The Nipissing Lakers will be well-represented in Switzerland in December at the 2021 FISU Winter Games.
The Lakers will be sending four athletes – including three hockey layers and a Nordic Skier – to the event that is set to take place from Dec. 11 to 21 in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Nordic skier Alex Maycock, women’s hockey team members Katelyn Heppner and Maria Dominico will all represent Team Canada, while women’s hockey forward Marilyn Fortin will suit up for Team Switzerland.
All have been part of or represented their countries in the past, but this will be a new experience for three of the four.
For Dominico, a North Bay product, this is the first time representing her country at an international event, and it is something that she’s have been working towards for her entire hockey career. She did attend the USports Summer Development Showcase camp held in Calgary in 2018.
“I am so incredibly honoured to have been presented with the opportunity to play for Team Canada at the FISU games in Switzerland," said Dominico in a release.
"This experience will provide me with memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I know that I will represent myself as well as my Lakers family with pride and to the best of my ability. I believe that it is opportunities like this that have helped shape me into the player that I am today and I hope that sharing my experience will help inspire other young girls to get into the sport.”
Heppner has played baseball on the national stage with Team Manitoba for the past nine years
“Being named to Team Canada and being able to put on the Canadian jersey is a dream come true for me," said Heppner.
"It's an honour to be able to represent your country while playing the game you love, so this is an amazing opportunity that I will remember forever. Plus, it's an added bonus I get to go to Switzerland with a couple of teammates."
Meantime, Fortin has been a part of the Swiss National Program for six years now playing all around the world, however, she hasn't been able to play in Switzerland since the 2016-17 season.
“Since my first time suiting up for the Swiss National team it has been an honour to wear the Cross," said the PEI product.
"It has been some time since I've been able to play in Switzerland so I am really excited to head across the pond and get back there to play. I'm really excited to be playing in front of some family and friends, and not to mention being able to play against some of my teammates and showing them how awesome Switzerland really is.”
This is Maycock’s second time representing Canada at the FISU Games after skiing for Canada in 2019 in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. His top result there was 19th out of 80 men in the Skate 1500m sprint.
“I'm feeling fit post cross country running to perform well in a month on snow," said the Masters student.
"I'm excited for the honour of representing Canada and Nipissing at these Games. There is always great pride in wearing the maple leaf. I really appreciate the student-athlete balance that Nipissing has created for me and I look forward to racing the best across the world.”
The 30th Winter Universiade is set to take place in Central Switzerland. This marks the first time the Winter Universiade returns to Switzerland since the second edition of the event back in 1962 in nearby Villars.
On Nov. 6, 2020, the FISU Executive Committee approved the event organizing committee's proposal to postpone the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade due to COVID-19 to Dec. 11-21, 2021 (original dates were Jan. 21-31, 2021).
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