Twins return with silver from 2019 Deaflympics

Article content

Twin brothers Jesse and Cody McIntyre from Brucefield share a lot in common – from spending time outdoors to their love of hockey.


Story continues below

Article content

But while joining the ranks of Huron County hockey greats, the brothers share one key difference. They play in complete silence.

Deaf since birth, the McIntyre twins have been playing hockey since they first laced up their skates shortly after they learned to walk.

They played with local teams, including the Goderich Junior C Sailors, the BHC Ice Dogs, and during high school with the Central Huron Secondary School boys’ hockey team.

Their latest hockey triumph came from representing Canada on the global stage at the 2019 Deaflympics, held in the Sondrio province of Italy from Dec. 12 to 21.

“It’s an honour to represent our county and to wear that leaf on our chest,” said Cody. “There were Italian kids who would stand on the blueline with us before the game and ask us for our autographs.”

The 25-year-olds have been wearing cochlear implants since they were four years old. Their lack of hearing was caused by extra fluid inside the cochlea.

While the twins wear the hearing devices in their day-to-day activities they were forbidden by Deaflympic regulations to wear them while on the ice in the international competition.

“Everyone on the team had to make sure they had their hearing devices taken out before even stepping on the ice,” said Jesse. “The refs checked everyone once they got onto the ice and if one person had them in it would disqualify the entire team.”

The brothers’ first international game came in 2013 when they represented team Canada at the 2013 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championship in Vantaa, Finland.


Story continues below

Article content

Four years later the brothers laced up their skates to once again represent Team Canada at the 2017 World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships held in the United States.

“When we play without out cochlear implants you need to keep your head on a swivel and always be looking behind you or else you will go into the corner to get the puck and get decked,” said Cody.

At the 2019 Deaflympics, the duo helped bring team Canada into the final game where they faced off against the rival team from the U.S.

The McIntyre twins said the stands were packed with hockey fans from around the world, and Team Canada athletes from other sports, as the puck dropped for the much anticipated gold medal game.

“You could feel the vibrations in the ice as the fans cheered during the game, it was so loud that you could hear the sounds of the cheering,” said Cody.

Despite a hard-fought game, Team Canada couldn’t capture the gold medal, leaving the team defeated 7-3 and heading home with the silver.

“The goal is to win that gold medal at the next Deaflympics, we know that we have to start training for it now if we want to win, and we will be coming home with that gold,” said Cody.

Upon their return to Huron County, the twins were formally recognized for their accomplishments by their former high school, Central Huron Secondary School, as well as by Central Huron Mayor Jim Ginn and Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb.

Having been presented with ceremonial CHSS jerseys, Lobb then congratulated the young men on their effort in representing both Canada and Huron County while in Europe.

They would like to continue to play senior A hockey with the Lucknow Lancers as they prepare for the next World Deaf Ice Hockey Championships, which takes place in Vancouver in April 2021.

“You wouldn’t believe it, but we both are musical and can play an instrument, but hockey is what we really love,” said Jesse.

Latest National Stories


Story continues below

News Near Goderich

This Week in Flyers