Finnish ice hockey player Kimmo Timonen finished his NHL career on a high, winning his first Stanley Cup at the age of 40.
On Thursday he received some extra special recognition when President Barack Obama singled him out in a speech during the team’s visit to the White House.
Obama highlighted Timonen’s accomplishments and his ability to overcome illness and take his team to a win.
”Kimmo already had a great career before last season, he had been to the Stanley Cup Final, the Olympic Final, the World Championship Final, he’d lost them all….I’m just telling the truth,” said Obama to laughs from his audience.
“In August, he was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs and his calf, (and) wasn’t even sure if he’d even play again. He was traded to Chicago mid-season, fought back on the ice, (and during) his final NHL game at the age of 40 Kimmo finally hoisted the Cup. And that, first of all, as an old guy, makes me feel good. But it’s also a sign of a great career and someone who’s able to consistently stick with it and contribute and make a big difference,” said Obama.
Timonen had expressed his disappointment last year when he did not receive an invitation to the Finnish president’s Independence day reception despite his extraordinary achievements.