Obama good for hockey beer bet: Canadian Prime Minister Harper

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 07, 2014 10:47 AM

OTTAWA (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to deliver the beer he promised if his country's hockey teams lost to Canada in the Olympics, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday, while voicing confidence that the wager would be paid.

"I haven't received it yet, but in fairness to President Obama, he's lost bets to me before, and he's always paid up before," he said to laughter from his interviewers on TSN 1050 Radio in Toronto. " ... I'm sure he will (pay up)."

During a summit in Mexico, the leaders bet a case of beer on the men's and women's teams. The Canadian men beat the United States 1-0 in the semi-finals and then advanced to gold over Sweden, and the Canadian women came from behind in a late surge to snatch gold from the United States 3-2.

Harper, an ardent hockey fan who wrote a book about the sport while serving as prime minister, recounted the last time President Obama paid up, when then-U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson brought over a case of beer.

"President Obama had signed it, so I thought: 'Oh, geez, so I can't really keep this now - it's now got the signature of the president of the United States on it,'" Harper said. "So we shipped it to the Hockey Hall of Fame for their collection."

A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)