in the last few charity matches.
Andy Brine (left) and Alex Gilbert (right) on the draw. (Photo/Tadasma Nagayama)
Scoring for the Guess Whos were David “Boomer” Blomquist with two, Henrik Olofsson, Justin St. Denis, Ralf Dittmer and Top with Janne Kaanaapa scoring a highlight breakaway goal as well.
BTO goalscorers included Geoff McIntyre with the hat-trick, Andy Brine with two while Kyle McCartney, Steve Sproule, Michael White, Ernesto Bauer, Zac Garofolo and Mike Walker added singles.
A Canadian firefighter’s charity cycle around the globe
Firefighter Rudy Pospisil has now cycled 2,500km from Chiang Mai to Singapore as part of his global trek. He has already ridden halfway around the world; if all goes well, he’ll have reached 24,000km by the end of 2014, guaranteeing him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Rudy says, “My aim is to make a difference, to share my story, inspire many and raise money for cancer research. This journey is not so much for fundraising as it is to draw people around the world together to finally end a disease that affects one in three of us. I hope to do this by inspiring others to do the similar events, promote awareness of these diseases and start ongoing events in places I visit.
“What I am asking is not only a donation or sponsorship, but to join my journey. Write me and tell me about yourself, cycle with me in your city or country, ask me to help you start an ongoing fundraiser. My goal is not only to cycle around the world but to reach out to as many people as possible because it will take more than me to accomplish my goal.”
On his trips, Pospisil contacts fire departments around the world to host fundraisers, knowing how important cancer is to those in his profession.
“We have up to a seven-times greater risk of contracting almost a dozen different cancers than the average person because of our occupation,” says Pospisil. “Firefighters will come out and ride with me in cities around the world and help arrange fundraising events. It’s always great to meet fellow firefighters from around the world and work together for a common cause and share stories. The hard part is to not have too much of a party the night before I ride.”
Rudy also rides with a lot of people who have survived cancer and are actively fighting it, something that continues to give him inspiration.
“I have met many cancer patients on my rides that came out,” Rudy says. “Many were terminal and would not live much longer. The strength and optimism and little fear they had they were near the end was inspiring to me to carry on. I have the easy part, cycling around the globe; they have the hard part battling this disease or facing their own mortality.”
You can contact Rudy at [email protected], or check out the progress he’s making on his trip by visiting his website at www. firefightercycle.com.