During a White House visit by the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Redwings on Tuesday, Swedish hockey star Nicklas Lidström presented Bush with a Redwings jersey emblazoned with Lindström’s number 43.
“‘Thanks, that’s my number’, said Bush when he accepted the gift,” Lidström told the Expressen newspaper.
Bush is the United States’ 43rd president.
The Redwings also presented Bush with a jersey displaying number 41 on the back to be given to Bush’s father, George H.W. Bush, who served as the 41st president of the United States.
Back in May 2007, Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt presented the US President with a brush cutter during a visit to the White House for talks on climate change and energy policy.
In a thank you letter to Reinfeldt, Bush said the yard tool was “a real beauty”.
Tuesday’s visit marked the second time the Redwings met with President Bush, having previously come to the White House in 2002.
Despite having met Bush one before, and having been to the White House on two other occasions following Redwing Stanley Cup wins in 1997 and 1998, Lidström admitted that meeting the president is always a nerve-wracking event.
“I got a little nervous just before I was supposed to speak,” he said, adding however that he felt Bush “thought it was fun to have us there”.
According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, Lidström indicated that he hoped the Bush family would continue supporting the Redwings even after the president left office.
“When spring comes around and playoff hockey is around the corner again, we’d like the president and his dad to watch us win the Cup again,” the paper reported him as saying.
In addition to Lidström, the championship Redwing team also features Swedes Tomas Holmström, Niklas Kronwall, Andreas Lilja, Henrik Zetterberg, Johahn Franzén and Mikael Samuelsson, all of whom were also on hand for the occasion.