Thursday, June 10, 2010

Haitian optimism buoys hockey envoys Georges Laraque

Georges Laraque was expecting a nightmare. Toppled buildings. Dead bodies. Unspeakable sadness. Basically, all the worst parts of the Bible.

But when the former Montreal Canadiens forward arrived in Haiti this week as part of an NHL Players' Association fund-raising effort, he was taken aback for another reason. The people on the streets were singing and banging on instruments. They were laughing and dancing and smiling. They looked, said Laraque, nothing like what he had seen on TV.

"When I got to airport, I was like, 'This is going to be hard to see,' " Laraque, who last visited the country 20 years ago, said in a phone interview from the capital, Port-au-Prince. "But to see the people's courage, you'd never know that this country has been hit by this big of a tragedy. It's the total opposite of what I expected."

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