Meeting My First Olympic Hockey Player

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several different athletes at Booster Club meetings, games, events and other functions. Some of these interactions usually end with a good memory and an awesome story or two to go with it.

One event that sticks out in my mind is the first time the Case Western Reserve Historical Society held a Cleveland Hockey History Day a few summers ago. The event was filled with meeting several different hockey players from the old Cleveland Barons, Cleveland Crusaders and the Cleveland Lumberjacks but someone I met who didn’t play for any of those teams sticks out in my mind the most.

As I was going down the line and getting autographs from Brian Holzinger, a Parma native who played in the NHL, Dan Fristche, who was with the Blue Jackets at the time, Jock Callander and Perry Ganchar from the Cleveland Lumberjacks and several others, I approached an older gentleman at the very end of the autograph row. I was trying to figure out who he was because I didn’t recognize his face right away but as I got closer to him, I noticed his name tag in front of him:

Weldy Olson, Gold Medal Winner, 1960 USA Olympic Hockey Team

It took me a brief second for it to soak in but I was meeting someone who played on USA’s first ever gold medal winning Olympic hockey team!

As it turned out, Ols0n lived close to the Findlay, Ohio area and made the trek up to Cleveland that day. Olson was excited to be there and enjoyed talking with just about everyone at the event.

When it came time for me to get Olson’s autograph, I must have talked to him for at least 15 minutes. It was apparent right away that Olson was a great listener, enjoyed talking about his playing days and wasn’t afraid to quiz people on their Olympic hockey trivia. Olson was happy to be there and was one of the classiest people at the event.

Olson spent lots of time talking with the other fans that day and took several pictures and signed hundreds of autographs. Talking to fans who were interested in hearing about his playing days didn’t seem to bother him at all and he wasn’t afraid to answer questions about a famous teammate of his; Herb Brooks. Olson enjoyed being there and the people who were willing to talk to him.

I still have Olson’s autograph but will never forget his kindness, how sharp he was at an older age and his willingness to talk to fans. Olson truly enjoyed being there that day and sharing his Olympic experiences. Olson is the first Olympian I’ve ever met but will never be forgotten.


~ by jeffrsabo on February 27, 2010.

One Response to “Meeting My First Olympic Hockey Player”

  1. i definitely adore your posting type, very unique,
    don’t quit and keep writing in all honesty , because it simply just that is worth to look through it,
    impatient to find out more of your own content, goodbye 🙂

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