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Olympic Champ Meaghan Mikkelson successfully balancing hockey and motherhood

Click to play video: 'Meaghan Mikkelsen returns to hockey' Meaghan Mikkelsen returns to hockey
Fri, Mar 18: 2-Time Olympic Gold Medallist Meaghan Mikkelson made her return to hockey in September after her and her husband, Scott Reid welcomed their first child, Calder. Mikkelson won the Clarkson Cup last Sunday with the Calgary Inferno, and will re-join the National team this weekend for the World Championships in Kamloops. Brendan Parker reports – Mar 18, 2016

CALGARY – Sunday March 13 provided Meaghan Mikkelson and her husband, Scott Reid with memories to last a lifetime.

Not just because their team, the Calgary Inferno won the Clarkson Cup, but the fact they got to celebrate – as a family.

“For me, personally, after we won, being able to celebrate with Calder and Scott on the ice after the year we had was an incredible feeling… one that was hart to describe,” said Mikkelson.

Calder, their six month old son, will just need Mom and Dad to fill him in on those memories when he grows up.

“The stories we will be able to share with Calder when he is older are so far priceless,” said the St. Albert product.

Safe to say, hockey runs deep in Calder’s bloodlines. His Mom, is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist with National Women’s hockey team. Dad is the Head Coach of the Inferno, and enjoyed 12 years of professional hockey as a goaltender.

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“He had his first set of skates off a Build-A-Bear sitting on his crib when he came home from the hospital,” said Reid.

Mikkelson’s return to the competition has been nothing short of remarkable. Calder was born on Sept 27, 2015, Mikkelson was back on skates six weeks later, and returned to competition just after the four month mark.

“I knew that I wanted to come back and play hockey again after having him, but I didn’t know that it was going to happen so quickly,” said Mikkelson. “I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I bounced back physically and in terms of my play.”

“Calder has been amazing and Meaghan’s been amazing with her ability to do both, Mother and elite athlete,” said Reid.

But that doesn’t mean it’s been easy.

“I think the key to everything I’ve done is that I didn’t have any expectations. I just knew that it was going to be really hard,” said 31-year-old Mikkelson. “Training and playing hockey, especially at the national team level is very difficult, but doing that with a child is extremely, extremely difficult.”

Mikkelson says she couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of her husband Scott and both sets of parents. Balancing hockey and motherhood has offered some very unique challenges.

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“There was a couple nights where we had to bring [Calder], and our trainer would look after him and he’d be sitting in the penalty box and Scott is out there running the practice and I’m trying to practice and we’re both trying to focus,” described Mikkelson. “The first couple practices, I’m not going to lie, I was distracted.”

But as any parent will tell you, it’s the best kind of distraction.

“Hockey is obviously a huge part of my life, it’s what I do, it’s my job I guess you could say, and it’s my passion, but I think [having a son] has put into perspective that hockey is not everything,” said Mikkelson.

A perfect example for the next hockey star of the Mikkelson/Reid family.

“I just hope that one day he will say that I have made him proud and that I will inspire him to reach his full potential,” said Mikkelson.

“I could not be more thankful for everything I have had the opportunity to do this year, with him and Scott by my side.”

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Mikkelson will now return to International hockey, after being named to Canada’s National Women’s Team for the IIHF Women’s World Championship later this month in Kamloops.

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