Fan who caught discarded silver medal gave it back to Team Sweden
The man who caught the Swedish captain’s discarded silver medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Buffalo has proven the phrase: “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
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Lias Andersson, Team Sweden’s captain for the tournament, threw his silver medal into the stands immediately after accepting the second-place award following a 3-1 loss to Canada in the final.
The medal happened to land in the hands of Buffalo-native Bill Shaflucas.
“We made eye contact and he looked like he was about to throw it, and I kind of put my hands out…and he threw it,” Shaflucas told CTV News.
Shaflucas, who was wearing a Rochester Americans jersey at the time, took the jersey and a Team USA jersey off to reveal he was wearing a third jersey --one for Team Sweden-- underneath. Shaflucas says he chose to bring the jerseys to try get under the skin of his Canadian friends in the arena and of course, to help with the cold outside.
“That night it was -4 degrees (Fahrenheit) which I guess in Celsius is -20, so it was comfortable wearing all those jerseys,” he said.
After a brief celebration and getting a photo with the medal around his neck, Shaflucas decided the best thing to do was to try and give the medal back to Andersson.
“His family and friends are going to want that at some point, so I asked security to get me over to the bench side and found someone on the team,” said Shaflucas. “(Andersson) wasn’t interested in taking it back from me, but I did give it back through a trainer.
“Someday he’s going to want this, and what am I going to do with (the medal)?”
This isn’t the first time Shaflucas has made an effort to give back. In July 2017, Shaflucas was part of a charity fundraiser in Buffalo, called the 11 Day Power Play, where 40 hockey players competed in the world’s longest hockey game to raise money for cancer research.
“For 11 days, 24 hours straight we rotated, we slept at the arena, we ate at the arena,” he said. “We actually raised $1.2 million for cancer research during that 11-day hockey game.”
reddit user u/JiggediJao just uploaded a different angle and it's hilarious. pic.twitter.com/rSSNsg40sC— Flintor (@TheFlintor) January 6, 2018