KRASNOYARSK, Russia – Daniel Del Paggio returned home from Russia with a bronze medal around his neck.
The Lakehead Thunderwolves forward scored once and added an assist to lead Team Canada to victory in the third-place contest at the World Univeriade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
He finished the tournament with seven points in seven games and said it’s an experience he’ll remember for a lifetime.
“I was amazed at how large an event this was, and I was definitely taken aback early on,” he said. “We were greeted at the airport by Russian dancers, singers and television crews. In the athletes’ village and sporting venues there were thousands of employees and volunteers that made us feel like celebrities. The opening ceremony was amazing. It looked like a lot of money and preparation were put into it. It seemed like the Olympics.”
Del Paggio, who led the Thunderwolves in points this past season, said the team came together quickly in Russia.
“Our team gelled nicely in the short amount of time we had together, considering most of us have been rivals for several years, but we became more familiar with each other as the tournament wore on and the guys were great. On days where we didn’t have a game to play, we spent some time with the other athletes representing Canada and cheered them on in their events. I’ve also met athletes from many other countries and was able to watch some different sporting events too.”
He added he was proud to get the chance to represent his country on the international stage.
“Wearing the Canadian jersey was a great honour and representing my country was an experience I will never forget,” he said. “I didn’t take it for granted because I might not get