These handmade friendship bracelets are connecting a Labrador girl to international hockey players

Rachel Parsons was in the stands at the World Juniors Hockey Championships with a second sign she brought to thank minor hockey coaches.  (Submitted by Jill Williams - image credit)
Rachel Parsons was in the stands at the World Juniors Hockey Championships with a second sign she brought to thank minor hockey coaches. (Submitted by Jill Williams - image credit)

Rachel Parsons has been standing outside the rink glass at the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Halifax, holding a sign with an offer: 'Friendship bracelet for a puck?'

Players from multiple countries have taken her up on the offer and traded a puck for a handcrafted memento.

"I thought it would be a nice memory for her and for me too," said Switzerland forward Jeremy Prada.

"Your bracelet looks very beautiful," Prada said. "I wear it now all the time and I'm glad I did the trade."

Parsons and her mother Jill Williams decided to travel to the World Juniors from their home in Happy Valley-Goose Bay at the last minute. They've been attending every game possible since Dec. 27, Williams said.

Parsons was hoping to get a puck from the event and saw other children trading items, Williams said. So the two bought some thread and she started crafting.

Submitted by Jill Williams
Submitted by Jill Williams

She's now traded with Prada, Germany goaltender Simon Wolf, Latvia forward Klavs Veinberg, Canada defensemen Ethan Del Mastro, Austria's Stefan Klassek, and Czechia's Michael Spacek.

"I guess you know, like I'm besties with half of Europe now, so that's pretty cool," Parsons said.

"During the game they have a big screen where they showed the players and you could see Wolf actually take off his glove and you could see the friendship bracelet on his wrist," Williams said. "She was absolutely thrilled."

Parsons' sign and bracelets started going viral on TikTok after another fan took a video. As of Jan. 5, the video had more than 400,000 views.

The attention from the sign has been "super cool," Parsons said. Her mother says as a U13 hockey player, Parsons has been invested in watching the tournament, but as a fan, "it's always been a dream."

"It's just been magical the entire trip," Williams said.

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