The couple, identified as Australian Scott Jones, 29, and Canadian-born Alexandra Thomas, became an instant Web hit after Getty photographer Rich Lam snapped a photo of them caught up in a moment of passion as tensions flared between hockey fans.
However, the affectionate pair, who have been dating for six months, dismissed claims that the kissing in the photograph was staged as they broke their silence on the night’s dramatic events.
The couple had been drinking at a bar downtown when the atmosphere in the streets of Vancouver turned nasty.
Moments before the iconic snap was taken, Mr Jones was simply trying to calm down his injured girlfriend after they were hit by police as they tried to escape the violent clashes.
Speaking with NBC’s ‘Today’ show, bartender Mr Jones said: “I was just trying to calm her down. It was pretty scary for her, and it seemed like the best thing to do.”
“I would call myself a tourist. It was Game 7, Stanley Cup finals, so something was going to happen whether we won or lost — something big. I just wanted to bear witness to what was going on. I never felt in danger while we were down there until the riot police came along.”
Environmental engineering graduate Alex added: “It happened so fast. I never expected it to turn into that situation so quickly.”