Wayne Gretzky: “My stomach hurts when Dustin putts”

The best hockey player of all time and arguably the greatest athlete, has been getting his thrills vicariously through his soon to be son-in-law.

Wayne Gretzky has been seen supporting Dustin Johnson for a while now, but there’s another reason he enjoys sitting in the gallery. He recently commented in an interview that watching DJ has helped fill a void left when he retired from the NHL in 1999.

“I never thought – once I retired – that I would have the same sense or the same feeling, going into tournaments that you are pulling so badly and wanting somebody to win so desperately that your stomach hurts when you are watching,” Gretzky told Graham Bensinger. “Sometimes I have to turn away if [Dustin’s] got a putt or sometimes I get nervous if he’s got a shot. . . . That’s because you’re pulling for them so badly that you get this anxiety inside you that you want them to be so successful.”

Gretzky has done a lot since he’s retired, like become an NHL coach and executive, and become a grandfather. He’s still trying to seek those thrills that came with being a professional hockey player, and he finds that mostly in his children’s careers. He takes pride in watching his son Trevor play minor league baseball and DJ make those stressful putts on the PGA Tour.

Source: Christian Petersen / Getty Images North America
Source: Christian Petersen / Getty Images

“There’s no way to replace the high and the excitement and enthusiasm I had as a professional hockey player. The closest thing you can get to it – like my mom and dad – you live your life through your kids,” Gretzky said.

“Whatever your kids are doing, you know, you pull for them. . . . That’s kind of how you look for your vice, but nothing replaces the thrill of playing hockey.”

Although there is no replacement for hockey, it’s nice to see Wayne Gretzky finding solace in his family.

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