Three to zero for Kori Cheverie

The Monday following the women’s hockey match which brought together the largest crowd in history, the host of the Quebec now on the airwaves of 98.5, Patrick Lagacé (also emeritus columnist of The Press), receives Kori Cheverie, the head coach of the Montreal team.

When this unilingual English speaker was named head of the Montreal team last September, she promised to learn French.

We’ll see, or rather, we’ll hear. Or not.

Lagacé begins the interview:

“Kori, hello!”

– Good morning !

– Thanks to be here.

– Thanks for today… “

One to zero for Kori! Greeting the French-speaking public in their language is a mark of politeness that always touches us. After only a few months with us, we are even surprised. Many Canadian players who have worn the blue-white-red sweater for years do not make it that far, in the language of René Lecavalier. Those who, after receiving the first star, conclude their brief exchange in the center of the ice rink with Marc Denis or Renaud Lavoie with a simple thank you, quickly sent, receive an ovation. So bravo, Kori, for the effort!

Lagacé continues the interview:

“When you were appointed, did you know that not speaking French would create some sort of controversy?

— At first, I didn’t completely understand the situation, but I quickly understood the importance of speaking French in Quebec. »

Two to zero for Kori! Not only does she continue to express herself in French, but what she expresses is sincere, sensitive and demonstrates great openness.

It was through contact with Quebec society that she understood the importance of being able to establish a dialogue with the public. She could have locked herself in her hockey world. She chose to go out into the world.

And she comes towards us, that afternoon, with all the will and fragility of someone learning to skate. It’s not smooth yet, but it’s the only way to make it smooth. By getting started. With a facilitator who accompanies him free of charge.


Kori Cheverie giving instructions to her team, March 17

Speaking a language is like playing hockey: practice, practice, practice.

In the final moments of the interview, Kori Cheverie confides to Patrick Lagacé that her favorite Quebec expression is: “that’s what is that.”

We are exactly there.

Three to zero for Kori! Hat trick. For seven minutes, she managed to exchange the puck, in French, with a sniper. Of course, she didn’t have the vocabulary of Fabrice Luchini and her syntax was slippery, but that’s not what counts.

What matters is that in every hesitation, in every second of reflection, in every idea formulated, in every word spoken, there was consideration. Consideration for fans of the Montreal women’s hockey team.

It takes a lot of humility to agree to give an interview in a language that you are beginning to master. Above all, it takes a lot of generosity. Kori understood that the most important message to convey to Quebecers is not: “Listen to how brilliant I am! “, is: “Listen to how I love you. Listen to how much you mean to me. »

Professional sport is such that a team does not only represent the people who make it up, it represents a city: Montreal, Toronto, New York… This is why Montrealers, Torontonians, New Yorkers cheer, go see her, buy tickets, caps and jerseys. Because we tell them it’s their team. Because it’s the name of their city that wins or loses. This vital link for the very existence of the franchise deserves to be taken care of. We deserve to learn to interact with the people we represent.

The Canadiens’ executive vice-president of hockey operations, Jeff Gorton, and the captain of the Habs, Nick Suzuki, also promised us, during their respective appointments, that they were going to learn French. Maybe they’re learning it, but they haven’t yet taken the time to tell us about it for more than two seconds. Hello and thank you, that’s it.

There is surely some pride in that. A vice president and a captain don’t show their vulnerability. Yet vulnerability is often the greatest strength. Kori Cheverie proved it. In seven minutes, she won us.

THE boys of the CH, go listen to his interview on the 98.5 website. This will be the best lesson for you. Not just a French lesson. Above all a lesson in respect.

Kori promised she would learn French.

Kori kept her word.

And his word holds us.

That’s what it is.


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