Peters family follows son to South Korea for Olympics - Feb. 15, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
With games beginning this week in the PyeongChang Olympics’ men’s hockey competition, Blyth’s Jeff and Janice Peters are on their way to be part of their son Justin’s once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Justin, a lifelong professional hockey player with experience in the NHL, Latvia and Germany, is a member of the men’s hockey team, which plays its first game today (Feb. 15) against Switzerland.
Jeff and Janice are flying directly to Seoul, South Korea tonight. They leave Toronto at 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 and arrive in South Korea at 3 p.m. local time. They will miss the team’s first game, but plan to attend the rest of the games, depending on how far the team goes.
The Peterses are due to leave South Korea to return to Canada on Feb. 24, which is the day of the competition’s gold medal game. The schedule is due to work requirements for the pair, but if the team finds itself playing for the gold on Feb. 24, other arrangements may quite possibly be made.
Jeff and Janice will arrive in Seoul and will then travel by train to Gangneung, where all of the hockey games will be played. The city is in the coastal region of South Korea on the shores of the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.
After playing Switzerland on Feb. 15, the team is in action again the next day on Feb. 16 against the Czech Republic and Feb. 18 against South Korea to end the round-robin stage of the tournament.
The Canada-South Korea match-up will be notable because the South Korean team features Matt Dalton, a Clinton native, who’s also a goaltender. Dalton played in the U.S. college system for Bemidji State University and then in the American Hockey League before shifting to Russia and eventually Asia. He has played in South Korea for the last three seasons.
The Peterses have been in touch with the Daltons, their neighbours to the south, who plan on bringing the whole family to South Korea.
When in South Korea, Jeff and Janice plan on taking in as much of the culture as they can. Not only do they hope to view other Olympic events, but they hope to tour Seoul, which is often regarded as one of the most eye-catching cities in the world.
Justin’s spot on the team has yet to be determined, as he is still battling for ice time with the team’s other goalies, Ben Scrivens and Kevin Poulin. However, in a previous interview with The Citizen, Justin has said that he’s determined to be as good a teammate as he can be and that he’ll give his all to whatever role is assigned to him at the Olympics.
Late last week, Justin took part in the Olympic opening ceremonies, walking in as part of Team Canada behind flag-bearers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
His helmet has been crafted to include an outdoor hockey rink from North Bay. Janice’s family resides in North Bay and Justin vividly recalls his early days of playing hockey outdoors there and wanted to pay homage to the community.
In Blyth, ahead of travelling to South Korea, Jeff and Janice have flown Canadian and Olympic flags in front of their King Street home.