Medal for mom

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:23 AM ET

Jason Chimera stepped off the plane right into his mother's arms yesterday.

Audrey Chimera didn't mind that her son wasn't around to spend time with her on Mother's Day.

He was busy winning a gold medal for Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

"It's fantastic. This is probably the highlight of his career," Audrey said.

"We're so proud of him, so excited for him and so proud of Team Canada - they did an awesome job."

Chimera flew into Edmonton yesterday - his off-season home - with a gold medal wrapped around his neck. Canada defeated Finland 4-2 in the final of the event in Russia on Sunday.

"I basically haven't taken it off since we won the gold medal," Chimera said. "I think most of the guys are that way so it's pretty cool.

"It was an awesome experience. The guys really came together. I know a lot of people didn't give us much of a chance so it was pretty good to put all that to rest. We didn't lose a game either, so that was great.

"It's a dream come true. It was really awesome."

This was the first time the Columbus Blue Jackets forward and former Edmonton Oiler had ever suited up for Canada at the senior level.

Chimera earned a silver medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships in 1999, losing to Russia in the final in Winnipeg. At the time, the Edmonton native was a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

"For me, it's the best thing that has ever happen to me," Chimera said.

"You kind of go from a low of not making the playoffs to the high of winning a world championship. It's a great way to end the year."

Canada won all nine games en route to the gold medal - an impressive accomplishment considering the number of players who turned down the invite to play in Russia.

"Hockey Canada was awesome, Andy Murray was awesome, the coaching staff was great," Chimera said. "(GM) Steve Yzerman is a class act. All around it was a great experience."

Chimera had never been to Russia prior to getting the call for Canada. That in itself was an eye-opening experience.

"It was a totally different world over there, but you got used to it," he said. "It's a different life and a different world, but coming back with this (gold medal) makes it a little better."

Canada was expecting to play the hosts in the final, however Russia lost in the semifinal to Finland. They went on to capture the bronze medal with a 3-1 win over Sweden.

"I think it took a little away from that atmosphere, because everyone wanted to see a Canada-Russia final," Chimera said. "There were guys on our team that wanted to see it that way. It didn't work out that way even though they had a lot of good players. But it worked out for us."


Videos

Photos