Around the (hockey) World in (rather more than) 80 Games – Happy Birthday, Damien!

Source: Club Press-Office


Our French forward Damien Fleury celebrates his 31st birthday today – and fully embodies the adventurous spirit of the novels of his great compatriot, Jules Verne.

Verne’s heroes, from Captain Nemo to Phileas Fogg, never shied from a challenge that others deemed impossible, just as Damien was one of the first players to sign up for the exotic task of bringing top-class hockey to China. The 19th-century novelist enjoyed an impressively international world view; his heroes team up in groups united by ambition rather than a national flag, not unlike Kunlun’s own United Nations this season. And they displayed the vision and courage to achieve the hitherto unattainable, from racing around the globe to reaching for the moon. Along the way, like Red Star, there was even an unexpected detour to Shanghai as Fogg and Passepartout’s story unfolded.

Damien himself is no stranger to globe-trotting and making history. His playing career took right around Europe before setting off for the Orient. At international level, his goal at the World Championship in 2013 set France on the way to its first-ever victory over the mighty Russians; a year later he was part of the roster than handed a similar humiliation to Canada in Minsk. Since signing up for the great Kunlun expedition, he’s also added a footnote or two to the pages of our club’s history – the first Kunlun player to score a game-winner in a shoot-out (Dec. 19 against Ugra in Beijing), the first player to represent his country while playing for Red Star (as part of the French roster in September’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Oslo).

To celebrate Damien’s birthday, let’s raise a glass of Calvados, the most famous product of his native Caen, and drink to adventures successfully completed … and future expeditions yet to unfold. Bonne anniversaire!