Dining with gold

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Walking into the local McDonalds, patrons were surprised to see a hockey team and an olympic gold medalist cheering with stuffed faces, at a hanging television airing the US Open. 

Players of the Red Lafleche Minor Hockey team were in Moose Jaw to have lunch with Tessa Bonhomme, a Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games gold medalist in women's hockey. 

She was in the area to host a special event with the team for the atoMC Hockey Program, which celebrates minor hockey.

Sitting at the head of the table, Bonhomme emphasized to the young players the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship, but most importantly, how to be a leader in their community.

"One main thing I like to get across is perseverance, hard work and passion," said Bonhomme. "It can help you achieve your dreams and it doesn't only have to be in hockey. It can be in anything they like, or are passionate about."

Earlier in the day, she brought out her gold medal to show the team that their dreams can become reality and that they are achievable. 

"The medal makes some people speechless," said Bonhomme. "With kids, it brings out a lot of curiosity in them and I'm hoping we've ignited some dreams in them."

Hadley Blueffard, 9, was one teammate who shares a similar dream with the Olympian. 

"(Wednesday) was really good because I got to play hockey," said Blueffard. "I like using my stick and scoring and one day I want a gold medal."

After joking around with the team, Bonhomme had no doubt that these kids will prosper in their future.

"They're all very respectful kids. They train hard, they play hard and look at them — they're all hanging out and they're all great friends," she said. "As long as they're inclusive with kids in their community and continue to be great teammates ... their community will flourish." 

To read more about the atoMc hockey program, turn to page A7 of this issue. 

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