'Sharing the moment:' Jillian Saulnier showing off her Olympic silver to anyone, everyone
The Halifax hockey star is embracing the medal and its significance after a disappointing shootout loss to the Americans in Pyeongchang.
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Jillian Saulnier is soaking up her Olympic moment.
If you are lucky enough to run into Saulnier, ask to see the medal. She’ll be happy to oblige.
Here are five questions Metro asked Saulnier about being home and her Olympic experience.
• On life right now: “Life is very busy, but it’s very exciting. You go through the Olympics and you are on this emotional high the whole time – because you are living out your dream and there is no better feeling. But to be back now, I’m keeping busy because I have heard when things kind of die down, it gets a little sad …. So I’m really busy getting around, sharing the medal, sharing the moment with everyone back here.”
• On significance of winning a silver medal: “Unfortunately with hockey, in that very moment, to get a silver medal you have to lose a gold medal. So in the time, and when they are putting it around your neck, all you are thinking is, ‘Did we disappoint the country? Did we disappoint each other because it’s not gold, it’s not the top prize.’ But when I got back I couldn’t believe the support and the excitement. It was so overwhelming in the best way possible. I wasn’t expecting it.”
• On that gold-medal game against the U.S.: “It’s no secret anymore, I tried not focusing on it at all, but I tore my MCL in the semifinal game. To go on such an emotional high, and then that happened, it was a test to my character. I had to sit back and say, ‘You know Jill, what kind of role are you going to do here? Whatever it is, you are going to do it to the best of your ability.’ So to be able to put that jersey on, get out there with the girls, and play for a gold medal, I didn’t care if I got one shift or 30 shifts. I just want to get out there and support the girls anyway I could.”
• On being a female sports role model: “Our job as Olympians is to inspire the younger generation …. It’s such an honour to get to know these younger girls who are looking up to us, and wanting to be like us and have our names on the back of their jerseys. For me, to be that inspiration, is really, really important and it’s very, very special for Blayre (Turnbull) and I.”
• On the Olympic experience as a whole: “As special as it was to play and be a part of our hockey team …. It was so, so incredible and rewarding to be a part of the Canadian team in general. To hear the other athletes’ stories and to hear their struggles and to feel their struggles, that’s what sport is all about. I really enjoyed getting to know them.”