When the Merritt MacDonalds junior girls hockey team entered and won a five-team tournament in Penticton last weekend, little did its members think that they would get to meet a real live Olympic hero.
During the awards presentations, the Merritt youngsters, ranging in age from seven to 11, got to talk and pose for pictures with Gina Kingsbury, one of the players on Canada’s women’s hockey team that won the gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Born in Saskatche-wan but raised in Quebec, Kingsbury, 29, first joined the national team in 1999 in the under-22 division. She attended her first World Championshps in 2001, winning gold.
Over the course of a 12-year career with the Canadian women’s hockey team, Kingsbury won three gold medals at World Championships and two gold medals at Olympic Games.
After retiring from the national program and international competition after the Vancouver Olympic Games, Kingsbury took an assistant coaching position in Penticton, B.C. with the Okanagan Hockey Academy.