Laurent Hsia (12) has been playing ice hockey since he was very young. He first started skating then naturally moved on to ice hockey. “I think [ice hockey] is a very different sport from what normal people would play so I think it shows a different aspect of who I am,” says Laurent.
Ice hockey is a game where usually six people from each team competes on ice to score a rubber disk into a net which is guarded by a goalkeeper. A very popular sport in Canada, ice hockey became an official Olympic sport in the 1924 Chamonix Winter Games.
Laurent practices around three to four times a week and two of his practices are tournament games. He trains for ice hockey by doing drills on ice and works on fitness when he is off the ice. Laurent competes in tournaments with a club team in Taipei where they practice regularly together. The majority of tournaments he participates in are local and national ones against other teams in Taiwan. However, occasionally he plays in international tournaments hosted either in Taiwan or overseas.
Despite his passion towards ice hockey, he struggles to balance the sport with his busy schedule. “There was a time in my junior year of high school where I had limited time so I stopped going to practices and participating in tournaments. I stopped improving and felt inferior to my other teammates but eventually I found the time to put in more work and improve,” says Laurent. Another obstacle arose because Laurent does not have a Taiwanese passport. He says, “I wanted to play for the U18 national team along with my other teammates but couldn’t because I don’t have a Taiwanese passport and my dad didn’t want me to get one. I still don’t and I think that is one of the biggest disappointments in my life.”
Laurent definitely recommends this sport to other students. He believes ice hockey is a “very different sport from what normal Taiwanese people will play or people who go to TAS would play.” However, he thinks “it’s a really fun, exciting, different, and good experience.” Also by being a team sport, “hockey is not only fun and exciting, but it also teaches you how to work and communicate with others.” He says, “Most of all, it teaches you the importance of humility.”