Nova Scotia

Hockey players 'so prepared' to represent Nova Scotia at Olympics

Two Nova Scotia members of the Canadian women's hockey team are eager to get on the ice at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games next month.

'If you want it bad enough, you can do it,' says Stellarton member of women's hockey team

Jillian Saulnier, left, and Blayre Turnbull are members of Canada's Olympic women's hockey team. (CBC)

As the only Nova Scotians competing at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games next month, two hockey players say they are "star-struck," but "more than prepared" to hit the ice for Canada.

"I still feel pretty star-struck when I see some of the Olympic athletes walking around so I can only imagine what it's going to be like when I am walking around the Olympic Village," said Blayre Turnbull, 24, of Stellarton, N.S.

"We're so prepared. We've been prepared for the Olympics since August. A lot of us have been training out here in Calgary. We're more than prepared and we're ready to go."

'Extremely surreal'

Speaking to CBC News at Six, Turnbull and her teammate Jillian Saulnier, 25, of Halifax, said they are still trying to digest the news that they would be playing for Canada at the Games in South Korea.

"We're just trying to let it soak in," Saulnier said.

"It was extremely surreal. Walking into the coach's office and then finding out that I … would be competing in my first Olympic Games. It was the most exciting day of my life, a day that I will remember forever," Turnbull said.

Players on Canada's Olympic women's hockey team were training in Calgary on Wednesday. (CBC)

The women are both forwards who currently play together with the Calgary Inferno of the Canadian Women's Hockey League. They were training this week in Calgary with the other players who make up the 23-member team. The women, including 2014 Olympian Marie-Philip Poulin, will be tasked with the challenge of trying to win a fifth straight gold medal in February at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

'Nothing is out of reach'

"When we were younger, there wasn't a lot of girls who played hockey in Nova Scotia so we left home, jumped around place to place to get ourselves in the best position to make this dream a reality," Saulnier said.

Turnbull said it's been great to be in the same environment as the other athletes, to watch how hard they work.

"Nothing is out of reach. Jill and I are perfect examples of that. We both grew up in Nova Scotia — Jill in Halifax, me in Stellarton. If your dream is to play in the Olympics or if your dream is to be a doctor or a lawyer, if you want it bad enough, you can do it. "

​The Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games will run from Feb. 9 to Feb. 25.

With files from Tom Murphy

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