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The guy who fell during the Opening Ceremony used to coach the Blackhawks

Kevin Kaduk
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Austrian falls

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(Getty Images)

One of the big questions from Friday's Opening Ceremony can finally be answered. Just who was that member of Team Austria falling to the ground during the parade of nations?

You may have seen the picture: As the Austrians entered the stadium, one of its members stumbled and fell to the ground. The resulting photo quickly zipped its way around the Internet and we were left  wondering what poor soul lost his or her standing in front of 40,000 spectators in Sochi. 

According a Finnish newspaper, the unlucky feller, err faller, was Alpo Suhonen. The 65-year-old Finland native is helping coach the Austrian hockey team and was fiddling with a camera when he lost his balance and fell to Russian soil. The good news is that he wasn't hurt and was able to recover in plenty of time to watch Vladislav Tretiak, a hockey friend, light the Olympic cauldron. 

If you're a hockey fan who think his name sounds familiar, you'd be right. Suhonen coached the Chicago Blackhawks in 2000-01, becoming the first European head coach in the NHL in almost 50 years.

Unfortunately, that Opening Ceremony photo is a perfect metaphor for his time in Chicago. Suhonen lasted just one season, going 29-41-8 in the dark pre-Toews/Kane era for the Blackhawks.

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Alpo Suhonen (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

 h/t: Chicago Tribune

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Kevin Kaduk is a writer for Yahoo Sports.. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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