Once a class act… always a class act

Let me first start by saying that overall, my faith in humanity remains constant and positive.  I’m one of those “glass half full” rather than empty people.  It indeed is refreshing to see that regardless of success, fame and fortune someone who had class and humility 20 years ago continues to be an absolute class act.

I digress…

At work today we had a celebration.  An event looking forward to the opening ceremony at the 2010 Olympics.  We were fortunate to have a special guest.  A man that needs no introduction and one that certainly has one the hearts of a city – that city being Vancouver.  The man I am referring to is Trevor Linden.  Trevor came to the airport today and delivered a message of inspiration and hope.  It was very appropriate and well thought out.  Even more special though was the fact that he stayed to meet and greet with the folks at work and took his time.

I had the opportunity to meet Trevor on a couple of occasions.  The first time was between 1986 and 1988 when he was playing for the Medicine Hat Tigers.  I was living in Lethbridge at the time and Medicine Hat was a close neighbouring city.  Trevor was a star player and I had the opportunity to see him play many times in Medicine Hat.  I was thrilled of course when I moved to Vancouver in 1990 and knew that Trevor had moved to play with the Vancouver Canucks in 1988.

The second time I met Trevor was at the Los Angeles airport coming home to Vancouver.  I had taken my sons, nine and seven at the time to Disneyland for the weekend.  The Canucks were on the return flight home.  My sons were besides themselves when they realized that the team was sitting at the departure gate.  My eldest son Chris saw Pavel Bure and garnered the courage to approach him for an autograph.  Pavel looked up from his newspaper, stared my son down and stated… don’t bother me!  can’t you see I’m reading my paper?  Upon seeing this, Trevor approached my sons and told them to come with him.  He took them over to where he was sitting, signed autographs for both of them and had a few other players come by.  This made me so happy to see a player connect with kids in this way and to be so completely giving in nature.

Trevor continued to impress me by being involved in community, starting foundations and becoming a very level-headed and articulate representative of the NHL players association.

It was a sad day on December 17th, 2008 when his jersey was retired in the rafters of General Motors Place.

Upon meeting Trevor again today and hearing him speak of his experiences and his praise for fellow Olympic player Steve Yzerman as a selfless leader during the 1998 Games in Nagano, I can only draw parallels to Mr. Linden.  He indeed has, is and always will be a class act.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.