By Robert Gauthier
As a photojournalist we are often witness to history. It’s our job, after all.
Last week, Arkasha Stevenson and I were assigned such a task. We documented the Stanley Cup’s first ever visit to Slovenia.
Slovenia turned out to be the perfect backdrop for the Cup. Idyllic landscapes, friendly people and a young nation looking for its own identity unfolded around Anze Kopitar and his family as he toured with the Cup for more than a day.
Thirty four and a half pounds of happiness and goodwill. Wherever it goes, people experience nothing but joy. Even rainy days turn sunny when it’s in town.
Last week the Cup sat perched atop a small table in Hrusica, the boyhood home of L.A. Kings star Anze Kopitar.
The skies clouded over, thunderclaps snapped from the distance and it looked like he might have to cancel a big rally for thousands of countrymen, women and children. After a good hour of heavy rain and whispers of defeat, Kopitar, a few weeks away from L.A.’s victory parade, was triumphant again as he loaded the cup with his girlfriend, Ines, into the back of a flower-strewn horse drawn carriage.
Smiling and proud, they were ferried into a throng of unbridled joy. Thousands of fans greeted them as a spooked horse delivered Lord Stanley’s perfect invention to Hrusica’s athletic complex and soccer field.
The tradition started with the birth of the Stanley Cup in the late 1800s. A brilliant idea from the 19th century has become a highlight of the 21st century.
Video: Kings win the Stanley Cup
Photo gallery: Los Angeles crowns its Kings with parade and rally