January 11, 2018 10:11 pm
Updated: January 12, 2018 12:58 am

Lethbridge’s Rob Klinkhammer to play for Canadian men’s hockey team at 2018 Winter Olympics

WATCH: Lethbridge's Rob Klinkhammer was named one of Team Canada's forwards on Thursday. Learning he'd be heading to the Olympic Games in February was exciting news for him and his family. Joe Scarpelli reports.

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It’s a long way from Lethbridge, Alta. to PyeongChang, South Korea, but that’s Rob Klinkhammer’s route to becoming an Olympian.

The Lethbridge native was named to the Canadian men’s hockey team on Thursday for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The 31-year-old said he was given the heads up before the announcement, but is still trying to digest the information.

“I was kind of speechless, and obviously unbelievably excited,” he told Global News from his home in Russia on Thursday.

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READ MORE: Canada unveils men’s hockey team for 2018 Winter Olympics

Klinkhammer began his junior career playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2003.

He would go on to play 193 games in the NHL with stints in Chicago, Ottawa, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Edmonton.

In 2016, Klinkhammer moved to Russia to play in the KHL, where he remains today.

His father Gerry was thrilled to learn his son’s hard work earned him a spot on the Olympic team. He said he hasn’t missed an Olympic hockey game on TV in about 40 years.

“How is this going to be different?” he said. “I’m going to be nervous.”

Gerry said he has many memorable moments of his son throughout the years, but this one in the making is going to be something else.

“To represent your country in a sport, or represent your country in anything, is a real honour,” he said. “I mean, you couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”

READ MORE: Team Canada predicted to win record 33 medals at 2018 Winter Olympics

Klinkhammer said he expects to play a bottom-six role, using his physical, energetic style. He added he’s looking forward to joining a talented group.

“I think we’ve got depth, I think we’re built to work, be hard and physical and be a tough team to play against,” he said.

For now, Klinkhammer says the whole scenario hasn’t sunk in yet.

“Once we land in South Korea and we get to the Olympic village, then it’ll probably hit me.”

READ MORE: Canada’s Olympic women’s hockey team members announced in Calgary

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