Wahlstrom, a junior hockey player serving as the forward for the Portland Junior Pirates, became an overnight Internet celebrity due to a video featuring his stunning goal during a hockey game for the Boston Bruins professional hockey team at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusets. According to the New York Daily News, the video was taped for the TD Bank’s Mini 1-on-1 challenge, which is to promote the upcoming Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils game in Oct. 29. In the video, the young Oliver got out from the sidelines and headed for the goal. He then spun around, picked up the fast-moving puck with the blade of his hockey stick, and flung the puck past the bewildered goalie and into the net amidst the loud cheering of fans. The rest of the video featured various camera angles of the trick shot as well as several slow-motion shots. The video was then posted onto Youtube and later spawning similar viral add videos of the goal on the video-sharing website.
In just a few days after it has been posted on the web, the videos featuring Wahlstrom’s amazing trick shot has reached thousands to hundreds of thousands of viewers. Yahoo! has also posted that the keywords “9 years old goal” and “oliver wahlstrom” were among the hottest searches on their web search engine, and Google has. The video has also seen a viral add phenomenon where hundreds of sports and viral websites featured the trick shot on their pages.
And as with most viral add phenoms, the fame of Oliver Wahlstrom and his trick shot has transcended from the Internet to the real world. Within a week after the video was posted on Youtube, Oliver and his father, former Swedish hockey player Joakim Wahlstrom, was interviewed on CBS and ESPN In New York. On Oct. 17 the Wahlstroms were invited at the Fox Studios as well as interviewed by a Swedish television reporter for the TV4 network in Sweden. Oliver also got to meet San Jose Sharks players Dan Boyle, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau at the NHL Store Powered by Reebok.
With all the hype and fame overwhelming Oliver Wahlstrom and his family, it’s easy to forget that it would never have been possible years ago when video social-sharing sites were not as mainstream as it were today. The phenomenon just further cements how viral videos, and the viral add word-of-mouth spread that facilitates it, can become quite a formidable tool in attracting the masses.
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