ANTHONY MCLACHLAN: This is an
AMI Paralympic Winter Games Moment. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN:
Anthony McLachlan here with Greg Westlake, captain
of Canada’s Paralympic ice hockey team. Greg, a bitter loss here
in the gold medal game. What is your message
to your team? GREG WESTLAKE: The message to
the team is we’re a young team. And we have so
many guys that are going to win gold
medals in the sport. I truly believe
that in my heart. And the time is not
right to tell them that yet, but maybe
tomorrow at dinner, maybe at some point when things
settle down a little bit, I have the opportunity to say,
hey guys, firstly, there’s gold medals in the room, even
if you don’t know it yet. And secondly, you
have a silver medal. You are the second best
in the world in this sport you chose to pick up. And you get to go home
and inspire other people to pick up sport, and
to pick up in life, no matter what hardships
you go through. And I think that’s
a special thing. And all those words,
and all those things will come out when
the time is right. Right now, man, we’re just
giving each other hugs, telling each other
we love each other. This team is a really
tight group of guys. You know, we truly
thought we were going to get it done tonight. It’s a tough one right
now in this moment, but I wouldn’t trade the
last three and a half years with those guys for anything. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN:
The tournament itself was a huge
success for you guys. What are you personally
going to take away from it? GREG WESTLAKE:
Personally, I think there are a lot of life lessons. Not just this tournament, but
it was a grind to get here. We changed the whole program
at Hockey Canada and in Canada. We really upped our game. We upped our training, we
upped our commitment level, and it was tough. There were so many times that
probably every guy on the team wanted to quit, every guy on the
team wanted to just pack it in, and say, you know
what, life’s easier without this sport in my life. And every guy stuck with it. And sometimes, they had
to lean on teammates, and sometimes they had
to lean on coaches, and staff, and their family,
and people around them. But everybody stuck with
it, and we came here. It didn’t go our way, but
we don’t feel like losers. We had a lead for 59 minutes
of that game, and even in that last minute, there
was a lot of close plays. And you know, I think
it’s important for us to not feel like
losers right now. We didn’t get a gold
medal, but we didn’t lose. There’s lots to take over this. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN: What’s
your message to Armstrong late in the game? Empty net, he rings
it off the post. That’s a tough one
for him personally. GREG WESTLAKE: Yeah man,
I’ve been there before. I scored on my own net in 2010. And you guys should
dig up that footage and show that, because
that was tougher than what he went through tonight. And I hope I can
be there for him. He’s one of my favourite
guys on the team, he’s one of my best
friends on the team. He was my roommate all year. Man, I keep it together until
people ask me about army. He felt bad. I went over, gave him a
hug at the end of the game. He just kept saying, he’s sorry. And he doesn’t deserve
to feel that way. Because last year, when we
won the world championship, he was a healthy scratch. He didn’t even play
in the gold medal game that we won last year,
and he worked this way all the way from being a healthy
scratch to being on the ice in the final minute of a gold
medal game of the Paralympics. And the respect that that man
deserves is through the roof. I love that man. I’ll do anything for that guy. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN: Absolutely. With Tyrone in the stands, you
mentioned to us the other day that you really wanted to
bring this home for those guys. Does that make it a little
bit harder for you guys? GREG WESTLAKE: Yeah,
it’s every guy. Because at the end of the
day, the commitment level is the same for everybody. Whether you play or you
don’t, the commitment level is the same. Every guy spends time away
from their friends and family, every guy spending time
away from their wives and girlfriends, kids, and jobs. You know, this is a
gritty group of guys that play this sport
because they love it, not because we get
paid a million bucks. And yeah, it sucks not
winning for the guys who went and played, but it’s
tough for every single guy in that room, because we all put
the exact same amount into it. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN:
Lastly, can you tell me a little bit about
the future of the sport? You have some great young
talent on this team, and it’s only upwards from here. GREG WESTLAKE:
Yeah, Rob Armstrong, game winning goal four years
from now at the Paralympics. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN:
That’ll be a story. GREG WESTLAKE: That
sounds good to me. I would love to see that. But no, we got a lot
of great young guys. Liam Hickey was all
over the ice tonight, had a bunch of chances. Tyler McGregor– I played
with him the last three years, a lot on my line. He’s a leader. He’s an incredible person. There’s just so many guys,
I feel bad picking a few. But the team is in good hands. Everything is going to be fine. Right now, it seems like
the walls are caving in, but everyone is going to
take a breath, and come back, and next September is going to
come, and it’ll be a good day. And the sun is going
to set in Canada, everything will be fine. ANTHONY MCLACHLAN: Thank you for
taking the time with me, Greg. Appreciate it. GREG WESTLAKE: Thanks
for everything, guys.

Para ice hockey captain consoles team after gold medal loss
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