Rye at the Olympics and soon Paralympics

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By Pamela Johnston

It’s pretty fair to assume that the majority of Ryerson students spent some of their break watching the Winter Olympics. But before Sunday’s early-morning men’s game, Ryerson gathered to watch the women’s hockey team win gold – all the while cheering on one of their Ramily’s own.

Ryerson women’s hockey head coach, Lisa Haley, served as an assistant coach for the Canadian women’s hockey team in Sochi, Russia.

“I think it’s pretty cool to be able to say, ‘My coach is over in Sochi… coaching Team Canada,'” Rams goaltender Emma Crawley said.

The country watched as the Canadian women’s hockey team stunned the Americans with a 3-2 comeback victory for their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal. But part of the Ramily got to see the win from behind the bench.

“Who can say that they have a coach who went to the Olympics and [won] gold?” Rams team captain Janella Brodett said.

A student photographer with the Ryerson Rams, Winston Chow, was also at Sochi – stationed inside the Canadian Olympic House – while business management graduate Leslie Bradshaw was there as part of the International Olympic Committee.

Figure skater Kaitlyn Weaver, who finished seventh in the Olympic ice dance with partner Andrew Poje, is also connected to Ryerson.

She and Evan Kosiner, a radio and television arts graduate, co-founded the Digital Media Zone startup Skate

To Great – a not-for-profit organization that pairs new and used skates and other skating equipment with disadvantaged children and at-risk youth across North America.

Although the Winter Games have come to an end, Ryerson will play a part in the Paralympics, which are set to take place March 7-16 in Sochi.

Ryan McKenna, a third-year journalism student and writer for the International Paralympic Committee, will be heading to Sochi on March 3.

He will be covering ice sledge hockey for the duration of the games.

“I’m very excited, but very nervous,” McKenna said. This will be his first time travelling internationally to report on sledge hockey and the furthest he’s ever travelled in general.

McKenna has been covering international sledge hockey since February of last year.

Although he didn’t know much about the sport before he started the job, he said sledge hockey is something he’s always been interested in.

“Honestly it’s exactly like hockey… [but] a lot more fun to watch,” McKenna said. “If you’re looking for a really fast, exciting, hard-nose game, sledge hockey is sometimes even more exciting – if not [always] more exciting – than ablebodied hockey.”

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