Hockey player stick

Athletes from around the world plan to play a hockey match in April. They’ll be surrounded not by bleachers of adoring fans, but by a vast expanse of snow and ice, and maybe a passing polar bear.

Sergey Rybakov is helping organize the event near the North Pole.

“It’s a project that is about bringing everyone – all the countries, all the sportsmen, all the people – together on one topic: climate change,” he says.

Global warming is rapidly melting Arctic sea ice, so the event is being billed as the first and last hockey game to be played at the North Pole.

A slew of organizations and sports figures are involved. The UN Environment Programme is helping lead the effort. It was spearheaded by Slava Fetisov, a legendary Russian hockey player.

Mike Richter, formerly of the New York Rangers, is on the roster, as are players from Russia, Canada, Scandinavian countries, and beyond.

Rybakov says it provides an opportunity for each well-known athlete to learn firsthand about melting Arctic ice. Then he says they can give interviews and share the information with others, becoming ambassadors in their own countries about what is going on globally.

For this game, the ultimate goal is to bring attention to the climate crisis.

embed code image

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.