British Columbia

B.C. Mountie in 'most Canadian photo ever' had no idea it would explode online

Cpl. Shaun Begg just wanted a photo of himself playing shinny in his red serge, but he didn't realize the image would end up going viral.

Cpl. Shaun Begg's picturesque pond hockey shot is B.C. RCMP's most re-tweeted Twitter post

A B.C. Mountie, whose Twitter post shows him playing shinny in red serge on a mountain-top ice rink, says no one is more surprised than he is at its explosion online.

"I'm actually very thought was to take a photo of myself in serge with my personal camera for a personal screen saver, maybe a Christmas card," said Cpl. Shaun Begg, who is stationed in Kaslo, B.C.

"I had no idea it would hit the internet and just explode."

Begg's photo is now the BC RCMP's most re-tweeted Twitter post.

"Photos don't get much more Canadian than this," wrote CBC in a post on its Trending page. 

"All this photo is missing is BonHomme guzzling maple syrup and shotgunning a Molson while riding a plaid-wearing polar bear to make this the most stereotypically Canadian image ever."

Begg plays recreational hockey with Kaslo's Afterburners and had an opportunity to fly by helicopter into a remote area of the Purcell mountains to play shinny with his teammates and a few others.

AUDIO | Listen to Cpl. Shaun Begg's interview

He and his teammates played for four hours at 9,000 feet before he put on his uniform, with his supervisor's approval.

"When I got to put the serge on it was a proud Canada moment," he said.

"The scarlet tunic has magic in it and the opposing team just came up and they wanted photos and stuff like that so it was kinda neat. So I kinda knew at that point that it might get out."

The photo has since been re-tweeted more than 2,000 times by a wide variety of people and groups including the NHL.

"They obviously don't know my skill set if they're posting it on their Twitter page," said Begg.

Cpl. Shaun Begg, right, had no idea this photo of him in B.C.'s Kootenay region would go viral. (B.C. RCMP)

"Time kinda stood still while we were up there. It was a surreal experience. I'm still basking in the glory of what we've accomplished, not the photo but actually getting to play, in a ... I mean how much more Canadian can that get ... to play pond hockey at 9,000 feet."

Begg said he's not sure how the photo will be used now, but he's discussing it with the RCMP.

"It's definitely going to be on my wall for sure in a nice frame...obviously a keepsake for life for me."


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