College of Education alumnus Ken Babey coached Canada’s Para hockey team at this year’s Paralympic Games in Beijing.
College of Education alumnus Ken Babey coached Canada’s Para hockey team at this year’s Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Photo: Hockey Canada)

USask alumnus leads Canada to silver medal at Paralympics

Ken Babey has helped Team Canada come home with silver medals from the 2022 Paralympic Games in China.

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) alumnus coached Canada’s Para hockey team to its second straight silver medal in Beijing, falling 5-0 to the United States in the gold-medal game on Sunday, March 13, on the last day of the Paralympics. Babey, a record-setting Canadian college hockey coach, who earned a Bachelor of Education degree at USask in 1979, also guided Canada to a silver medal in the 2018 Paralympic Games and has been the head coach of the national team for the past seven seasons.

“I am very proud of our team and our staff,” Babey said in a statement from the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “I am proud of the effort of all 17 players on our roster, and I am grateful for all the Canadians that supported us both in Beijing and back home. It is a tough loss, but we can look at the big picture and appreciate the process and sacrifices we made to be in this position to represent our country. At the end of the day, we played hard and gave it our best, but unfortunately it did not go our way today.”

Canada placed third in the medal standings behind China and Ukraine, finishing with 25 medals for its second-best Paralympics.

Prior to the Paralympics, Babey told USask that he was honoured to have the opportunity to represent his country on the international stage once again.

“The Paralympics is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I am very fortunate to get to experience it twice in my lifetime,” said Babey, who was the winningest coach in Canadian college hockey history with 534 victories over 27 seasons at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary.

More on the gold-medal game is available from the CBC here.

Babey was one of four USask and Huskie Athletics alumni who took part in the Winter Olympics and the Paralympics, along with bronze-medal winning bobsledder Ben Coakwell, and coach Lyndon Rush. Coakwell is a former five-year Huskie football player and track and field athlete who studied science at USask, while Rush earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also played five years of Huskie football prior to joining Bobsleigh Skeleton Canada. Meanwhile, Saskatoon’s Cianna Lieffers, who earned kinesiology (2017) and education (2018) degrees at USask, served as a referee in the women’s hockey competition at the Beijing Olympics.

You can read more on their thoughts prior the Games here.

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