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Adversity Means NOTHING!!!

Photo Credit D. Laird Allan/Sportswave

Many in the lower mainland are still “buzzing” about the ten year anniversary of the 2010 Olympics and to add to the hype the Richmond Olympic Oval hosted a week-long party.

They pulled out all stops by inviting several Olympic Athletes so as to have a “meet and greet” on the main level that also had various events taking place.

One such event was the Canada Women’s Para Sledge Hockey that saw Canada play host to the USA in a three game series.

Canada pulled out a 3-2 win in game one on Friday, followed by a 3-1 win by the USA Saturday with the “rubber match” played Sunday morning.

A couple of weeks prior to the games, I reached out to a good friend of mine Carla Qualtrough who also lives in Delta and has won three Paralympic and four World Championship medals to attend to drop the game puck.

In addition she went in the dressing room to chat with the players and lets not forget that she is the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion for the Federal Government.

In her first term of office she was named Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, a role she loved.

Carla who has won three Paralympic and four World Championship medals and enjoys taking part in events such as these and when asked “jumped at the chance.”.

At one point in her sporting career she has been President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee and Chair of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada. 

As if that wasn’t enough she was also on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, and was Vice-Chair of the Delta Gymnastics Society.

In addition, I get frustrated with “canned music” at sporting events especially when it comes to the Anthem and would much rather have it sung in person if at all possible.

While at the Vancouver Giants game this past Friday, I asked Jeroen Vermeulen if he would help out and  sing it for both teams at the Oval Sunday morning.

He never hesitated and just asked “what time do you want me there” to which I gave him a detailed account of the event.

So as you can imagine having both Carla and Jeroen at the game was inspiring for both teams as well as the crowd, including the organizing committee.

The first two games saw a fair size crowd, while Sunday’s game saw a fair size crowd throughout the rink that saw the public cheering for both Canada and the USA.

The US jumped out to the early lead in the first and held the lead until Canada managed to tie the game in the dying stages of the first.

Both teams pressed, but neither was able to find the back of the net for the remaining two periods, that saw both squads play a four on four, five minute O/T period.

With nothing settled in O/T both teams took a quick break to rest up for the ensuing nail bitter shootout.

The USA scored on their first two shots past Jessie Gregory, while Canada was unable to get one past Hope Bevilhymer, managing to take game three by a 2-1 margin winning two of the three games over the weekend.

Those in attendance were thoroughly entertained by the talent of the players of both teams and while they might have a disability, they clearly don’t let it bother them at any stage of their life.

I would be remiss if I did not thank both Derek Guscott and Laird Allan (Sportswave official photographer), Bruce Nolte as well as Duane Evans who did the color on the broadcast.

Thanks to Janice Coulter for asking me to do this a few weeks back as it’s something that changes how you look at life.

On behalf of myself and the “crew” a special ” thanks” to both teams for your kind words throughout the three days as they were appreciated.

Continued success to both teams and here’s hoping that one day in the next while this will be an Olympic Sport.

FINGERS CROSSED!!!!!

USA Champs
Photo D. Laird Allan/Sportswave