Everyone has a different drive for playing hockey, for Toronto Wolverines Midget Jr. “A” player Curtis Krey, his motivation on the ice comes from excelling in an entirely different sport — BMX racing.
“Hockey is a great cross-training sport for cycling because when you skate you use the inside and outside muscles in your legs,” explained Krey. “In cycling, the motion is up and down so I have really well-rounded legs. There is lots of cardio work in hockey practice and we push tires to build endurance.”
Starting off in bike races when he was 3-years-old, Curtis was encouraged to visit a local BMX track. He hasn’t looked back since. Less than twelve years after completing his first BMX race, Curtis has an array of accomplishments on the track including national races in Canada and the USA, a Gold Cup race, and the Grand National in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“My hockey coach was really good and always let me go to race during hockey season. My BMX coach changed my training schedule to include hockey,” said the 7-year Wolverines vet. “I can only do this because both my Hockey Coach – Eric Cella – and my BMX Coach – Brendan Arnold – actually supported me in both sports.”
Participation in both hockey and BMX was almost put to an end for Krey in 2018 when he broke four vertebrae in his neck during a race. It was during his recovery that Krey turned to hockey to help him get back on the bike. After training with the Toronto Titans “AAA” squad to improve his strength, Curtis returned to cycling in June, winning the Grands this past November.
“In both BMX and hockey you have to be able to make split-second decisions,” said Krey. “On the track, someone in front of you can crash and you have to move around them fast or you crash too.”
Krey has been just successful off the track as he has been on it. In addition to his racing titles, he has won two GTHL West titles and a City Championship in his time with the Wolverines organization.
“Curtis has been a pleasure to be with – an athlete who works hard, and plays for the team,” said Curtis’ coach, John Rea. “He’s a true teammate to everyone he has ever played with.”
Going forward, Krey aims to race representing Canada and become a member of the Canadian National team as an elite rider. The ultimate goal? Representing Canada at the 2024 Olympics.