Backyard grill

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

It was practically like having it in her backyard.

In fact, Shannon Szabados did have a little gathering in her backyard before heading over to Commonwealth Stadium to celebrate her accomplishments at the Vancouver Olympics.

The local product, who backstopped Canada to an Olympic gold medal, was among the honoured guests at the Hockey Canada event on Monday.

"I had the girls over for a barbecue dinner (Sunday) night," Szabados said. "It's been fun and I think it's going to be even more fun with the gala and the golf tournament."

The event couldn't have been held in a better venue for the 23-year-old goaltender.

"I just drove from my house down the road," she said. "It's amazing to be able to just drive down the street to where we're having the celebration and to have my friends and family all here watching it. It's super exciting for me.

"This has all been very special for me, especially having the Olympics in your home country and then to have the celebration here in Edmonton. What more can I ask for? I've been spoiled in that sense."

Szabados, along with the rest of her teammates, the women's under-18 squad and the men's Olympic team were all given commemorative rings, which they were flashing prior to the Canada Celebrates event, to acknowlege their accomplishments.

"It's a little too big for me," Szabados smiled. "I got it sized for my fiancé and my dad. It's about as big as my hand."

The event gave the women's team a chance to catch up and look back on their accomplishments. It was the third consecutive Olympic gold medal the Canadian women's team had won.

"We've been catching up," she said. "It's been a good time and I'm sure we'll share lots of laughs at the gala.

"We all lived in Calgary together, most of the girls lived with each other," Szabados said.


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