World Games Updates
Actors Johnny Knoxville (center) and Eddie Barbanell (right), who co-starred in "The Ringer," teamed up again in a celebrity floor hockey game. Barbanell is a Special Olympics athlete and a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors.
Celebrities Share Competition and Fun with Floor Hockey Athletes
Special Olympic floor hockey teams from Canada and the United States had a few extra players backing them up for the Celebrity Floor Hockey Competition at Expo Idaho on 8 February. The celebrity players included Johnny Knoxville and Eddie Barbanell (also a Special Olympics athlete), co-stars in the film, The Ringer”; Olympic athlete Donna de Varona; Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Timothy Shriver, Coca-Cola Chairman Muhtar Kent; and NBA great Sam Perkins. The celebrity players found out just how hard it is to play floor hockey with the Special Olympics “pros.”
As athletes and celebrities raced around the court trying to out-maneuver opposing teams, action got hot and heavy. Team Canada, with Shriver on its team, scored an easy first goal in the initial minutes of the game. Knoxville, on Team USA, demonstrated hustle and some unconventional moves by successfully body-checking Shriver’s next drive down the court and, at one point, lying prone to block a shot. Instead of calling a foul, the referee just shook his head and let it go.
Shriver, using some fancy stick work, tried to pass the puck off the board to himself, but one of the athletes from Canada shut that down right away. And while the celebrities subbed for one another, Barbanell never left the court, showing great stamina.
The final score was 7-6 in favor of Team Canada. The score was secondary to the great fun and experience everyone had, including the crowd, which cheered equally loud for both teams.