Competitive Drive: Professional hockey players make Wichita their home for the holidays

Competitive Drive

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For some players on the Wichita Thunder going home for the holidays is easier said than done.

“I’m from the Czech Republic,” said Ostap Safin. “It’s a 17-hour flight.”

Head coach Bruce Ramsay is making it easy for players, like Safin, to feel like they aren’t thousands of miles away from their families.

“They’re all like my kids to me,” said Ramsay.

He will be inviting the players to his house for the holidays so that they can enjoy a meal together.

“That’s the most you can do to replace spent time at home with family – spend it with the guys you’re here with everyday,” said Stefan Fournier, who is a native of Montreal, Canada.

For the Thunder, their teammates and the opportunity to play the sport that they love is worth the sacrifice.

“I don’t think I have to give up anything,” said Finland native Patrik Parkkonen. “I love this sport. It’s part of it.”

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