One of my earliest memories was that of attending a Sun Valley Suns Hockey Game. Bundled up in my snow pants and massive ski coat, sipping hot chocolate covered in a mountain of whip cream, watching the players skate by at speeds that do not seem humanly possible. The only bad part was that the rink always smelt like sweat, but that just added to the experience.
The Sun Valley Suns hockey team is one of the top attractions of our little valley. When the Suns play, the entire community shows up to cheer on their beloved semi-pro organization. In 1975, George Gund III, the father of Sun Valley Hockey, built the Sun Valley Ice Arena. From this historic building stemmed one of the longest standing semiprofessional hockey teams in all of North America. The Suns don’t only play in Sun Valley. They travel around the entire world to compete in places such as Japan and Europe. These teams come to our home arena as well. Even The USA Olympic Hockey Team has graced our humble stadium with their presence. Former NHL players have played for and against the Suns, and countless great college players as well.
Today, the Sun Valley Suns have been playing for nearly 41 years. In Idaho, we don’t have a lot of sports teams- there are very few college teams, and no professional teams to speak of. But when a town of 5,000 people has a team that they can call their own, it means a great deal to the valley and the people of it as well. What is truly awesome about these games is that everyone there knows each other. People are taking, sipping hot drinks, and enjoying each other’s company. Going to a Suns game is as commonplace for us as it might be for someone else to go to their local bar. It means a lot to the valley to have a place where we can all gather to share a steaming drink, a good laugh, and a hearty cheer for the team that you have come to love more than any other professional team. This team, this team is yours, this team, is ours.’