Ice hockey goaltender Ryan Zapolski debuted at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games on Team USA’s men’s ice hockey team.
Zapolski grew up playing hockey in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the all-male Cathedral Preparatory School and later went to Mercyhurst University. He’s been playing hockey since he was 8 years old.
Yesterday was a very special day I want to thank Mayor Schember, President Victor, Coach Gotkin and the rest of Mercyhurst for the kind words and support. An amazing honor for me and my family! I am very proud to be from Erie and a Mercyhurst Laker! #humbled pic.twitter.com/dvzKMwENVz— Ryan Zapolski (@rzapolski) February 2, 2018
WPXI spoke to Zapolski’s father, Raymond Zapolski, about how much it means for his son to be Team USA’s ice hockey goaltender in the 2018 games.
“You could play for a Stanley Cup or that kind of thing, but playing for your country to win a gold medal, or even have a chance to, the number of people that get to do that is so infinitely small, that it gives you goose bumps and chills,” Raymond Zapolski said.
Other interesting facts:
- Has three siblings, Brandon, Chris and Lindsay
- Married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth, in 2015
- Goaltender of the Year and the East Coast Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player in the 2012-13 season with the South Carolina Stingrays
- Hobbies include golfing and reading