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The 15 year old challenges the U18 hockey world
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What's it like to compete against world championship hockey teams? What's it like to compete when you're the youngest on the ice? 

Ask Darius!


Darius Odermatt takes on the world

Words by Toshi Gotoda and Darius Odermatt; Photos provided by the Danmarks Ishockey Union 

On April 2nd, Darius Odermatt, a current 9th grader here at HIS, along with his ice hockey team departed Japan to attend the U18 Division 1-A World Championships that were held in Denmark. Games were held on the 14th, 15th, 17th, 18th, and the 20th of April. Darius being the only 2009-born member of the team has surely opened the gates to a new era in ice hockey, and we hope he can continue making changes to the ice hockey industry. 

Although I'm only 15 years old in the U18 team, age won’t matter if you’re going to the world championship. You have to be able to play with the older guys to contribute to the team.

Unfortunately, the Japanese national team lost all of their games, but the team managed to score at least one point in every game which goes to show how the team persevered and tried their best. 

We interviewed Darius and asked him questions regarding his performance and reflection on the overall tournament. Here is what he had to say.

1. How does it feel to be chosen for the national team?

Great. I feel honored to represent my country. It taught me how to fight against the world. This experience will help me next year if I get selected again.

2. What is one thing your team does best?

Teamwork, Aggressiveness, and Speed. Because we, the Japanese players, are very small, in order to fight against these big guys, you’ll need speed, aggressiveness, and teamwork. At least that’s what the Coach told us in the locker room.

3. How did you feel during the game?

I felt excited. It was unreal. I couldn’t believe that I was actually on the team. The game was intense—one mistake would let the team down.

Darius in game against the Hungarian national team

After long days away from school and fighting against the world, Darius Odermatt has finally joined us back at HIS. Although he has come back defeated, his determination remains unbeaten and his inspiration is something to be honored and looked up to.

Grit is something that HIS values, including it in its Mission Statement; repeated positive struggle. Darius exemplified this in his role on the National Team, showcasing the importance of ongoing hard work to reach levels of excellence. 

In all those very different contexts, one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. And it wasn’t social intelligence, it wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit. - Angela Duckworth

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