Winnipeg ex-pat follows Blue and Gold from Down Under

Winnipeg expat Richard Sylvester shows his true colours.
Winnipeg expat Richard Sylvester shows his true colours. Instagram / Richard Sylvester

Winnipeg had something to celebrate Sunday, with the Blue Bombers defeating the rival Saskatchewan Roughriders to clinch a spot in the 107th Grey Cup final.

Bomber fans, however, aren’t just found within the Perimeter.

One Winnipeg expat has been religiously following the team’s progress from his adopted home of Tauranga, New Zealand, despite the logistical challenges.

Richard Sylvester told 680 CJOB he’s a proud Winnipegger who moved Down Under to further his education, but he still bleeds blue and gold.

“It’s one of those things,” he said. “I’ve been waiting my whole life for them to win the big one.

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“They were unsuccessful in 2007, unsuccessful in 2011… I’m just kind of waiting for a big win. I love the Bombers with all my heart, and I’ve just been on cloud nine all day.”

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READ MORE: Winnipeg Blue Bombers earn Grey Cup berth with win over Roughriders

Sylvester said he came to New Zealand in hopes of pursuing a PhD in sport science, without having any real prospects.

Using what he called “irrational confidence”, he found a scholarship in his chosen field and has been living there ever since.

“It’s got a good reputation for sports science and post-grad degrees specifically, so I’ve been following the work of a few key professors for a number of years,” he said.

“It was kind of New Zealand or bust, really.”

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Although his co-workers have tended to avoid him on game days, Sylvester said he’ll be glued to his seat for the final, hopefully to watch his beloved Bombers take home the CFL’s top prize.

“I think they’re firing on all cylinders,” he said.

“I think the football gods might be in our favour this year.”

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The Bombers take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this Sunday at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

Blue Bombers Advance To Grey Cup
Blue Bombers Advance To Grey Cup