Curt Minard's name was listed on the final roster for Team Canada on April 2, and now the former Weyburn local will represent his country at the ISIHF World Championships.
An amputee himself, Curt will play in a special league with other high-level amputee athletes and he was only one of two rookies accepted on the team.
Curt had his left hand and wrist amputated after an electrical accident in 2008, while working as a power line technician in B.C. The damage also caused significant nerve damage and scar tissue to his right hand. He is the son of Brian and Irene Minard; and John and Karen Knapp. He graduated from the Weyburn Comp in 1997.
It wasn't until 2011 when Curt returned to playing hockey, the sport he grew up playing in the Weyburn Minor Hockey Association and had a passion for.
Curt recently returned from a tryout camp for his spot on the Canadian National Amputee Hockey Team. "It went very well, there were a lot of guys there and they were all excited to be there and competing for a spot," said Minard.
"I went there with high energy and at times I played really well, and at times I needed to focus on a few things," said Minard. "We played three high-tempo games, it was exhausting. We also had a charity game on the last day and it was great to see the sponsorship and support for our team."
When the final roster was posted, Minard was "more than thrilled. This is one of my biggest accomplishments."
"I believed in myself, I believed that I could play at a high level of hockey and went out there and gave it my all so I could be on the team."
A memorable moment for Curt during the camp was having Ken Dryden, goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens and Hockey Hall of Famer.
Curt will receive the Team Canada jersey right before they leave for Finland. The ISIHF World Championships will be held from May 4 to 20. Team Canada will be fighting to claim their sixth consecutive gold medal at the tournament.
Curt has received a lot of support from friends and family, and those he played hockey with before, since he started his journey to make Team Canada. He noted that it was the inspiration of others that kept him going.