Friday, 7 February 2014

BOOK PREVIEW- Late Night Chats with Hayley Wickenheiser

      It was around 11:30 at night. My dad was asleep. as was my older brothers' cat, Justin, who perched on top of the couch I was laying in. As a way to kill time, I put on the movie “Little Miss Sunshine”, probably one of the best movies of all time. I guess I'm a sucker for feel-good films, even if they feature heroin addicted grandpas, as this one did. While watching the movie, and watching the second hand slowly tick by, I knew that Hayley Wickenheiser was three provinces away playing the sport she'd become famous for. Hockey.
Any second now she would be finishing that game and calling me shortly afterwards for a rather brief interview. Let's be honest though, I didn't care how long the interview was, it was with Hayley Wickenhesier! Widely regarded as the best female hockey player in the world! The thing that caught my eye though was her Olympic record. If I'm a sucker for Little Miss Sunshine, I'm an even bigger one for the Olympics, especially the winter games. An obsession that started back in grade six when my then-teacher, Mrs Gale Pollock, allowed us to watch some of the events of the Turin, Italy games while sitting on the library carpet back in my old public school, Harris Heights (now renamed). Thanks a lot Pollock, you set me on the track of my only athletic obsession, but I'm forever grateful!
In 2002, Hayley won the gold medal for women's hockey with the Canadian national team. Already, I would of loved the chance to have a chat with her... I mean, Olympic gold! But she didn't stop there, those 2006 games that sparked my passion brought Hayley another gold. Myself on one side of the world learning the wonder of the games, and her bringing in her second gold from them.
Every Canadian, as remembers the 2010 Olympic men's team winning a dramatic gold medal game, and I think Sidney Crosby's name will be remembered in Canadian Olympic lore because of it. But three days before that amazing gold medal moment, Hayley and our women's national team landed their third consecutive gold. Three gold medals, (not to mention a silver from the 1998 games), and she would be calling me in three minutes. I couldn't wait!
“I GOT IN! LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, I GOT IN, I GOT IN, I GOT IN.” Shit. That was being screamed from the movie at the top of young actress Abigail Breslin's lungs, as high pitched as possible, while my dad was yelling at me to turn it down and I was just trying to turn the whole darn thing off because while all of that was happening, the phone was ringing with whom I assumed to be Hayley on the other side. Quite, tranquil, moment down the drain, and stressful situation rising. I angerly jabbed my finger into the television remote to shut it down, took a deep breath to calm myself, and thanked the Olympic champion for calling me, acting as if nothing had happened. I was on the phone with Hayley Wickenheiser! I was in the big leagues now!

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