They only get to celebrate their official birth date every four years — during a leap year.
Cam Ward, goaltender for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, who began his junior career with the Red Deer Rebels, will be 28 years old on Wednesday.
But the netminder, born in 1984, has only had the chance to celebrate his official Feb. 29 birthday seven times.
Then there’s Hunting Hills High School Grade 11 student Hanna Delemont, born in 1996. She is excited about her 16th birthday but she has only celebrated her official birthday four times, two of which she was too young remember.
Ward and Delemont are leap year babies.
Their Feb. 29 births bring big celebrations and never-ending jokes from friends and family.
In 2006, when Ward and his teammates won the Stanley Cup, the NHL quipped that he was the youngest player ever to do so.
“They like to joke around like that,” Ward laughed when he was reminded of this.
As for Delemont, her aunt Doren Dillabough, dresses up as a frog and visits her school.
“My family always gives me something that has to do with a frog or something to do with jumping as part of a collection, a memory of the birthday,” said Delemont, who wants to be a teacher.
Most years, both Ward and Delemont choose to celebrate their birthdays on either Feb. 28 or March 1.
Delemont acquired her learner’s licence when she was 14 but it says that her birthday is on Feb. 28.
“Because there is not a Feb. 29 every single year, they thought they should make it Feb. 28,” she said.
“It’s kind of cool because it makes me unique. I have a story to tell about myself.” said Delemont, who is involved in sports and leadership programs.
While Delemont is a little more excited about her birthday, Ward said that after he turned 16, celebrations died down.
One leap year birthday he remembers fondly was when his parents took him to Palm Springs. But he has no plans on Wednesday and will spend time with his wife and two-year-old son.
“We will see what my wife has cooked up,” he said.
Most calender years contain 365 days but the actual number of days it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun is 365.2425. To keep the calender synchronized, an extra day is added (Feb. 29) every four years.
To mark the day, the Red Deer Public Library will show the comedy Leap Year, starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, on Wednesday from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. in the Waskasoo Kiwanis meeting room.