The touching epic of Ukrainian pee-wee on the small screen

The touching epic of Ukrainian pee-wee on the small screen


Two months have passed since then, but Stéphane Turcot still remembers everything. The atmosphere, the austere buildings, and above all, the resilience of these young Ukrainians who came to represent their country at the Tournoi pee-wee de Québec. 

This is particularly what is told in the documentary From the border to victory, which will be broadcast on TVA next Monday at 11 a.m. The show, which was originally supposed to last 30 minutes, finally lasted 1 hour, as there was so much to say and show. 

Inspired by the quest of these Ukrainian hockey players, Turcot and the Communications Rivage team traveled to Bucharest, the Romanian capital, which was the home base of this team made up of young people exiled by the war and others still living in the country hit by the Russian invasion. 

Everything was decided very quickly, recalls Turcot, sports journalist for the TVA network. “Maybe 10 days before departure [producer] Pierre Durivage called me. He asked me if I was tempted to board. I immediately said yes. »

“It's real life”

The experience that the reporter, who is also narrating the documentary, was going to have there was in no way comparable to the many coverage of events he had done before in his career. “I'm privileged to have done that,” he says. I'm already satisfied, but that goes beyond everything on a human level. That was real, it wasn't quibbling, prefabricated phrases to please someone or put on a show. This is real life. »  

Arrival of young Ukrainian hockey players at the border between Ukraine and Moldova.

The documentary, the result of collaboration between three generations of the Durivage family, recounts the crossing of the Ukrainian border by four players who remained in the country, a risky stage in the journey that would lead the entire team to Quebec City.< /p>

From the bombs to the wave of love 

We hear the brave hockey players talking about the canceled Holidays, of their fear of the noise of the bombs. We see them training hard in Romania before the start, we follow them in their triumphant arrival in front of the cameras in Montreal. 

Then, of course, there is this demonstration of love for the city ​​of Quebec, in an almost full Videotron Center for their first match in this tournament that they were waiting for so much, and which put a little balm on their daily anxieties.

“The Pee-wee Tournament, j always liked to cover it. There are always 1000 stories, but let's just say that this one will go down in history,” says Stéphane Turcot.