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Take the Mic: Putting athletic dreams on hold during the pandemic

courtesy of Karla Perrin
Thirteen-year-old Whittaker Perrin dreams of someday playing in the NHL. His team was heading to the Washington state championship, but the competition was canceled due to the pandemic.

We've all had to give up parts of our lives as we stay home to slow the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professional sports leagues, including the NBA and NHL, have suspended their seasons. And young athletes have had to put their dreams on hold, as well. That’s true for Whittaker Perrin, who is 13 years old and a seventh-grader at Heatherwood Middle School in Mill Creek.

He submitted his story for KNKX’s youth voices project, Take the Mic. It’s a way for young people to share their stories in their own words, especially as they’re coping with so much upheaval due to the pandemic.

Whittaker has played hockey since he was 4 years old and dreams of making it to the NHL someday. He plays for the 12U A1 NW Admirals, part of the Seattle Junior Hockey Association. He says his team was doing really well this year and had a shot of winning the Washington state tournament. But then it was canceled due to COVID-19.

Credit Adrian Florez / KNKX

“We were so close and then the coronavirus epidemic happens and we don’t get to play it,” he said. Listen to the audio above to hear his full story.

KNKX wants to get more submissions like this! Here are instructions on how to participate.

Education Coronavirus Coverage
In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.