The Fatima Al Ali story is so sweet, it's like the Ministry of Happiness scripted it.
The background: she was running the website for the UAE men's national ice hockey team, she became interested in the sport, had a knack for it, was spotted at a practice when the Washington Capitals alumnus Petr Bondra was in town for a hockey camp, and then got invited to a Caps game by Bondra himself.
Fatima made her trip to the US capital this week.
The best part was not that she was in attendance as the Caps beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-0 on Wednesday night. It was not even that she got to skate in a practice with the team, borrowing a stick from TJ Oshie.
It was that she got to meet her hockey hero, Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin, who spoke about her after the game:
“It’s impressive,” Ovechkin said. “It’s pretty cool for hockey.
“She has a dream and it’s good ... to have her to come here and meet the players, meet me and watch the game. Hope it’s going to help her to build something.”
Capitals owner Ted Leonsis tweeted a picture afterwards:
Fatima’s visit fits under the umbrella of the NHL’s Hockey Is For Everyone month. She will take part in the ceremonial puck drop as Washington hosts the Detroit Red Wings, scheduled for 4am on Friday morning in the UAE.
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport