A champagne shower is the type of celebration you would expect to see in a locker room after a team's great win.
That's exactly what happened in the Colorado Eagles locker room at the Budweiser Event Center on Monday. Not because the minor league hockey team just won back-to-back titles, rather to celebrate champions of a much different victory.
Champions like Nina Rentschler.
"This is awesome!" Nina shouted in the locker room.
Nina didn't win a big game in a big arena. She beat cancer.
"Now that I've gone through this, I feel like I can do anything," she told KCNC-TV's Kelly Werthmann.
The 37-year-old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last October. She endured 20 weeks of chemotherapy treatments at the UCHealth Cancer Center in Fort Collins, a journey she never expected.
"It was hard telling our 11-year-old daughter," she said. "It's surreal. You feel like you're drinking out of a firehose. It's so overwhelming and emotional."
Nina said her family and her faith helped her through, especially when she began losing her hair.
"There's something about losing a little bit of your womanhood with that, so there was an emotional piece of that," she said.
Even still, Nina kept a positive attitude and smiled through much of her cancer battle. On the day of her final chemo treatment, she rang a bell at the hospital symbolizing she was cancer free. It's something many other UCHealth cancer survivors have done before – but the hospital and the Colorado Eagles wanted to take that victory celebration a step further, for Nina and other survivors.
"This is going to be the cherry on top of the sundae," Nina said with a big grin ahead of the locker room celebration. "My bell ringing was the whip cream, now I get to put the cherry on time."
With a cart full of sparkling cider – to keep things family friendly – goggles and the Kelly Cup on proud display, a team of survivors and their families celebrated a great win.
"It's just a huge achievement that she made it through everything," Nina's 11-year-old, cider-soaked daughter said. "She never stopped. She just kept going and being positive, so I'm really proud of her."
Even if Colorado's teams don't always bring home a trophy, Nina is hopeful cancer-beating champions such as herself can be celebrated in style every year.
"Maybe we can start something," she said. "This is such a great way to honor just being a survivor."