Westlake's Words

Playing for Team Canada has been an incredible experience for me over the past few years. My teammates and I have travelled the world, seen some incredible things and been able to accomplish some great things on the ice. This tournament is shaping up to be another great one. We started our journey for the 2009 World Championship by going to Prague and having a pre-tournament camp. Not only is Prague a beautiful city, but we put in some solid hours on the ice as well. People always ask me about how much practice time we get, the things we do for off-ice training and even what we do for mental preparation. All three are great questions, but one thing is missing – what we do to come together as a team. Our camp in Prague was as much about getting together as a team and getting on the same page as it was to run practices. I can’t and won’t go into detail about what we do specifically before big tournaments to accomplish the feat of getting a large number of individuals to come together as one, but I can say that we left Prague as a much closer team than when we arrived. Therefore, mission accomplished!

Blogging on the Hockey Canada website is something I really enjoy doing. I feel like it gives me the opportunity to not only reach out to some of my family and friends, but also to other players’ families, the sledge hockey community and anyone interested in our team. So I do feel the need to apologize for waiting this long to get a blog up. I type most of my blogs and do most of my work in bed at the hotel and made the mistake of spilling apple juice all over the keyboard. This has left me with a pretty lousy keyboard for typing and is the reason I am late getting blogs up. I was pretty disappointed when it happened because I don’t even like apple juice that much, so it really wasn’t worth the risk.

Things here in Ostrava are going well so far, but I do have one complaint. Staying in the same hotel as all the other teams can make for some awkward moments. It’s always a little strange to have a post-game meal in the same room as the team you just played, and catching an elevator is a gamble because you never know which opposing players will be inside when the doors open.

If that is my only complaint then I guess things aren’t so bad. I’m impressed with the rink and fans here in the Czech Republic. Our first game against the Czech Republic was so loud we could barely hear ourselves talk, and the rink is very suitable to be holding a world championship. If anyone doesn’t already know, our games can be seen live at www.paralympicsport.tv. Most of our games are on in the afternoon so it is the perfect procrastination from actually doing work.

Anyways, I have a lot to say, but I have to cut this off and try to get some sleep, which will be tough considering my roommate is 6’3”, 235-pound Matt Cook, whose favourite things to do include: Complaining about how small the beds are, coughing/clearing his throat and talking in his sleep. Aside from that, he’s a pretty good guy, and with him being a rookie it’s fun to be around someone who is so excited to get his first chance at winning a World Championship.

Feel free to send me any question/comments!
Greg Westlake
For more information:
Adam Crockatt Manager, National Men's Teams | Responsable, équipe nationale masculine (hockey sur luge)


2008 WSHC


2009 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship
May 9 CAN 3 - CZE 0 | Preliminary
May 10 CAN 8 - GER 0 | Preliminary
May 12 CAN 7 - JPN 0 | Preliminary
May 14 CAN 1 - USA 2 | Semifinal
May 16 CAN 2 - JPN 0 | Bronze Medal
May 16 USA 1 - NOR 0 | Gold Medal
Click here for the complete Schedule/Results