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Kids from the Ukraine

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I watched a Peewee game this afternoon between a US team and kids from the Ukraine. I stood directly behind the Ukraine bench so that I might get a better understanding of their approach to the game. I've never seen a more stoic, solemn bunch of kids. The game was scoreless until late in the third period when the Ukranian team scored. The kid who got the goal bumped gloves with one of his teammates, but noone else stirred or made a sound. I patted them on the head and back after the game and didn't get one smile in return.

We are all used to uniformly boisterous behavior of eleven year olds, no matter their home country. But, these kids sure were quiet. Their coaches, who looked very young, acted the same way. I didn't stick around for the pizza party afterward, but I was told it was a pretty mirthless affair.

Ukranians are industrious, gregarious people. So, I think this is just a quirk of this particular team.

But, it seems as if this is a long journey for such a joyless trip.

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