Viral stick-handling sensation Fatima Al Ali returned to Washington DC this week to participate in Hockey Is For Everyone month. And this year, she brought along a few of her closest friends.
Friday, Al Ali was flanked by her teammates of the United Arab Emirates women’s national hockey team as the group participated together in the ceremonial puck drop before the Caps-Jackets game.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 10, 2018
First, Fatima Al Ali was announced to the capacity crowd.
Then the team’s captain Fatima Al Qubaisi dropped the puck between Nick Foligno and Alex Ovechkin.
The crowd roared as the players shook every players’ hand.
“Many things change, but this time is more special for me because my whole team get to experience what I experienced last year,” Al Ali told NBC Sports Washington’s Al Koken during the first intermission. “So it’s much more fun to have them around and see what’s going on.”
In the days prior, the women’s team also practiced with the Capitals and visited Capitol Hill.
“We got a chance to go to Capitol Hill and meet Senator Durbin. That was on our first day,” UAE player Miriam Al Ameri said. “Then after that we got to play with some of the Capital players and it was such a great experience getting to play with them on ice. Today we got to play some of the Washington DC Pride ladies and that was a great experience because they split us up in teams. Some of them played with us and some of them were against us. So that was a great experience.”
After their trip overseas on @EtihadAirways, the United Arab Emirates Women’s National Hockey Team and @FatimaAl_Ali stop by the @uscapitol to meet with @SenatorDurbin – a member of the Congressional Hockey Caucus – and @PeterBondra12. #HockeyIsForEveryone #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/YVuP0aQC2a
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 8, 2018
The team will spend a few more days in DC before they visit Chicago and Ottawa. And they have a powerful message.
“Basically sports unites everyone,” Fatima Al Mazroui said. “It’s a language. No matter what your ethnicity is, your color, your race, your religion, no matter what – it’s for everyone.”
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