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Plover couple watch son Joe Pavelski achieve Olympic glory

By Nicole Strittmater • Journal staff • March 2, 2010

Sandy and Mike Pavelski of Plover can brag about their child in a way few parents can.


Their son, Joe, is a 2010 Olympic medalist.

Olympic photos from the weekend These links will open in a new window.
Hockey: U.S. falls to Canada in OT
Hockey: Point's Pavelski in gold medal game
Closing ceremonies

Joe, 25, not only was a member of the U.S. Olympic hockey team that won the silver medal Sunday -- he won the faceoff that ultimately sent the game into overtime. Unfortunately, he also took the final U.S. shot on goal before Canada scored to win the game 3-2.

Still, his parents were all smiles Monday as they basked in the glow of Olympic glory.

His father sported his son's jersey, and his mother had signed hockey memorabilia and photos from Vancouver, British Columbia, spread across their kitchen table.

Sandy, 52, and Mike, 53, said Joe, who plays in the National Hockey League for the San Jose Sharks when he's not winning Olympic medals, began playing when he was just 2 years old.

They never dreamed of being the parents of an Olympic medalist.

"He loved anything athletic, and hockey was just a good fit for the winter," Sandy said. "You didn't realize that your son was that good."

Sunday, as they watched their son fight for a gold medal, they realized he indeed was that good.

The couple went to Vancouver from Feb. 15 to Feb. 22 and saw several of Pavelski's games, but since their trip was planned months in advance, they had to leave before Sunday's gold-medal game.

They and a group of fans instead watched from Stevens Point, glued to their television screens as he won the faceoff in the final minute before overtime.

A family member texted Joe after the game saying, "Made the U.S. proud. Great game," Sandy said, and later, Mike and Sandy called Joe.

"I go, 'Joe, good job. Really good job," Mike said.

Each member of Team USA received a silver medal, all cut from the same sheet and shaped a little differently, so they fit together like a puzzle.

Mike and Sandy won't be able to see their son and his silver medal until they fly to San Jose in April if the Sharks make it to the playoffs.

But they will be cheering him on tonight as the Sharks take on the New Jersey Devils. The game will be broadcast on VERSUS (channel 46 on Charter cable systems) at 9:30 p.m.

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