As Canada’s best athletes perform on the world stage at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, Wakaw, Sask., anxiously awaits the debut of its hometown Olympian.
Team Canada’s men’s hockey team forward Linden Vey, 26, was born and raised in the community, 90 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.
“Myself and council have declared today Vey day in town,” Wakaw Mayor Peter Skoworodko said proudly.
Businesses have decked the halls and residents are dressed in Canada’s colours.
While NHL players are not among the athletes in South Korea, the hype in Wakaw is bigger than ever.
“We’re very proud of him. Put it that way,” Linden’s grandfather Max Fiolleau said. “I’ll be sitting in my easy chair at home watching all the games, and cheering.”
Vey began playing hockey at a young age. Fiolleau said by age four, if Vey wasn’t in the house, he was outside playing street hockey.
“He was a high achiever in both academics and school,” former teacher and coach Corey Biccum said. “A well-rounded athlete. He was a good badminton player, a good volleyball player, and obviously a very good hockey player.”
According to Skoworodko, Vey’s accomplishment reiterates the importance of small town recreational amenities.
“Providing those types of things like swimming pools and arenas and other areas like that of recreation and it’s something we really feel is a strong support for the community,” he said.
“There’s a lot of really young kids coming into hockey and I think by them realizing this and seeing this it gives them something to aspire to and work towards too.”
Vey is one of 25 players to make Team Canada’s men’s hockey team.
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