Friday, April 26, 2013
Chasing Olympic and national team dreams is a big sacrifice for most athletes. But for Becky Kellar (now Becky Kellar-Duke), she put her whole life on hold for the Olympics.
Every four years left her husband and home in Burlington, Ontario to move to Calgary for seven months of training. But she did bring her kids, parents and dogs with her.
Kellar played defence for Team Canada in four Olympics, winning three golds and a silver. She was the oldest skater for Team Canada at the Vancouver Olympics, and one of only four women to play for Team Canada to play in each of the first four women's Olympic hockey tournaments.
She was also the first member of Team Canada's women team to become a mom. She has two sons, Owen and Zach.
Being a mother adds balance to her life because she has activities, schedules and responsibilities outside of her hockey career, she told Canadian Living magazine. It also allowed her to give extra focus her on-ice activities.
While winning the gold medal on home ice in Vancouver was a great way to cap her international hockey career, winning gold in 2002 may have offered her the best life lesson.
"In 2002, we lost every game to the U.S. leading into that final game. But as a group and as individuals, we were able to still believe in ourselves, even though a lot of people had given up," she says of the team's first golden victory. "The most important thing for us is to stay confident."
Kellar, who was born in Hagersville, Ontario, starred in both hockey and softball at the Ivy League school Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The psychology major has since been inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame.
She has since earned a Masters of Business Administration from Sir Wilfried Laurier University. She retired from the national team though continued to play hockey in Burlington. She is active on the motivational speaking circuit, including teaming with hockey teammate Cheryl Pounder in providing coaching presentations for management professionals.