For those who may not be an avid hockey fan or who are not up to date with hockey related stories from outside of the NHL, Denna Laing may not be a name that you have come across. Denna is a National Women’s Hockey League player for the Boston Pride, a player who’s life was forever changed while taking part in the 2015 NHL Winter Classic festivities. In an unprecedented game before the annual NHL legends game, the women were given the outdoor rink at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts. But after sustaining a career ending spinal cord injury after a scary collision in the first period of the game, Denna’s life was flipped upside down.
For those who may have heard her story, it is one of perseverance and dedication. One that could serve as an inspiration for anyone that has heard it, or even lived it. I’m not here to give you a play by play of her recovery, I am here to share the utmost respect I have gained for the hockey player. Although her recovery and her influence on the NHL and hockey players everywhere is something to marvel at, after reading an article published by the NHL recently, I am truly blown away at how strong she has remained through her whole ordeal.
Along with being an inspiration for people who may suffer similar injuries, Denna is inspiring everyone by saying that nothing can hold you back. Wheel chair bound, Denna is undergoing two impressive feats for an able bodied person. This year she will be competing in the Rowing championships as well as teaming up with NHL player Bobby Carpenter to compete in the Boston Marathon.
In a sport that is extremly male dominated, it is refreshing for me to see everything Denna Laing is doing as a person and as an athlete. Whether she plays hockey again or not, she is a hockey player through and through. Not only has she become part of the hockey world, but she has taken the attention and platform she has received from a devastating injury for good, even further promoting the league she worked so hard for. She truly is an inspiration.