Monday, January 25, 2016

Haley Wickenheiser

Women's Ice Hockey Player from Canada

Born August 12, 1978, she was the first woman to play full-time professional hockey in a position other than goalie. Wickenheiser is a member of the Canadian women's national ice hockey team. She has represented Canada at the Winter Olympics five times, capturing four gold and one silver medal and twice being named tournament MVP...and one time at the Summer Olympics in softball.
She has the most gold medals of any Canadian Olympian
and is widely considered the greatest female ice hockey player in the world!

Medal Record: Competitor for Canada Women's Ice Hockey Tournaments
Olympic Games: GOLD in Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014.
SILVER in Nagano 1998
IIHF World Women's Championships: GOLD in United States1994, Canada 1997, Finland 1999, Canada 2000, Canada 2004, Canada 2007, United States 2012.
SILVER in Sweden 2005, China 2008, Finland 2009, Switzerland 2011, Canada 2013.

Women's 4 Nations Cup: GOLD~Canada 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010.
SILVER ~Canada 1997, 2003, 2008, 2011.
Hockey Career
Minor Hockey: Wickenheiser started playing on outdoor rinks in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, her hometown when she was five years old...exclusively on boys' teams until she was 13. Minor hockey continued in Calgary, Alberta after moving there with her family. In 1991, she represented Alberta at the 18-and under Canada Winter Games. Alberta captured the Gold Medal in the tournament. Scoring the game-winning-goal, she was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the final game.

International Hockey: In 1994 (age 15), Wickenheiser was named to Canada's National Women's Team and has remained a member since. Her first international tournament was the 1994 World Championship, held in Lake Placid, New York. She played 3 games and picked up her first international point...an assist and Canada won Gold. Her second World Championship in 1997 also produced a Gold Medal...and she earned a spot on the tournament All-Star Team...the first of 4 such honours (1997, 1999, 2000, 2005).

Wickenheiser was a member of Team Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics, when women's hockey was introduced as 'a medal sport'. She also played 21 games for Team Canada during their pre-Olympic tour. (Her performance at the 1998 Winter Olympics impressed Men's Team Canada General Manager Bobby Clarke, that he invited her to participate in the Philadelphia Flyers rookie camps in 1998 and 1999). On Team Canada's pre-Olympic tour, Wickenheiser played 26 games and racked up 36 points.

Professional Hockey: In 2003, Wickenheiser became the first woman to score a goal playing in a men's professional league...playing in 23 games, scoring 2 goals and adding 10 assists. Joining a European league to play professional hockey, was not entirely a smooth process. Initially slated to play in Italy, the Italian Winter Sports Federation ruled that women were ineligible to play in a men's league. Finland's Hockey Federation unanimously supported her to debut with HC Salamat...the third highest hockey league in Finland on January 10, 2003. In 2004 and 2007, she played with other Finnish teams before practice games with a couple Swedish teams.

Wickenheiser was named one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Hockey” by The Hockey News (ranked #50 on the 2011 List)...one of the “25 Toughest Athletes” by Sports Illustrated...and one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Canada” by The Globe and Mail.

University: Wickenheiser joined the 2010-11 University of Calgary Dinos women's ice hockey season that competes in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). While with the Dinos, she will be playing for her former teammate, Danielle Goyette, who is the team's head coach. Hayley will be working to complete a degree in kinesiology at Calgary. In her CIS debut against the University of Regina, Wickenheiser scored two goals and added an assist in a 4-3 victory. With this team, she captured a spot on the conference's First All-Star Team. On March 9, 2011, Wickenheiser was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year in women's hockey...and the first ever Dino to win the Brodrick Trophy as CIS MVP.

Softball and Fastball Career: An accomplished softball player, Wickenheiser was named to the Canadian softball team for the 2000 Olympics. In 1994 she participated at Canadian Midget Nationals where she was named “All-Canadian Shortstop and Top Batter” in 1995. As member of Team Canada at the World Junior Fastball Championships, held in Normal, Illinois, Canada finished fifth. She continued competing until the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Personal Life
Her parents are Tom, a physical-education teacher and Marilyn. She has a brother, Ross and a sister, June. Hayley Wickenheiser lives in Calgary with her adopted son, Noah. .

On July 15, 2011, her hometown of Shaunavon named a new 14 million dollar recreational complex after her...Crescent Point Wickenheiser Centre.

Her Passion for Sport is matched with her desire to 'Give Back to the Community' in her work with organizations as...Operation Smile...Jump Start...KidSport...Project North...Right to Play...Ovarian Cancer...and many others. In 2007, she travelled to Rwanda with a team of Canadian Olympic athletes for 'Right to Play'...an athletic-driven global organization using the 'transformative power of play' to educate and empower children and youth. In 2011, she returned to Africa on a similar goodwill mission in Ghana.

She is constantly working to provide mentoring opportunities for young athletes...including her Legacy Project ~ The Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival (www.wickfest.com)

On June 30, 2011, she was named an An Officer of the Order of Canada
(one of the country's highest civilian honours) by Governor General David Johnston.

Most recently, she was inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame.

Hayley Wickenheiser Honoured to be Part of the IOC
Representing Olympic Athletes
For as long as she remembers, she wanted to represent other athletes on the global stage. Her election by fellow competitors to the IOC in 2014 is one of her greatest career accomplishments. She takes it as a grand responsibility to represent the voice of Olympians the world over. Hayley sits on both the Athlete's Commission and the Medical Commission (falling in line with her goal to study medicine).

In the Words of Hayley Wickenheiser:
For us in Women's Hockey...the Olympics is our Stanley Cup!

Motherhood is my No. One priority in life, bar none. I adopted Noah (now 13), her former partner, Tomas Pacina's son, when he was just a tot. He's now in Grade eight. Time Flies.

Over the last 16 years, I've chipped away at my Bachelor's degree in kinesiology from the University of Calgary before graduating in June 2013 with distinction. I have recently submitted my application to the University of Calgary Medical School...in what could prove to be the most challenging tryout of my life. The challenge is 'balancing a concerted drive for both academic and athletic endeavours.'

Merle Baird-Kerr...compiled March 1, 2015
Comments appreciated...email to:

4 comments:

  1. SHERRIE WRITES: "Great writings on these remarkable Canadian women!"

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  2. For me, it was very fact-revealing about their accomplishments! Thank you, Sherrie for your ongoing interest in my writings!

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  3. FROM MEG: "Very interesting lady. I have followed
    her career for some time...and get dizzy with all
    the things she does."

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  4. It's been most informative for me to research their accomplishments...and she has been one woman 'who had really made a life-statement'! Again, thanks, Meg for your continued interest and comments.

    ReplyDelete