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Sostorics offers advice

January 31, 2011

Sostorics offers advice
By Taylor Lambert, Saskatchewan News Network; Postmedia January 31, 2011 5:02 AM

A Team Saskatchewan pep rally was held Saturday at Saskatoon's Walter Murray High School
where 200 athletes, artists and coaches heard from Team Sask alumni Colleen Sostorics share her
experiences. Sostorics was with the team at the 1995 Canada Winter Games. She is also a threetime
Winter Olympics hockey gold medallist.

Colleen Sostorics Jan 2011 Team Sask Rally.jpg

Photograph by: Gord Waldner, Star Phoenix, Saskatchewan News Network; Postmedia

Colleen Sostorics shared her good and bad memories as an elite athlete during a pep rally
in Saskatoon for Team Saskatchewan at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.
Sostorics recalled her loss in the gold-medal game at the 2008 women's world hockey
championship in China. Sostorics told the athletes that she was devastated by the secondplace
finish and produced the silver medal from underneath the Andy Fantuz jersey she
was wearing.

"I was so devastated,'' Sostorics recalled.

Sostorics's memory of her women's hockey loss at the 2008 world championship in China
was just one of many recollections shared with the young athletes at the Team Sask Day
celebration Saturday.

The room was full of athletes who will attend the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax in two
weeks. Sostorics moved on from her own Canada Games experience in 1995 to become a
three-time Olympic champion in women's hockey.

"It was a wonderful opportunity to come home to talk to Team Saskatchewan before they
head out to Halifax to do our province proud," she said.

A large part of Sostorics's talk focused on preparation, with video montages portraying
the level of intense training required of an Olympian, as well as touching on the
psychology of "getting up for a game" to various degrees.

"They've done most of their preparation, as had I, but when you're going into a big game,
the nerves can set in," said the 31-yearold native of Kennedy. "I hope that these athletes
are able to settle down and make the big shot . and enjoy the experience."

The event at Walter Murray Collegiate also featured the official introduction of the
athletes and speeches by those involved in each sport.
Sostorics was the star and many athletes -particularly female hockey players -lined up for
photos and autographs after the talk.

Sostorics said the Canada Games was her first high-level competition.
"I think this is a stepping stone on the way to their fabulous careers,'' Sostorics said. "So
many of these athletes will go on to have amazing careers for Canada, and this is a step in
that direction."

The athletes compete in a variety of winter sports in the Halifax area during the Games,
which run Feb. 11 to 27.

As she passed her Olympic medals around the crowd, the veteran defender reminded the
athletes that the experience of the Games is as important as the games the athletes play.
Sostorics retired in September, having won a third Olympic gold medal, but longs for the
chance to relive her younger days.

"I wish I could do it all over again and go back and join them,'' she said.
© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post


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