'A champion walking amongst champions'

Christopher Cameron
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Jordans reflect on daughter's Olympic journey

WESTVILLE – Before Lisa (Jordan) Haley left for Sochi as the assistant coach of the women’s hockey team her parents told her they were proud of her and that she was already a champion walking amongst champions.

“I called and talked to her just before she left and told her how proud we were of her, that she was a true patriot and a proud Canadian,” said Haley’s mother Bev Jordan. “We wished her luck and may she bring home a gold medal.”

Thursday Lisa has that opportunity as she coaches the Canadian women’s hockey team against the U.S.A. in the gold medal game beginning at 1 p.m. AST.

Canada walked through the round-robin play with four wins, their closest being 3-2 over the United States last Wednesday. Every women’s hockey game, Bev along with Allie, Lisa’s father, are glued to the screen to cheer on their daughter and the team.

“We’ve been on pins and needles (watching every game) to be honest,” said Bev. “We’re getting psyched for Thursday’s game.”

Growing up both Bev and Allie attended a number of games when Lisa and her sister Lesley were playing minor hockey, on provincial teams and eventually for the Concordia Stingers. Last April they had the opportunity to visit Ottawa for the world women’s hockey championships, which Lisa was part of as the Canadian assistant coach.

Every game they were just as excited as they are now watching her in Sochi.

“The adrenaline was flowing every game we were there watching her at the worlds in Ottawa,” said Bev. “When they were announcing the coaching staff and they said ‘from Westville, Nova Scotia, Lisa Haley,’ I just about came out of my skin because I was so excited.”

Last year Canada fell 3-2 to the United States in the final, finishing with silver. Today they are hoping for gold in Sochi, while they watch from their living room in Westville. They plan to have a few people over, including Lesley who is driving home from Halifax to watch. Her brothers AJ and Mark plan to join a group of friends at the Whitetail Pub to cheer her on.

“We’re really excited for her and we know there are a lot of people cheering her on from around here,” said Allie.

Bev said one of the proudest family friends is Thelma MacDonald, who calls every day to see how things are going with Lisa while she’s in Sochi. Lisa and Lesley’s elementary school teacher at Church Street Elementary, MacDonald was the reason the Jordan girls got into hockey.

“Thelma’s son played hockey, but there was no place for her two daughters to play, so she started girls hockey here in Westville,” said Bev. “She’s the reason the girls got into it. She talked them into playing it, although it didn’t take a minute of convincing. They were all for it because Mark and AJ played and they were always out playing street hockey with the boys. They were like tomboys and were always into sports and hockey when they were younger.”

Now, Lisa’s sister Lesley has stepped away from hockey for another career after a number of years of climbing the hockey ranks together. Both played minor hockey together and eventually were both selected for the first Nova Scotia girls hockey team at the Canada Games.

They each went on to coach university programs and with the Hockey Canada national program for a number of years together, but when Lisa moved to Toronto to coach the Ryerson Rams that was around the time Lesley decided to go back to school to pursue a career as a paramedic.

“We’re both very happy for her and Lesley both being involved with hockey and the national program together for a few years,” said Bev. “They are both very close and talk to each other every day, even while Lisa is in Sochi. It was around four years ago when Lisa left for Ryerson that Lesley went to school, but Lisa kept going with it.

“They both love the game so much and I think it’s Lisa’s love of hockey that has continued to keep her involved and her son (Will) is the same way, on the ice every day on the rink in the backyard.”

Will is in Sochi with Lisa’s husband to support her and take in the sights. Although the rest of the family isn’t over there, they will be supporting her in spirit from Westville saying “Go Lisa, Go.”

 

christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Organizations: U.S.A., Church Street Elementary, Canada Games Hockey Canada Ryerson Rams

Geographic location: Sochi, Westville, Canada United States Ottawa Nova Scotia Halifax Jordan Toronto

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