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Olympic silver medallist shares her hockey story with community


This past Saturday night silver medallist from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Brigette Lacquette came to The Pas and area to speak at the Roy H. Johnston Arena. Lacquette, the first First Nations player to join Canada’s women’s hockey team, was telling her story, answering questions and signing autographs with local fans.
She also has a number of other hockey accolades according to Olympic.ca, first joining the National Women’s U18 Team in 2008, then winning silver and gold the following year before winning in the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women’s World Championships.
Afterwards she represented Canada in the 2013 Four Nations Cup in the team that won Canada the gold medal. Lacquette nearly made the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, narrowly failing to make the final roster.
During her visit to the Roy H. Johnston Arena she told her story about growing up and how she first started gaining confidence in herself.
“It just let me be myself and gave me so much confidence. I would always tell a story when I was probably 13-years-old, I would never communicate or talk to anyone on my team, I would have so little confidence I would never speak up or say anything,” Lacquette said.
It was an incident during a tournament in Winnipeg where everything started changing, beginning with her outlook on how to handle things.
“When I started to get better at hockey I started to travel more, I started to play on better teams and started going to Winnipeg for tournaments and stuff. One of my very first tournaments I was in Winnipeg,” Lacquette explained. “One time I was playing one of my first tournaments and I was in a shoving match with someone and she said ‘Get off loser’ and that actually hurt my feelings and that actually stunned me so much that I was kind of at a loss for words. I’m a crier and obviously I cried (afterwards).”
It was a pep talk with her coach afterwards at the time that she credits for helping her career and boosting her confidence.
“He sensed something was wrong and he came over asking what’s happening and I finally told him what happened. It’s almost like I didn’t want to repeat it, I didn’t know how to express myself,” Lacquette said, adding, “he shared something to me that stuck with me my entire life and he told me something as simple as beat them on the ice. That was something that was very important to my entire career because you know it’s to be my best self, train hard and be the best you can possibly be.”
After she told her story she answered some questions then proceeded to sign autographs with the many local fans that lined up.
It was the large turnout that The Pas Minor Hockey and The Pas Renewal Community Corporation (TPCRC), co-hosts of the event, were hoping for.
“We’re really excited to have such a (large) turnout and that Brigette was able to come up fresh off her Olympic trip and we were able to correspond with her when she was at the Olympics. I was a bit of a fanboy getting those early morning emails from her, getting things set up and I’m just really excited it all panned out and an obviously really great response from people,” said Jerome Conaty, Communications Director for The Pas Minor Hockey, crediting (TPCRC) for helping The Pas Minor Hockey Association with organizing Lacquette’s trip to The Pas.
Her message that she brought with her of being the best player that you can be is something that Conaty hopes will help local kids to push themselves beyond what they think they can do.
“It’s great because it’ll help push kids to chase their dreams because if Brigette was able to come from a background (of) small communities, First Nations and it’s just inspiring for people in general,” he said.
He also added with Provincial Minor Hockey Tournaments held last weekend and again this upcoming weekend and the Good Deeds Cup win everything snowballed and came together into something great for The Pas Minor Hockey this year.

Trevor Wright