It’s not every day that one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians pays a visit to schools in Yellowknife.

But that was the case on Thursday as Meghan Agosta made stops at both Ecole St. Joseph School and William McDonald School. Agosta has actually been in the NWT for the past couple of weeks visiting her father, Nino Agosta, a teacher at East Three Secondary in Inuvik. Her visits in Yellowknife were co-ordinated by Hockey North and Hockey NWT. Before that, Agosta dropped in on Aklavik and Fort McPherson to talk to youth in those communities.

Kyle Kugler, the executive director for both organizations, said the elder Agosta asked if there was interest in his daughter travelling to various NWT communities.

“That was exciting to hear that Meghan offered up some of her time and Canadian North helped make it happen,” said Kugler. “It’s been great hearing her tell her stories and showing off her medals. She has a great message of following your dreams, the importance of school and that anything is possible.”

Agosta has been a member of the Canadian national women’s hockey team since 2006, when she was named to the Olympic team that year in Torino, Italy. That’s where she won her first of three Olympic gold medals, repeating the feat in 2010 in Vancouver and 2014 in Sochi, Russia. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea saw the Canadians lose to the U.S. in a heartbreaking gold-medal game shootout.

Agosta has also played in eight World Women’s Hockey Championships with two golds and six silvers added to her resume.

In 2014, she took a break from hockey and joined the Vancouver Police Department as a probationary constable, becoming a full constable when she graduated from the force’s academy in 2015.

It’s the second year running that Agosta has been in the NWT — she was in Hay River in March 2022 for Polar Pond Hockey, but she said this was her first time really experiencing the territory on a broader scale.

She said the talks at both Yellowknife schools were quite awesome.

“I always tell the kids to start with a dream,” she said. “Have a passion, set goals for yourself and the sky’s always the limit. I’m from a small town in Ontario and I’m proof that dreams do come true, if you want them bad enough.”

Of course, the medals are always popular show-and-tell pieces and Agosta said they were the first things the students wanted to see.

“When I talk about the medals, I always say they’re not my medals but Canada’s medals,” she said. “I tell the kids that you don’t have to dream about playing in the Olympics or wanting to be a police officer. Find your passion in life because anything is possible.”

Don Reid, principal at St. Joe’s, said having Agosta come to the school was a nice surprise.

“I had some of the staff come up afterward and tell me that having Meghan here was great,” he said. “We haven’t had those sorts of presentations since Covid and the kids may not have heard something like that had Covid still been in force.”

Agosta is on her way to Hay River this weekend to take in a minor hockey tournament there and then she’ll be heading back up to the Beaufort Delta to spend some more time with her family. She’s also planning on visiting Tuktoyaktuk on March 16.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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