News & Politics

The Danish Ambassador Is a Lars Eller Superfan

They go to concerts. They're in a group text. The Stanley Cup probably won't make it over to the embassy, but that's cool.

Lars Gert Lose. Photograph by World Resources Institute via Flickr Creative Commons.

Few people were more excited that Lars Eller scored the Caps’ Stanley Cup-winning goal than Lars Gert Lose, Denmark’s ambassador to the United States, who has been texting and tweeting at his countryman all season long (he even sneaked a Caps flag onto the Nordic float at Pride this weekend).

Did you make it down to the parade?

No, I didn’t. We actually seriously discussed that we should close the embassy today, but we had some ministers coming in and some meetings today. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it.


Have you had a chance to talk to Eller and congratulate him in person?

Over text. We texted a lot during the celebrations. His wife, Julie, is a big supporter as well. How things are going, how proud we are, take care of yourself in Vegas. The texts became a bit weird at the end of the day, but I think they had fun.

Have you been following this weekend’s celebrations?

When I saw Alex Ovechkin down at the fountain down at the harbor front I thought that’s too crazy for me, but it looked fun. It looked like they had fun. We were down at the Pride parade, we had a big Nordic float. I managed to get a Capitals flag on top of the float, so we were celebrating in that context as well.

The float was shaped like a viking ship, is that right?


What was your reaction when you saw Eller score the Stanley Cup-winning goal?

That was unbelievable. If you wrote a fairy tale, you couldn’t write it any better than that. I have a seven-year-old daughter who is a big Caps fan as well, and she has her own Eller shirt. She was up at the same time, so we were dancing around the living room, I can tell you that.

I saw there was a small watch party in his hometown in Denmark, in Rødovre.  It must have been broadcast pretty early in the morning over there. 

I think when he scored the game-winning goal, it was around 5:30 in the morning. Rødovre is kind of the central city when it comes to hockey in Denmark. It wasn’t a huge sport in Denmark, but I can tell you everyone knows about hockey in Denmark now. Even the Prime Minister was up tweeting about Lars Eller.

How long have you been a hockey fan?

Well this is a weird story because of course I knew hockey but I was not a big fan until I came to the United States three years ago. My good friend Jack Davies is one of the owners of the Capitals, and he brought me for a game against the Florida Panthers, just after Lars came here (in 2016).

My wife, Ulla, and I got to go down and meet with Lars and talk to him. That was just an amazing game. He actually scored in the first game I ever saw with him in the Capital One Arena and from there on I was just hooked on hockey. I’ve been watching all the games ever since, and I’ll be a Caps fan for life.

Do you think Eller will come to the embassy? Do you have anything planned to honor him?

Well we are trying to make that work. We would love to have the Stanley Cup here, but as I understand his plan is to take it home to Rødovre. As I understand it, he only has it for 24 hours, so we probably won’t get it at the embassy. But we’re definitely going to have a reception and honor him.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Helen joined Washingtonian in January 2018. She studied Journalism and International Relations at the University of Southern California. She recently won an Online News Award for her work on a project about the effects of the Salton Sea, California’s greatest burgeoning environmental disaster, on a Native American tribe whose ancestral lands are on its shores. Before joining the magazine, Helen worked in Memphis covering education for Chalkbeat. Her work has appeared in USA Today, The Desert Sun, Chalkbeat Tennessee, Sunset Magazine, Indiewire, and others.