Hayley Wickenheiser has received plenty of congratulations from around the sports world this week after being selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2019.
The praise continued Thursday when actor Ryan Reynolds, one of the most recognizable Canadians on the planet, congratulated the women’s hockey pioneer with a tweet sent out to his 14 million followers.
Hayley Wickenheiser is an incredible human being. Also, she’s headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Because this is what a billion hours of hard work looks like. Congrats @wick_22! #HHOF2019 https://t.co/ZlM30Xxbn4
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) June 28, 2019
The Hollywood superstar is from Vancouver, the city in which Wickenheiser won the third of her four Olympic gold medals, but their connection goes a bit beyond that.
Reynolds and Wickenheiser were both added to Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto at the same time in 2014. Apparently, though, that wasn’t the first time they met.
“I do remember Ryan Reynolds being at the Oval in Calgary learning how to skate for a movie that he did,” she told the National Post five years ago. “A long time ago. I think I was one of the ones who taught him how to skate. There were a few athletes who gave him lessons, and I was one of them.”
For Wickenheiser, the Hall of Fame trumps the Walk of Fame.
“Outside of winning an Olympic gold medal, for a personal accomplishment, this is probably the holy grail,” Wickenheiser said earlier this week. “You’re with the best players to have ever played the game, male and female. It’s pretty cool. I had just so many different people reaching out from both the male and female side. It brought back a lot of memories from the different eras of my hockey career.”
The two have also worked together at various charitable events over the years.