VANCOUVER - With her gold medal twinkling in the Whistler dusk, the ink drying on her own chapter just etched in the P.E.I. sports history book, Heather Moyse beamed with pride Wednesday evening, a gold medallist at the Olympic Winter Games.
Proud to be a champion ... a Canadian. Proud to be an Islander.
"But you know something," she said, "I didn't need a medal to be proud that I'm from P.E.I."
The 31-year-old from Summerside shoved off the Canada 1 sled with driver Callie Humphries of Calgary and rode to the fastest time in women's bobsleigh at the Whistler Sliding Centre.
Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown won the silver medal in the Canada 2 sled, finishing in front of a U.S. duo.
"I'm just as proud to say I'm from P.E.I., even without a medal. And I hope the community is proud of me. Any success I've had through sports is a reflection of the community."
Moyse becomes the second Islander to win an Olympic gold medal. Dave 'Eli' MacEachern was Pierre Leuders's brakeman when the duo won bobsleigh gold at the 1998 Nagano Games.
So while she's not the first to win Olympic gold, she's almost certainly the first P.E.I. female with an Olympic medal, and play two sports at the international level.
This summer, she'll join the Canadian team for the IRB Women's Rugby World Cup in England.
Five years ago, when Moyse answered the phone back home in Summerside, little did she think a casual conversation about bobsleigh would lead to a pair of Olympic Games and a gold medal.
Dennis Barrett, a McGill University track coach, was recruiting for the Canadian bobsleigh team. He had been impressed with Moyse, winner of 10 Ontario universities track medals during her time at the University of Waterloo.
"Certainly, bobsleigh wasn't a dream of mine," she acknowledged. "And when you decide to do something, you don't go into it thinking of the outcome.
"But everything changes, and along the way, this became a challenge of mine."
In 2006, Moyse came tantalizingly close to a bronze medal, finishing five one-hundreths of a second with Helen Upperton driving in Torino.
That year, Moyse had actually beaten out Humphries as Upperton's brakeman. A bitter Humphries made the trip to Italy, but as an alternate.
Humphries eventually became a pilot for Canada. Along the way, there was no love lost between the two.
The frosty relationship continued when Moyse - because she was the best brakeman around - and Humphries teamed up with Canada 1.
Over time, the rift eased.
"It's part of our story," said Moyse. "It's what built our relationship It's what started everything."
A day after their first-place run, Humphries and Moyse were still basking in golden glory. The feat, Moyse said, still hadn't sunken in.
"We're still in a focus kind of mode," she said. "That's what this was all about with us: focus. Our goal was not gold. Our goal was to get the fastest start, be the best possible technical team. We know if we did those little things, ultimately the goal would be gold."
Moyse plans to returns to Summerside Monday, home for a little R&R and perhaps a few school visits.
Asked if there's a big party planned, she replies: "I have no idea."
We have a feeling there is.