To my brother,
Where has the time gone? I remember being 10 years old, cramped in our caravan watching "Miracle On Ice" on that mini TV suspended from the roof. I remember you perfectly mouthing the words of Herb Brook's "great moments are born from great opportunities," speech as if you were in that USA locker room getting the team ready to play the Soviets. I remember the indescribable feeling of looking into the stands and seeing you at every single game I played growing up. I remember the mini-stick tournaments we played in the basement that would end in a fight, tears or a hole in the wall. I remember telling mum and dad that I didn't want to go to boarding school because I didn't want to leave my friends.
But in reality, the only reason I didn't want to leave was because I couldn't imagine not getting to spend every single day with you. I suppose there are no words to accurately describe how thankful I am to have had, and continue to have, your unconditional support and unwavering loyalty.
You have always been my biggest fan, and that I know for sure. But when it comes to reciprocating my gratitude, how do I say thank you for being someone that far exceeds anything I could have ever asked for? How do I thank you for being the person I look up to in more ways than I can count? For being the person I turn to for advice, for a kick in the ass, for inspiration, for anything and for everything.
I think we're all guilty of not telling the people we love how much we love them and don't realize how lucky we are to have the people we do in our lives.
So I write this letter because I hope someday you know just how grateful I am for all that you've done and all that you continue to do. You pushed me to be the best athlete, and beyond that, the best person I could be. No matter where I was in the world, I knew that through the most difficult times, and throughout my greatest successes, you'd be there.
Growing up I never gave you enough credit for being my biggest role model and inspiration. Your victories seemed to rest the shadows of whatever I was doing, but I promise that I never failed to recognize how incredible you were and how proud I was to call you my brother.
When people ask how I got to where I am, my answer is always the same; Jack. And over time, I knew the day would come that you would soar above it all, and become the person I always knew you were.
So perhaps this letter is a little late and doesn't amount to all that you've done and all that I'm thankful for, but with a humble heart, I thank you for the years of happiness, smiles and a friendship that I wouldn't trade in for the world. With all the medals I've won, the trophies I've hoisted and the championships that I've been a part of, nothing makes me more honored than to call you family.
So as you start your college chapter, and I finish mine, I look forward to the years ahead and what's in store for you. I wish we could be crammed in that caravan watching Miracle, or swinging mini-sticks at each other again just so I could pause time and tell you that you are the best person I know and that I love you beyond words.
It's the countless moments in my childhood that I wish I would have let you know the impact you had on my career and my life, but I suppose this letter is doing just that. I'm writing this now because it's finally hit me that life and time move quicker than we think, but nothing is more important that taking a step back and learning to appreciate all the incredible things we have in this very moment.
So today, I am grateful for you -- for your wisdom that's always been beyond your years, for your fortitude, your guidance, your selflessness, and for being the star who I may not always see, but know that's always there.
Your biggest fan