Adam Kingsmill, a Northwest B.C. Paralympian will be representing Canada in the opening men’s hockey game of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing tonight (March 4).
An announcement on whether Kingsmill or teammate Dominic Larocque of Quebec City, Que. will be starting in goal has not yet been made, but the very recently turned 22-year-old is having the time of his life.
“I have no words… just proud to be Canadian,” Kingsmill said in a Facebook post from the opening ceremonies in Beijing early this morning (Pacific time).
Kingsmill, from Smithers, lost his right leg in a lawnmower accident at the age of two. When he was just four, he appeared with the BC Lions in a CFL/War Amps “Play Safe” TV commercial. He is still a War Amps ambassador and was honoured for that work by the Town of Smithers in 2021.
The opening game is a rematch with the United States of both the gold medal final from the 2018 Paralympics and the championship game of last year’s World Para Ice Hockey Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Canada lost both those games.
In an interview with Black Press Media after Kingsmill was named to the Canadian Paralympic team in September 2021, he reflected on the loss at the worlds saying the Canadians are out for revenge.
“It was a really tough final, but we saw how well we could play together, and we are looking at the big picture,” he said. “In Beijing, we are bringing home the gold.”
In Smithers tonight, Boston Pizza is holding a viewing party for the Canada-USA tilt, which is scheduled to start to cheer on Kingsmill and the Canadian squad.
There will be prizes, drink specials and food specials for the event. Attendees will be entered into a draw to win an actual hockey stick Kingsmill is using at the Games.
The restaurant is reminding guests that while COVID-19 restrictions on capacity, distancing, mingling and dancing have been lifted, masks and vaccine passports are still required.
Boston Pizza will also be streaming the March 5 game against China and the March 8 game against Korea.
In the history of Para Ice Hockey, Team Canada has faced off against the Americans 106 times with a record of 59-45-1.