Hockey Canada announced its men’s Olympic team roster Thursday, and while the team may be bereft of household names – having no NHL players will do that – it certainly doesn’t come up short in heart.
A strong example being forward Wojtek Wolski.
Wolski was a first-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2004, played parts of 11 seasons with five different teams then, in 2013, left North America to play in the KHL.
Tragically, he most recently made headlines in October 2016 when he broke his neck and suffered a concussion during a game between his Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Barys Astana.
The horrific injury kept Wolski out for the rest of the season, but it didn’t keep him off the ice.
Less than a year after his freak accident, Wolski was seen getting ready for the upcoming KHL season.
An inspiring story for sure, but as it turns out, Wolski’s initial recovery was just the beginning of his comeback story.
On Thursday, with Wolski being named to Canada’s Olympic roster, his Cinderella story of “zero to hero” came to a conclusion and he took to Instagram to share his thoughts on his journey.
“Exactly one year ago today I laid in a hospital bed after having surgery to fix a broken neck,” Wolski’s post reads. “Today I am so proud and excited to have been named to Canada’s Olympic Hockey Team.
“I look at the picture of me in the hospital and can’t help but cry. Mostly tears of happiness, but I am filled with so many emotions about what I have overcome. I could never have imagined that I would be so lucky one year later.”
Wolski’s story is proof that you can still have good Olympic hockey stories even without NHL players, and if the epilogue of his tale ends with another Canadian gold medal it won’t matter what league the men in red and white play in.