Nova Scotia

Olympic women's hockey gold hits close to home for 2 N.S. families

As Canada's women's hockey team won Olympic gold late last night, two Nova Scotia families were celebrating their daughters' achievements from across the world.

'I am feeling punch-drunk, my whole body is tingling,' says Jillian Saulnier's mother

Olympic women's hockey gold hits close to home for 2 N.S. families

6 months ago
Duration 2:20
As Canada's women's hockey team won Olympic gold late last night, two Nova Scotia families were celebrating their daughters' achievements from across the world.

Christine Brennan still had a Canadian flag painted on her face early this morning. 

Last night, she watched her daughter, forward Jillian Saulnier, and the rest of Canada's women's hockey team win Olympic gold against the Americans. After, she could hardly sleep. 

"I am feeling punch-drunk, my whole body is tingling," Brennan said. "This is just the most amazing feeling in the world. I'm so happy for Jill and her teammates and all of Canada. I can't even describe it."

Brennan had a small watch party for friends and family at her home in Halifax. The room erupted when the buzzer sounded to end the 3-2 victory for Canada.

Jillian Saulnier shows off her gold medal on video chat after the game. (Submitted by Christine Brennan)

"We were screaming, jumping up and down, running around," she said. "Every hug I gave was, you know, 10 seconds longer."

Saulnier and Stellarton's Blayre Turnbull played for Canada in the gold-medal game. Head coach Troy Ryan (Spryfield) and assistant coach Kori Cheverie (New Glasgow) are also from Nova Scotia.

Brennan's home is as decked out in Canada gear as she is. All of Saulnier's jerseys hang from the upstairs banister — balloons, flags, and even a Team Canada-themed Christmas tree fill the living room. 

"For the next couple of days, anyway, everything's just going to stay up and I'm going to enjoy this beautiful moment."

Brennan celebrated the team's gold medal win at her home in Halifax. (Submitted by Christine Brennan)

In Stellarton, Ron Turnbull, Blayre's father, said he's feeling worn out but happy. 

"It was a long, long road, it was very long just waiting," Turnbull said. "It's been four years since the last one, which was very disappointing, so it's amazing that they won this one."

He referred to the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, when the Canadians lost to the Americans in the final. Turnbull was there in the stands.

Turnbull's family watches from Stellarton wearing her old jerseys. (Submitted by Ron Turnbull)

This time, he had many of his family members over to watch the game, and said he had mixed feelings about not being able to be in Beijing to watch his daughter win gold in person.

"Being there is nerve-racking," he said. "I think I found it easier just watching it on TV than being there in person."

Turnbull spoke to Blayre, a forward, via text after the game. He said being her dad feels amazing.

A young Blayre Turnbull is shown in a minor hockey photo. (Submitted by Ron Turnbull )

"I always knew she was going to be really good, whatever she decided to do," he said. "And hockey was it for her, she kept getting better year after year after year."

Brennan also spoke to her daughter after the game via video chat. She said it was surreal watching her daughter kiss and bite her gold medal.

"I could hear all kinds of noise in the background, just cheering and yelling," Brennan said. "I know they were probably getting ready to open some champagne. Just the smile, said it all."

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