Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Congrats to Sweden! 

I'm going to take a little break from baseball today to congratulate Team Sweden on its 3-2 victory in the Gold Medal game for hockey. I root for Sweden because that is where part of my heritage comes from: Berquist is a Swedish name (actually used to be "Bergquist" at one point), so I always root for Sweden in the Olympics. I'm very proud of my heritage: the Swedes did great things in their history. The Vikings were great seafarers and explorers, and pretty tough and inventive warriors. The Normans, the people who conquered England in 1066 after the Battle of Hastings, were actually Vikings who had been given land in France because the French King hated fighting them. The Normans went to England and changed the country, giving birth to the common law legal system. Without the Normans, English history (and world history) would be radically different.

Yesterday's game was nearly as thrilling as Sweden's Gold Medal victory in 1994 against Canada, when the Flyers Peter Forsberg scored a shoot-out goal to win it. Again Forsberg played a critical role, winning the face-off that led to the go-ahead goal. The fact that the game was against Finland was pretty neat: Finland and Sweden were actually united until Russia invaded in the early 1800's and Sweden ceded territory that eventually became Finland to Russia. It was an all-Scandanavian finale.

There is a lot of Swedish history in the Delaware Valley area, I'd note. Sweden was actually the first to colonize the Delaware Valley, building a fort called Fort Christiana in 1638 where Wilmington stands. For about fifty years Sweden operated a series of colonies on the Delaware before a Dutch army forced its surrender. Despite the fact that most Swedish immigrants arriving in America headed to the Midwest (my own family is originally from Minnesota), there is still a tremendous amount of Swedish history in the area: the American-Swedish Historical Museum is located in South Philly off FDR Park. (Click here for their website.) Old Swedes Church in South Philly is the second-oldest Swedish Church in America, dating from the year 1700.

If you are looking for more info, click here for Lonelyplanet.com's synopsis of Sweden. And here for Finland.

Congratulations, Team Sweden. You did great!

Say Mike, on the subject of all things swedish, want to call the Ireland-Sweden Friendly tomorrow at Lansdowne Road?
Hi Mike,

Enjoyed your comments about Sweden, ice hockey and baseball. FYI: I have just started my own blog - www.swedishmusings.net - as of yesterday. I'm also of Swedish hertiage. More about that can be gathererd from my "Ernst" link in the "About" box. What is not described is my interest in baseball. Living in Sweden for six years as an adult, included one year (1975) of playing baseball for a team in Uppsala (two Americans per team were allowed). -- Also, played semi-pro in Illinois MANY years ago. Finally, I worked at Wash. St. U. for many years - home to John Olerud (I'm sure you've heard of him). I'll be checking on your site more. Of course, growing up in Illinois, I cheer for the White Sox, Cubs, and now the Mariners as I live in Washington State.

Regards (och hälsningar), Ernst Gidén
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