Local hockey player has reached her dream of winning gold during the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer Alta.
“It was a surreal experience. The outcome was something I never dreamt of, and I will never forget it,” said Team Alberta Wing Bree Kennedy.
“For us, our team came together so well. We believed so much in each other, I have never had that feeling before where I knew we were going to win,” Kennedy said.
The entire team come together quickly, which gave Team Alberta an opportunity to become the best team, she added.
“We weren’t necessarily the most skilled, we were definitely the underdogs,” Kennedy said.
She added, Team Alberta was labeled the underdogs after the team had lost two games during round robin and were set to play against the B.C. team which remained undefeated.
“We weren’t expected to win, it just made it that much better when we did,” Kennedy said.
Although Kennedy had practiced continually with her team leading up to the games, she still felt nervous.
“I dislocated my shoulder right before. I hadn’t played for a month, so for me personally I went straight into the games without playing,” she said.
Kennedy had kept skating, and was in the gym everyday working on cardio, but she was unable to shoot or do body contact leading up to the games.
“It was nerve racking, but I knew it would be good. I had a good feeling about it.
“I felt prepared, I just needed to keep my mental game strong,” she said.
Every team member has a role on their team. Kennedy added, she felt like she performed her role well along with her teammates.
“I was proud of my performance, but I also wasn’t thinking about myself, it was so much more than just myself there. The team’s success made me feel like I was having success.
“I for sure thought I brought it, and definitely played my role in the team,” Kennedy said.
Getting to play for Team Alberta was an amazing experience for Kennedy where she was able to meet and form close connections with athletes from across the province.
“We did pin trading with other provinces, that made the experience so much better, it felt like a mini Olympics,” Kennedy said.
“Winning gold was amazing, I’ll always have that in my memory, but I loved the pin trading. It was something I took pride in and I loved it so much,” she added. “My goal was to get every pin from every province.”
Now that her season is over, Kennedy is continuing to skate every day, and is preparing for spring training.
“I’m training for what’s to come, there’s another team Alberta camp in two months. It’s a quick turnaround but it’s worth it,” Kennedy said.