Already a seasoned paramedic and a firefighter, Toronto’s Kevin Porter is still chasing his hockey dream at age 45
Like a bottle of fine wine, Kevin Porter of Toronto, Ontario is hitting his stride as a professional hockey player after a lengthy fermentation process.
The 45-year-old Porter fell in love with the sport at an early age and played competitively until a series of unfortunate events understandably derailed his progression as an adolescent. Between not making a double-A minor team, and the tragic and sudden deaths of both his grandmother and mother, Porter’s hockey development took a back seat for more than a decade beyond his teenage years.
After his mom died in a construction accident, Porter went back to school and became a paramedic because he wanted to help people. He eventually became a firefighter as well, and has enjoyed a career helping people in more ways than one.
It was after a near death experience of his own at age 35, on a fire call in Brampton, Ontario when his perspective started to change. Porter had fallen through some ceramic flooring and into a marijuana grow-up that was filled with flames, and it was after this experience in 2010 that he rededicated himself to hockey.
“When this happened to me in 2010 just before I met my wife, I was going to the hospital in the ambulance that I also work on and I kind of had an epiphany. I thought ‘I better do this because life is short!’ So immediately since then, it’s now been twenty years that I’m going really hard at it,” Porter said.
An all-around athlete growing up, and both a Muay Thai and mixed martial arts aficionado to this day, Porter’s strength and conditioning levels at age 45 are currently better than most guys who are a couple decades younger.
Porter does Muay Thai with Gerald Ching of Mississauga and works with Todd Medina for MMA training
“I admire him greatly for his service to our community as a fireman and a paramedic first and foremost. To me, he’s a hero saving lives in that industry as a first responder. Then we get into hockey and his dream. It’s very simple. The guy is wired for success and he believes in his journey,” said former NHLer Jim Thompson.
“He is a fine man. A gentleman. A giver. He has a dream, and he’s not going to give up on it,” Thompson added.
Of course, he needs to be in tip top shape for the work he does as a paramedic and a firefighter, but his reputation as a workhorse in the gym is widespread. And daily videos of his intense workouts in the gym can be seen at kevinporter11 via instagram.
Kevin Porter is turning back the clock at age 45
“When I train, I try to train so meticulously and so intensely to make sure I get something out of each time I go to the gym,” said Porter, who is looking for a tryout with a professional club in advance of the 2021-22 season.
The work Porter does in the gym continues to pay dividends on the ice in terms of strength and speed. In fact, Porter’s lap time is only .85 seconds off of Dylan Larkin’s NHL record of 13.172.
Porter is seeking a professional tryout for the 2021-22 hockey season
“If you’re positive and you have the right frame of mind, like Kevin does, anything is achievable” said Porter’s strength and conditioning coach Eddie Choi, who works with elite players as a power skating and skills development coach.
“Kevin’s one of the hardest working athletes and people I’ve ever met! He’s relentless. He’s onto something. Nothing’s ever good enough. It’s all about the finer details,” said coach Choi, who also believes that nobody should discount what Porter can do for them on the simple basis of his age.
“Age is just a number. Just look at Patrick Marleau. He’s now the all-time games played leader after passing Gordie Howe. You go down the line and look at guys like Joe Thonrton and Jason Spezza,” Choi said.
Before he became a coach, Eddie Choi played for the Ohio State Buckeyes
Between his professions as both a paramedic and firefighter, and his rigorous workout schedule, it’s remarkable that Porter even has time to get out on the ice.
“The more you see him work, and his work ethic towards whatever he does in his life, it’s definitely unique. He has a harder work ethic than I had when I played for sure,” said Adam Munro, a former goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks.
“Twice per week he’s on the ice with me, he’s going to the gym, and he definitely doesn’t look his age,” added Munro, who was a first-round draft choice back in 2001.
Porter’s never quit attitude is an infectious one and his belief that everything happens for a reason is why he’s so at ease when it comes to hockey. He recognizes that all the events in his life have led him to this point, and he’s grateful to be following his passion without any financial pressure.
And like a bottle of fine wine that took decades to be prepared following a lengthy fermentation process, Kevin Porter’s hockey pursuits were worth the wait and may just be getting started.