P.E.I.'s Brandon Gormley says heading to the Olympics 'tops it all'
'It's special for me to be able to do this, but it's also special to share this with everybody back home'
P.E.I.'s Brandon Gormley says it will be a "huge honour" to play for Canada in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
The 29-year-old hockey defenceman has represented the country in international competitions before. But he said going to the Winter Games is just on another level.
"Anytime you can put the Canadian jersey on, it's just so special," he said. "I've been fortunate to do it a number of times and it just never gets old. So, I mean, to do it on the Olympic stage definitely tops it all."
Gormley, from Murray River, plays for Dinamo Riga in the KHL. He was named to Canada's roster on Tuesday and was preparing for the Olympics at a training camp in Davos, Switzerland last week.
He said he never expected to be in this position until he got a call from Hockey Canada near the end of his season.
"We all thought the NHL guys were going to be going to the Olympics and I honestly thought it was a done deal," he said.
"It was exciting to get that call at the time, you know, to see that it might have been a possibility. And then, yeah, things just progressed from there."
The NHL formally withdrew from the Olympics just before Christmas.
Gormley won't be the only Team Canada member representing P.E.I.
Morgan Ellis of Ellerslie is one of the reserve players. Charlottetown's Kevin Elliott will be the team's athletic therapist.
"Me and Morgan had the chance to play together numerous times and kind of grew up playing against each other," Gormley said. "So it's been real fun to have him. And … Kevin Elliott, he's the best in the business. It's pretty special to share this together."
Since the news broke, he's been getting supportive messages from Islanders.
"It's special for me to be able to do this, but it's also special to share this with everybody back home," Gormley said.
"[I'm] just excited and honoured to be a part of it. And I know we, as a group, are really looking forward to getting going here."
Canada plays the U.S. in an exhibition game Feb. 7 before its tournament opener against Germany on Feb. 10.
With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.