It's in his backyard, at the family home in Pointe-Claire, that the San Jose's Sharks player Marc-Édouard Vlasic laced his first skates. He was three. When his family moved to Beaconsfield, the first thing they looked for in a home was the possibility to arrange a skating rink in their backyard.
© Chronicle photo : Ivan Makarov
West Island's Marc-Édouard Vlasic is defending Canada's honour in Sotchi.
The 26 year old defenseman is attending his first Olympics. In addition to having grown in a sportive environment, the hockey player was introduced to the Olympics at an early age.
"The Olympic games played an important role in our family, recounts his mother, Marie-Josée Lord, physiotherapist. Our family is very focused on sports. When the kids where young, we would put the tv in the kitchen while we ate. We would never do that, except for the Olympics. And they would watch every event. Since Vancouver, Marc-Édouard said he wanted to participate as well."For pleasure, not glory
When they were young, Marc-Édouard and his brothers, James, Thomas and Charles, could play for hours on the rink. He joined the team, in Pointe Claire when he was 5. Hockey has been his passion ever since.
"He's a persistent man and works a lot, all whilst remaining unnoticed, explains his mother. He is very humble and never seeks praises. He has that persistency in what he needs to do, without having to be noticed."The smartest on the ice
Dan D'Astoli, Vlasic's coach at the Lakeshore minor hockey federation in Beaconsfield, remembers the player vividly. He coached him when he was 11 and 12.
"Marc-Édouard was always a little smaller than others, but he was always smarter than anyone on the ice, remembers Mr. D'Astoli. He has a great attitude and was good in school. At 16, he was told that he wasn't good enough, that he was too small, too slow! At 19, he was playing in the National hockey league! Today, he's in the Olympics!"