Sport min­is­ter re­calls ’88 Games in Cal­gary

Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 30, 2017

Metro Canada (Calgary) - - TELEVISION - The CAnA­dIAn PreSS

An 18-year-old Kent Hehr was play­ing on a rot­ten hockey team in Saskatchewan when his home­town of Cal­gary was the host city of the 1988 Win­ter Olympics.

Canada’s new min­is­ter of sport re­mem­bers a feel­ing of miss­ing out as his sister fig­ure skated in the open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies.

“I was play­ing ju­nior hockey in Lloy­d­min­ster, for the Lloy­d­min­ster Lancers,” Hehr said. “It may have been the worst team in the his­tory of the Saskatchewan Ju­nior Hockey League.

“I re­mem­ber watch­ing from afar and think­ing ‘I love play­ing hockey, but I kind of wish I was home for a cou­ple days.’”

The Cal­gar­ian has been ap­pointed the next Min­is­ter of Sport at the same time his home­town is mulling an­other Win­ter Games bid. Cal­gary mayor Na­heed Nen­shi has re­peat­edly said a bid for the 2026 Olympic and Par­a­lympic Games can’t go ahead with­out fed­eral gov­ern­ment sup­port.

While it’s tempt­ing to con­nect the dots, Hehr wasn’t ready to weigh in on an Olympic bid on his sec­ond day in his new job.

“Cal­gary city council is look­ing at that,” he said Tues­day. “Cal­gar­i­ans have to look at this and the prov­ince does.

“At this time, it would be pre­judg­ing the sit­u­a­tion. In my view, I need to con­cen­trate on my file and in­ter­act with this is­sue in an ob­jec­tive fash­ion as the city com­pletes its process.”

Hehr takes over the dual role of sports min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of Per­sons with Dis­abil­i­ties from for­mer Par­a­lympic swim­mer Carla Qual­trough, who was handed the depart­ment of public works in Mon­day’s fed­eral cab­i­net shuf­fle.

The 47-year-old Hehr is a for­mer ju­nior and col­lege hockey player ren­dered a quad­ri­plegic in 1991 when he was stuck by a bul­let in a drive-by shoot­ing in Cal­gary. Par­a­lyzed from the chest down, Hehr uses a wheelchair.

Cp

Kent hehr

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