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Dear Daughters, Canada Sending Record Setting 100 Female Athletes to 2014 Olympics

Dear Daughters,

Of the 221 members of Team Canada set to compete this February in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, 100 of those athletes are females. This is the highest number of females ever sent to a Winter Olympics for Canada. 221 is also the biggest ever Canadian Winter Olympic team. 88 women competed on a team of 202 athletes in the 2010 Winter Games, 86 women competed on a team of 196 in the 2006 Winter Games, 65 women competed on a team of 150 in the 2002 Winter Games, and 63 women competed on a team of 144 in the 1998 Winter Games which was the first time women’s hockey was an Olympic sport. Before women’s hockey became a sport, 31 women competed on a team of 95 in the 1994 Winter Olympics only 20 years ago.

The youngest member of Canada’s current Winter Olympic team is figure skater Gabrielle Daleman, who turned 16 on January 13. At age 39, curler Jennifer Jones is the oldest member of the team. Canadian flag bearer and hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser is competing in her sixth Olympic Games, the most of any member of the team. Hockey player Jayna Hefford and snowboarder MaĆ«lle Ricker are competing in their fifth Olympic Games. Ricker injured her wrist during training on January 28 but still hopes to defend her Olympic Gold medal when her event begins on February 17. In Vancouver in 2010 she became the first Canadian woman to win a gold medal in her home country. Male snowboarder Jasey Jay Anderson is also competing in his fifth Olympic games in Sochi. There are only two Nova Scotians – one male and one female – on the Canadian team. Hockey player Sidney Crosby, from my hometown of Cole Harbour, and snowboarder Alex Duckworth, from Kingsburg. There are three sisters on the team competing in freestyle skiing – Chloe, Justine and Maxime Dufour. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, females are allowed to compete in ski jumping and Canada is sending three female competitors – Atsuko Tanaka, Alexandra Pretorius and Taylor Henrich. Whether or not they medal, they have already made history.

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