Canadian Army participates in Imjin Classic 2018 hockey game

The Canadian and South Korean hockey teams pose for a photo on ice.
This event was held to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Canada joined the United Nations (UN) in its military response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950. <br> More than 26 000 Canadians served in the war and 516 service members were killed in action, including during the major engagement of the Battle of Kapyong. On July 27, 1953, the UN and North Korea signed a ceasefire, putting an end to the fighting.<br> Photo: DND/CAF

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Representatives of two Canadian Army regiments participated in a commemorative hockey game in the City of Paju in the Republic of Korea.

The Imjin Classic 2018 was held on January 19 to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War and pay homage to the competitive spirit of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The Canadian team included members of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and the Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR).

“This is more than just a game; it commemorates the strong relationship between the two nations. My teammates and I are proud to carry on the legacy of our predecessors who played hockey here more than 60 years ago on the frozen Imjin River,” said Major Bryan L. Ouellet, R22eR.

The Imjin Classic 2018 was played at the Yulgok Wetland Park, near the site of the original hockey games. It was organized by the Embassy of Korea in Canada and Paju City in partnership with the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

The game coincided with the passage of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games torch relay in Paju City. This leg of the relay featured Canada’s Ambassador to Korea, Eric Walsh, and Canadian Korean War veteran, Colonel (Retired) Charland as torch bearers.

“The timing and location of this game could not be better. 2018 marks the 65th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, and we are set to celebrate the PyeongChang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Holding this event in the Republic of Korea, near the site of the actual historic games, is a great way to remember those who served Canada so well in the Korean conflict,” noted Ambassador Walsh.

Members of the PPCLI and R22eR were joined by Canadians living in the Republic of Korea and played as “Team Canada” in a friendly game against “Team Korea”, made up of players from Yonsei University and Korea University. Outdoors, in front of a lively crowd, “Team Canada” won the Imjin Cup with a score of 7 to 1.

The Imjin Classic hockey game, an annual tradition in Canada since 2013, is inspired by the games played on the frozen Imjin River in 1952 and 1953 between the PPCLI and R22eR during the Korean War.

Image gallery

  • A hockey player shoots the puck across the goalie while a defender tries to intervene.

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