It’s that time again, when Canada hopefully dominates the world stage at the Winter Olympics. South Korea officially hosts the games from February 9-25 in Pyeongchang County (not to be confused with Pyongyang!), as well as the Winter Paralympics from March 8-18.
Not surprisingly, Brampton is the hometown or birthplace of a few athletes–three to be exact–at the winter Olympics. Many former Brampton Battalion and Brampton Thunder ice hockey players are on the Olympic teams, too.
Note: Unlike the Summer Olympics, where athletes can train almost anywhere, most winter athletes reside in former Canadian Winter Olympic host cities Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver or in places with specialized facilities and ski hills, such as Canmore, Collingwood, and small towns in Quebec.
Dave Greszczsyzn grew up in Brampton, and was a science and gym teacher at Mayfield Secondary School before he became an athlete in the sport of skeleton. Skeleton is a one-person sledding sport on an ice track going face-first. Greszczsyzn is Canada’s top athlete in skeleton, reaching 10th place at the 2017 World Championship. Men’s skeleton is scheduled to take place on February 15 and 16.
Erin Mielzynski was born in Brampton, though she grew up in Guelph and resides in Collingwood. Mielzynski is one of 14 athletes on Canada’s Alpine Skiing team. In 2012 she was the first Canadian to win a World Cup race in slalom since 1971. She has competed in the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi games, and led her team to a silver medal in 2015 FIS World Championship. Women’s alpine skiing starts on February 11.
Caroline Park is from Brampton. She’s a medical student in the United States, and a former women’s ice hockey player at Princeton University. However, while she is playing ice hockey this Olympics, she was recruited to play for the South Korean women’s ice hockey team, as a forward on a special team comprising players from both North and South Korea. Park is a former teen actress on Canadian dramas Naturally, Sadie, and Degrassi: The Next Generation. The first game for her team is against Switzerland on February 10.
Former Brampton Thunder (National Women’s Hockey League and Canadian Women’s Hockey League team from 1998 to 2017, moved to Markham) players on the Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team
Former Brampton Battalion (Ontario Hockey League team from 1998 to 2013, moved to North Bay) player on Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team