'There were tears in my eyes': Kitchener relishes German World Cup win
Germany's win at the FIFA World Cup final on Sunday had legions of its fans in Waterloo Region take to the streets in rapture, while an impromptu parade of cars honked their way through downtown Kitchener.
Vera Golini from Waterloo clapped alongside the parade on King Street, saying she wished the streets were this happy every day.
The two-hour match between Germany and Argentina was tight, with both sides scoreless through regulation time. When Germany's Mario Götze finally scored in extra time at the 112th minute, spectators at the Concordia Club in Kitchener erupted in joy. Germany would eventually prevail 1-0.
"There were tears in my eyes," said Michael Schatz, 28, who kept the spirit alive with his drum. "My nerves are coming down. I don't believe it yet. It was a pretty rough two hours in there, but we got it. We pulled through."
The Concordia Club of Kitchener-Waterloo, a German cultural centre that was established more than 140 years ago, was packed to capacity during the World Cup Final. Rolf Malthaner, who is on the board of directors at Concordia Club, said they had to turn 300 people away.
"We're feeling wonderful," said Malthaner, who serenaded the crowd with an accordion. "When we opened the doors this morning we didn't expect this many people."
Michael Kunz, 73, managed to get in early enough. He moved to Kitchener from Germany 55 years ago and watched the game at Concordia Club with his wife, Mabel Reef, who hails from Newfoundland.
"They played great, but it was a good match, tight right to the end. It was super. Wünderbar!"
Kitchener is home to a strong German community, with 21.7 per cent of residents in the 2011 National Household Survey reporting Germanic backgrounds.