“Exactly one year ago today I laid in a hospital bed.”
In 2017, the NHL decided not to give its players a break to participate in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The decision came after the NHL and the International Olympic Committee couldn’t agree on how the NHL would be compensated for the costs incurred by the break. Previously, the IOC paid for insurance, travel, and accommodations for players, but it refused to do so for 2018.
While the talent pool in the Olympics will be diminished by the NHL’s decision, Canadians — and hockey fans everywhere — should all root for Polish-Canadian winger Wojtek Wolski. 16 months ago, while playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, Wolski was injured on the ice in a gruesome accident. He slammed into the boards headfirst, resulting in a broken neck and a concussion.
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Wolski miraculously returned to the KHL this season, playing for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Kunlun Red Star, scoring nine goals and 33 points in 40 games. His great performance on the ice earned him a place on Canada’s Olympic team — a miraculous feat for a man who’d been injured so seriously.
“Exactly one year ago today I laid in a hospital bed after having surgery to fix a broken neck,” Wolski said in an emotional Instagram post. “Today I am so proud and excited to have been named to Canada’s Olympic Hockey Team … I look at the picture of me in the hospital and can’t help but cry. Mostly tears of happiness, but I am filled with so many emotions about what I have overcome. I could never have imagined that I would be so lucky one year later.”