The Canadian Olympic hockey teams are getting help from local athletes in their bid for gold.
Brianne Jenner is competing for the women’s team, and John Tavares is competing for the men’s team.
Canadians don’t need a reminder to tune in to support their hockey teams, but this local connection will bring an extra thrill for all the Oakville hockey fans.
John Tavares was born in Mississauga, but spent most of his childhood in Oakville. Tavares attended Oakville’s St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School while playing for the OHL’s Oshawa Generals.
The 23-year-old hockey player will make his first Olympic appearance in a week’s time.
Tavares is the captain of the New York Islanders, and is consistently a top point earner in the NHL. The centerman has international experience with Canada’s World junior team, and helped Canada win a gold medal in 2008 and 2009.
He comes from an athletically gifted family. His uncle, also named John Tavares, is the all-time scoring leader in the National Lacrosse League. The younger Tavares also played Lacrosse. He is an all-around athlete who excelled in lacrosse, soccer, and hockey.
It is no surprise that he was chosen to represent Canada. The Oakville local is a high profile addition to the Olympic team, and Canadians will be watching him closely.
Tavares recorded a hat trick in a game against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 6.
She captained Oakville’s Appleby College women’s hockey team, and played in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League with the Mississauga Chiefs, and continued her career playing for Cornell University.
Jenner also represented Canada on the under-18 team in 2008 and 2009. She earned a silver medal in both championships, and narrowly missed being named to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic team.
In Sochi, she will be one the youngest forwards to play for team Canada.
She won a silver medal with team Canada in the 2013 World Championships. They lost to team U.S.A., who are the gold medal favourites.
Jenner was recently involved in some scrappy play and a line brawl in a game against the rival Americans.
Tavares will play his first game on Thursday Feb.13 against Norway at 12:00 EST.
Jenner will play her first game on Saturday Feb.8 against Switzerland at 8:00 EST.
Here is a statistical breakdown of all Canadian athletes: