Wild defensemen Daniel Tjarnqvist and Filip Kuba each won Olympic medals for their respective countries during the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Tjarnqvist was a member of Team Sweden, which took the gold, while Kuba and his Czech Republic teammates took the bronze.
Since returning, both players have been willing to show off their new jewelry to anyone interested, but they were never happier to share their prizes than on Wednesday morning.
The two of them visited Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in St. Paul to meet with patients and their families to let them feel what it’s like to have a gold medal put around their necks.
Anyone who was able came down to the Minnesota Wild Teen Room to touch, wear, hold and gawk at the medals. For 45 minutes, Tjarnqvist and Kuba chatted it up with the youngsters, and tried their hand at a few games of Bubble Hockey.
After signing some photos, the players split up to visit the rooms of others who were unable to make it down to the room.
“It was really great to see how the kids reacted when they got to hold a gold medal,” said Daniel Tjarnqvist. “It feels great to be able to brighten the day of these kids. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.”
While showing one patient his golden doughnut, Tjarnqvist asked her if she liked it. After she said she did, Tjarnqvist responded, “Me too!”
“These guys were just fabulous,” said Amy Woog-Patnode, the Wild’s Community Giving Manager. “The fact the kids could hold and wear the medals was just an awesome experience for them. It was really touching to see how happy it made everyone.”
Representatives from Morton’s, The Steakhouse brought trays of brownies for the kids, staff and families. Morton’s and the Minnesota Wild have been proud supporters of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. The two organizations will again be teaming up next week for “Wild About Children,” a benefit held at Morton’s on Thursday, March 16. Click here for more information.