t’s Tuesday afternoon. Tomorrow I am scheduled to do an interview with Avalanche goaltender Jean -Sebastien Giguere at Washington Park. The premise of the story is to get to know him off the ice. I just started my research on him. Of course, we all know of his success with the Anaheim Ducks and him winning the Conn Smythe award. We are fortunate in Colorado to have a goalie who clearly has the hardware to back up his words. However, the more I find out about J.S., the more I am finding out he is so much more than just the number 35.
Which made me think. We are all guilty of it. Just assuming an athlete is just an athlete. Not understanding that players are actually people too. To many fans, they are just known by a number or a statistic. After all, these aren’t normal people, right? But everybody has a story. Just like you or I, or the person that works in the cubicle next to you.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s story? He grew up the youngest of five children in Montreal. All of the close knit kids were absolutely hockey crazy. He was the youngest of three boys and two girls. As a matter of fact, he and his sister Isabelle almost look like twins. While he faces constant harassment in the nets, she faces real danger everyday as a police officer these days. His parents Claude and Gisele were loving parents and made many financial sacrifices for their children. They were a proud and loving family. J.S. was devastated in 2008 when he lost his father from cancer at just 63 years old. His mother, Gisele, was also diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Before the 2007 Stanley Cup finals, Jean and his wife had their first son Maxime-Olivier. Maxime was born with a serious eye condition but is doing well now. J.S. missed the opening games of the 2007 first round playoffs to be with his wife and son. All of that adds up to a lot for one person to handle.
I don’t know if it’s just me being a softy, anyone who knows me knows I am, but knowing someone’s story makes me want to root for them just a little harder. I want good people to have success. I want Jean-Sebastien Giguere to knock ‘em dead here in Colorado. I can’t wait for this interview.