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Bell Capital Cup highlights international friendship

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Ottawa mayor Jim Watson meets with members of a Beijing team that is entered in the 2011 Bell Capital Cup during a photo opportunity at the Chinese Imperial Archway on Somerset Street, west of Bronson Avenue, in the city's Chinatown (Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/OSHC).

Sisters cities, brothers in sport.

Both were on display on New Year's Eve as six entries in the Bell Capital Cup — three teams from Beijing, along with their host teams in Ottawa — gathered to share a photo and some friendship at the foot of the Chinese Imperal Archway on Somerset Street, west of Bronson Avenue.

Ottawa and Beijing, the capital city of the People's Republic of China, have been designated as sister cities since 1999. The 11-metre high archway was completed a little more than two months ago and stands as a symbol of 40 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and China. The project received funding from the provincial government's infrastructure stimulus fund and is the biggest structure of its kind in North America.

Taking a break from action at the Bell Capital Cup to share the moment were the Beijing Hokay Iceloong (Peewee House A), Beijing Century Star (Atom House A) and Beijing Little Wolfe (Atom House A), along with host teams Kanata Blazers (Peewee House A), Kanata Whaters (Atom House A) and Cumberland Knights (Atom House A).

The teams were joined by Ottawa mayor Jim Watson; Ottawa West-Nepean MPP Bob Chiarelli, the Ontario Minister of Infrastructure, and Max Keeping, a member of the Bell Capital Cup's board of directors.

"It's a chance to showcase the relationship Ottawa has with Beijing, being sister cities," said Aaron Robinson, the Ottawa Senators' director of fan and community development. "It's an opportunity to focus on some cultural opportunities and some sportsmanship opportunities, which the tournament is really all about."

The 2011 edition of the Bell Capital Cup, which featured entries from seven countries among its 493 participating teams, wraps up Monday with championship games at Scotiabank Place.

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