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14 February 2015 | in Winter Universiade, Ice Hockey

The Biggest Youngest Fans



GRANADA - Some unexpected fans got the gift of a lifetime after the bronze medal men’s ice hockey match-up between Canada and Czech Republic.

Spanish brothers Christian and Aaron Arroyo Salmeron, got to meet their role models.

The two fans, 14-year-old Christian, who was dressed head to toe in Canada gear, and 10-year-old Aaron, who was dressed in full Canadian goalie get-up, headed backstage after the game to meet Canadian goalie Kris Lazaruk.

Lazaruk, the third year student at the University of Calgary, saw the Aaron in the stands as he walked off the ice after winning the bronze medal game and tossed up his goalie stick up for the young goalie.

The boys play for the local Granada youth ice hockey team but they have been cheering for Team Canada throughout the entire Winter Universiade.

“I was born in Canada,” said Christian. “And my Dad is from Canada, so we have Canadian blood.”

Christian and his younger brother were able to see all the hockey games in Granada because their father Richard Arroyo was working at the arena during the Games.

“My favorite game was Russia versus Canada,” said Aaron. “My favorite player is number one [Kris Lazaruk]. I was just watching [him] the whole time, watching his moves. I learned a lot from him.”

And now Aaron can continue to learn, but do it in Canadian style.

Backstage when the young player had the opportunity to meet his hero, Lazaruk brought out a Team Canada t-shirt from the locker room as a gift to the young fan, after signing the stick he had given to him earlier.

“When you grow up, you will play for Spain,” Lazaruk encouraged the young boys as he patted them on the back.

Aaron had the biggest smile a young boy could have when he replied, “I am very happy to get to know you. The memories I have from the Universiade, I will never forget.”

The boys will go home happy today as they hang their shirts, sticks and Canada flags proudly on their walls.

“I love this, this was great,” said Lazaruk about the young fans.


Kelcey Wright, U-Media Reporter