More than a carpenter

The title of this post amuses me because I remember reading a book called More than a carpenter and it was about Jesus.


If I want to stay married to my sweet husband, I must watch every single Canada hockey game in the Olympics. Last night was no exception.

We got to the bar early to get the good seats. We warmed  up with pre-game conversation about who we would cheer for if Canada wasn’t in the finals (answer: Russia).

The game starts and it is immediately clear we are the better team. Except we can’t score. The whole first period goes by and Norway’s goalie, Pal Grotnes, is a brick wall. The announcer comes on and introduces the net minder as passionate athlete who is a carpenter by day. A Carpenter.

Hilariously, Grontes is playing opposite to Canuck’s goalie Roberto Luongo, a guy who makes $6 million a year to stop pucks.

The second period comes. We finally score and the rest of the game is slaughter (Luongo shuts Norway out 8-0).

Still this guy’s story stays with me. It seems heroic on some level. I’m not sure why; most other Olympians have regular day jobs, but not hockey players. Unlike the most other Olympic hockey players who are taking a break from the NHL for a couple of weeks, this nameless guy put his saw down  to represent his country for something he wouldn’t be doing otherwise.

To steal Jon’s thought on the matter: Grontes represents the ancient Greek  ideal of amateur competition. Back then, no one was a professional athlete, so the Games were about regular people becoming great for a moment, a hero for a day.

To me, it’s just a good story.


4 thoughts on “More than a carpenter

  1. the thing about amateurism is that in the modern context it’s not about some ancient greek ideal of someone having a day job who gets the chance to represent their country for a week or so, but rather about a wealthy elite who don’t need a day job to survive and can use their time perfecting their least that’s how the modern (summer) olympics began. oh well.

    and on another note: stopping pucks IS Luongo’s day job. the fact that millions of little canadians dream of having that job is in some ways irrelevant to the fact that this is how he makes his living. Intrinsictly there ain’t much difference between being a goalie and building furniture. to each her own.

  2. @roselle: isn’t he czech?

    @mikes: if we leave money/little boys’ dreams aside, it’s still rad that Grotnes (an amateur) played in the same arena as Luongo (a professional), and did alright. But yes, I see your point.

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