Moments before the New York Islanders topped the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night to advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals, the sold-out arena of Islanders fans joined in on a chorus of the national anthem.
“My heart is full. The coliseum will forever have the best backup singers in the #NHL,” tweeted singer-songwriter Nicole Raviv, who led the pregame rendition of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of the crowd of 13,917.
Videos of the pregame ceremony showed Raviv starting to sing the anthem before the thunderous crowd took over. Raviv then lowered her microphone and let them sing.
The international singer jumped back in to complete the song, which ended with huge applause.
"Did I expect it? No,” Raviv said during an interview the following day. "But feeling what happened in the moment, it felt like something truly special. It felt like a moment that belonged to everyone, so everyone sharing it is … appropriate because everyone felt it."
The Montreal-born singer went on to describe the moment as “magical,” especially following a pandemic.
"I definitely felt larger than life," she continued. "It feels like a memory of a lifetime. It was just a beautiful moment for me as a singer to sing with the Islanders fans, with everyone else in the building.”
“Not everyone gets to experience something like that, especially after a worldwide pandemic where we didn't know when crowds would come back. And last season's playoffs ended virtually, and they were in a bubble with no fans, so really, this was the first time I was able to experience something like that. And it really just felt magical," Raviv said.
The viral video comes after controversy surrounding the anthem spread across the country last year, stemming from athletes kneeling during the national anthem in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and in protest of systemic racism and police brutality.
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Original Author: Lawrence Richard