Edmonton

Hockey oldtimers still lacing up the skates into their 80s

There's no doubt the Golden Eagles love the game of the hockey. They’ve been playing it long enough.

Golden Eagles still playing three times a week

'The health goes down, but the heart is still there'

Edmonton

6 years ago
1:53
Oldtimers still strapping on the blades, even at 86 1:53

There's no doubt the Golden Eagles love the game of hockey. They've been playing it long enough.

Yet the oldtimers, most well into their 70s and 80s, still lace up the skates three times a week at the KC Twin Arenas in north Edmonton.

"We come with aches and pains, but once you hit the ice, you don't feel them no more," says 81-year-old George Myren. "Or they get very minimal, so you just go do your job, or try to do your job on the ice."

The veteran on the team is goalie George Carlson, who's about to turn 86.

"He's pretty good, a little stiff at the beginning. But he'll lay down and stop the pucks," Norman Pon, 83, told CBC's Min Dhariwal.

"We come with aches and pains, but once you hit the ice, you don't feel them no more.” (CBC)
Going down to make a save and returning to your feet doesn't get any easier at this age, but Carlson is lucky to be on his feet at all.

He's suffered two heart attacks — one while he was playing. But thanks to some quick thinking teammates, Carlson is back on his blades.

"We had Flanagan and Hamilton – two city firefighters on the team – and they just jumped on me right away and started pumping me and everything," he said. "That was in 2000. I had an operation. They put a new aorta in."

Many others on the team also suffer health issues, though the game and the comradery keep them coming back.

"The health goes down, but the heart is still there," Pon says. "You never stop caring, never stop caring."

As for Carlson, he isn't planning on retiring anytime soon.

"I think I'll try it two or three more years. If I get too old, then you know, I may hang up the pads."

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