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Dear Daughters, Hayley Wickenheiser Named As Canada’s Flag Bearer for Winter Olympics 2014

Dear Daughters,

Hayley Wickenheiser, a member of Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team since 1994, when she was only 15 years old, has been named Canada’s flag bearer for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games opening ceremonies. Women have been chosen as Canada’s flag bearer for opening ceremonies of the previous three winter Olympic games: Catriona Le May Doane, speed skating, 2002; Danielle Goyette, ice hockey, 2006; and Clara Hughes, speed skating, 2010. The first ever female flag bearer for Canada was Nancy Greene, Alpine Skiing, 1968. There have been 7 other female flag bearers for the Canadian Olympic team during the opening ceremonies (Winter and Summer Games):

  • Caroline Brunet, Kayak racing, 2000
  • Charmaine Crooks, Athletics, 1996
  • Sylvie Daigle, Short track speed skating, 1992
  • Carolyn Waldo, Synchronized swimming, 1988
  • Sue Halloway, Canoe, 1980 (although officially selected, Canada boycotted these games along with 65 other countries to protest the Soviet War in Afghanistan, so Halloway never actually got to march in the Parade of Nations)
  • Abby Hoffman, Athletics, 1976
  • Karen Magnussen, Figure skating, 1972

Wickenheiser started playing hockey in her hometown of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan when she was five years old, playing exclusively with boys until she was 13. She represented Alberta at the 18-and-under Canada Winter Games – the first time women’s hockey was ever played in the Games. In the final game, Wickenheiser scored the winning goal to capture the gold medal for Alberta and the title of Most Valuable Player of the game. A four-time Olympian (the Sochi Olympics will be her fifth Olympic Games and only the fifth time women’s hockey has been an Olympic sport), Wickenheiser has won one Olympic silver medal and three Olympic gold medals. She has also won 7 gold and 5 silver medals at the IIHF World Women’s Championships and 10 gold and 4 silver medals at the Women’s 4 Nations Cup.

Wickenheiser was invited to participate in the rookie camp of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers in 1998 and 1999. In 2003 she became the first woman to score a goal while playing in a men’s professional league while playing with the HC Salamat in Finland. She was to have played in Italy but the Italian Winter Sports Federation rules that women were ineligible to play in a men’s league.

She has been named one of the “20 Toughest Athletes” by Sports Illustrated, one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Canada” by The Globe and Mail and several times as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Hockey” by The Hockey News.

Wickenheiser became one of the first women to ever be included in an NHL video game. She and Angela Ruggerio were included in EA Sports NHL13.

Not only can Hayley Wickenheiser play hockey, she is also a great softball player. She represented Team Canada in that sport in the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.

For more on Canada’s flag bearer for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, visit Hayley Wickenheiser’s website.

 

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