CALGARY, Alta. – The dream is now reality for Blayre Turnbull.
On Friday, the Stellarton native was officially named to the national women’s hockey team that will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I’m feeling a lot of different emotions,” she said in an interview Friday afternoon.
“I’ve never been so excited in my life. I’m really proud and honoured to be representing our country at the Olympics.”
Turnbull and her Canadian teammates will head to PyeongChang, South Korea in February, where she will don the Canadian colours at the biggest sporting event in the world.
Jill Saulnier of Halifax also made the team.
While Turnbull had already made a strong case for being named to the Olympic team, it’s never a done deal until it’s done; the coaching staff had sat various players in games leading up to the announcement and Turnbull also suffered a minor upper-body injury in a recent game.
So although she felt good about how she’d been playing this season, Turnbull still wasn’t sure when she entered the coach’s office on Thursday.
“You never know what the coaches are thinking, but I knew that whatever happened, I’d have no regrets.” She paused then, and said: “It’s a dream come true.”
Turnbull and her teammates are well aware of the scrutiny they will be under; the Canadian women have won four consecutive gold medals at the Games and hockey fans in this country will be keeping a close eye on PyeongChang.
“We understand the pressure Team Canada has to win a gold medal. We’re going over there (expecting) to win the gold, and we want to make the country proud.”
Turnbull first began to dream about the Olympics when she watched the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. There are a lot more girls playing hockey in Pictou County, compared to then, young girls who might think of Blayre Turnbull and ask themselves ‘why not me?’
“If they look at me as an inspiration,” she said modestly, “it’s something that’s pretty cool to think about.”