Later on August 6, 2002 - Staying With the Stanley Cup

It’s a little later the morning the morning of August 6th. I walked back up the street from Red Square to the Hotel Savoy and I returned to find the group dragging their duffle bags down into the lobby. Some were out on the street at the various all night bistros and coffee shops getting a cup of tea or coffee and getting ready to go to the airport.

Now it’s later on in the morning on the 6th of August. I am calling from the airport in Moscow. We are out here getting ready for our domestic flight to Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus Region. I actually tried to call back again from near the Hotel Savoy ready to tell you a story. The satellite phone connections as you could tell from the last cybercast are not that great in the middle of Moscow with all the tall buildings around. And in particular I thought it probably was taking it a bit too far to be standing in front of KBG Headquarters with a satellite phone even in these times that have changed so much.

For now I’m at the airport and I do want to tell you one of the best stories from these very full days of learning and adventure we‘ve had in St. Petersburg and Moscow. I can’t even begin to tell you all the great experiences. But I want to tell you my favourite story.

Here in Moscow at the Hotel Savoy last night there was a string of limousines that pulled up. Some guys got out that were obviously security people, literally had wires in their ears, not that strange a sight in Moscow in these times I guess. They were unloading into our hotel. Larry and Jim were standing outside watching this. Jim made the comment, “There’s some kind of trophy there.” Jim of course is from Atlanta and Larry is from Toronto. Larry looked at that trophy and exclaimed, “That’s the Stanley Cup!” In fact there is a long standing tradition that the athletes of a winning Stanley Cup team get to take the Stanley Cup to their home , and that’s what was happening. There are three Detroit Red Wings who are Russian and they came to Moscow and were staying in our hotel. All night long Larry was shaking his head saying, ‘”I’ve never even seen the Stanley Cup”. I really enjoyed the night’s irony of this situation: in that we are here in Moscow, Larry well knows that the Canadian national sport was involved and of course a United States championship team, and three very proud Russian athletes were bringing the symbol of their victory home.

Above: Comet Hale-Bopp over Mt. Elbrus from Pik Terskol, Caucasus, April '97. ©"Observers",