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Gabriel Candido, a Brazilian man from Curitiba, has defied the norm in his soccer-obsessed country by becoming an avid fan of ice hockey, specifically the Edmonton Oilers. His interest in the sport was sparked by an episode of Everybody Hates Chris, where a character receives a knock-off Wayne Gretzky jersey, leading Candido to become fascinated by the game. He further solidified his love for hockey after playing an NHL video game and being drawn to the fast-paced action on the ice. His admiration for the Oilers grew as he learned about their dominant dynasty in the 1980s, with legendary players like Gretzky, Jari Kurri, and Mark Messier.

Despite living in a time zone three hours ahead of Edmonton, Candido never misses a game, even if it means staying up until the early hours of the morning to watch playoff matches. He has endured the ups and downs of the team, including what he refers to as the “decade of darkness,” and has witnessed the Oilers rebuild with the emergence of talented players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid. Candido remains an active member of the Oilers fan community, engaging with other fans from across Brazil on social media and through a WhatsApp group dedicated to discussing the team.

While Candido dreams of one day traveling to Edmonton to see the Oilers play live at Rogers Place, he embraces the challenges of experiencing a drastically different climate than his tropical hometown. Expressing his desire to witness extreme winter temperatures reaching -40°C, Candido’s passion for the sport and the team remains unwavering. He admires players like McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Zach Hyman, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to watch them in person. Despite the logistical hurdles of living thousands of miles away from his beloved team, Candido’s dedication as a fan shines through in his unwavering support and enthusiasm for the Edmonton Oilers.

Candido’s journey as a Brazilian Oilers fan showcases the universal appeal of sports in transcending geographical and cultural boundaries. His love for hockey, sparked by a chance encounter with an episode of an American sitcom, has transformed into a lifelong passion for a team located thousands of kilometers away. Through his active engagement on social media and within the fan community, Candido has found a sense of belonging and camaraderie with fellow Oilers supporters, despite being in the minority in his home country. His dedication to following the team through late-night games and time zone differences exemplifies the level of commitment and enthusiasm that fans around the world bring to their favorite sports teams.

As Gabriel Candido continues to cheer on the Edmonton Oilers from afar, he remains hopeful for the opportunity to fulfill his ultimate goal of witnessing a live game at Rogers Place. His story serves as a testament to the power of sports fandom in uniting individuals from diverse backgrounds and geographies under a shared passion. Whether it be through social media interactions, late-night game viewings, or dreams of experiencing extreme cold weather, Candido’s unwavering support for the Oilers exemplifies the enduring impact of sports in bringing people together and creating lasting connections across borders. His unique journey as a Brazilian fan of a Canadian hockey team highlights the universal language of sports in fostering community, camaraderie, and shared moments of excitement and celebration.

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