International Ice Hockey Federation

Domi inspires youngster

Domi inspires youngster

Canadian star finds success despite diabetes

Published 14.12.2021 15:38 GMT+2 | Author Lucas Aykroyd
Domi inspires youngster
Canada's Max Domi is the latest hockey star to inspire youngsters with the knowledge that health issues can be overcome. Photo: Minas Panagiotakis / HHOF-IIHF Images
When Max Domi met with a four-year-old St. Petersburg boy living with diabetes, it was a strong reminder of how players can provide inspiration beyond the rink.

In a recent article for The Players’ Tribune, the diabetic 21-year-old Canadian star, who is making his IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship debut here in Russia, described how he carefully monitors his blood sugar levels through the day – even during games – with the help of a service dog and his team’s training staff.

Clearly, Domi’s diligence in all areas has paid off. The son of former NHL enforcer Tie Domi shone with 18 goals and 34 assists as an Arizona Coyotes rookie this season. Domi previously won World Junior gold versus Russia in 2015, getting named Best Forward and a tournament all-star in the process, and he’s hoping for more success at the Worlds in Russia this year.

Just as a young Domi was inspired by the prowess of fellow diabetic and former Philadelphia Flyers captain Bobby Clarke (well-known in Russia for his role in the 1972 Summit Series), other youngsters can see from Domi’s example that serious health issues can be overcome as they chase their dreams as well.

There are other great examples from various nations. Both Canada’s Mario Lemieux and Finland’s Saku Koivu made successful returns to the ice after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Canada’s Theoren Fleury and Kevin became Olympic gold medalists – Fleury as a player with the 2000 Salt Lake City men’s team, Dineen as the coach of the 2014 Sochi women’s team – while managing Crohn’s disease.

Two-time American Olympian Phil Kessel, who is currently starring in the NHL playoffs with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has been a lineup regular since winning his fight with testicular cancer in 2006. Finnish defenceman Olli Maatta has continued to pursue his career after having a cancerous tumor removed from his thyroid gland at the age of 20.

It shows that character and commitment go a long way, not only in hockey, but also in life.


Back to Overview