Coaches Dave King (left) and Willie Desjardins ready Canada's national men's hockey team for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

U of S alumni help Canada shine at Winter Games

Canada had its best ever showing at the Winter Olympic Games, with a little help from some University of Saskatchewan alumni.

The Canadian men’s hockey team earned a bronze medal on Saturday with a 6-4 victory over the Czech Republic to help Canada finish with a record 29 medals at the Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. The Canadian team featured former U of S student Stefan Elliott and was coached by former Huskie hockey players Willie Desjardins and Dave King, who both earned education degrees at the U of S, with King going on to guide the Huskies to the 1983 national championship title to begin his legendary coaching career.

Meanwhile, former Huskie football standout Lyndon Rush, who earned a bachelor’s degree at the U of S, was the technical driving coach for Canada’s Olympic bobsled team, whose athletes won gold and bronze medals at the Winter Games. Former U of S student and Huskies football star Ben Coakwell was a brakeman on the Canadian sled that finished 12th in four-man bobsleigh final over the weekend.

With the Winter Olympics over, PyeongChang now prepares to host the Paralympic Games from March 9-18, with two more U of S alumni members of the Canadian team. Kurt Oatway, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the U of S, will compete in men’s para-alpine skiing, while Ken Babey, who graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the U of S, will coach Canada’s men’s sledge hockey team.

You can read more about Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic connections from the U of S here.

Share this story