Lethbridge’s Rob Klinkhammer to play for Canadian men’s hockey team at 2018 Winter Olympics
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.
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.”
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.”
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.