Vancouver Winter Olympics: Canadian Women's Gold Medal Hockey Team
The Road to Olympic Gold
I am not a sports fan by any stretch of anyone's imagination. That said, I do follow certain sporting events. Try as I might, I cannot completely shake a passing interest in hockey's grail, the Stanley Cup, but usually only if a Canadian team is playing. I follow curling with its amazing combination of driving force and chess-like finesse, but, again, only during the ultimate contests - the Scotties and the Briar. Even the Olympic competitions do not entice me to spend hours glued to the tube watching interminable qualifiers and heats. I do, however, make one exception.
On the wall of my office, in pride of place, hangs a large, beautifully framed photo. It faces, on the wall opposite, a framed, favorite quotation from Charles Swindoll about attitude, two plaques that carry affirmations about strength of character and courage, and several treasured reminders of workshops on the work of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, internationally recognized scholar, award-winning poet, Jungian psychoanalyst, and cantadora (keeper of the old stories in the Latina tradition).
This rather large, framed portrait, which measures about 3 1/2 feet wide by 2 1/2 feet tall, fills me with pride whenever I raise my eyes from my keyboard to gaze at the beaming faces of those young women. Fiercely victorious, joyously triumphant, they stare out at the world, captured in a glorious split-second of frozen time - the celebration of the unquenchable spirit that carried them to the pinnacle of Olympic Gold - the celebration of a nation's pride - the women of Canada's Olympic Hockey Team.
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The Canadian Women’s Olympic HockeyTeam:
2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver
- Shannon Szabados, Edmonton, AB
- Charline Labonte, Boisbriand, PQ
- Kim St-Pierre, Chateauguay, PQ
- Carla MacLeod, Calgary,AB
- Becky Kellar, Hagersville, ON
- Colleen Sostorics, Kennedy, SK
- Meaghan Mikkelson, St. Albert, AB
- Catherine Ward, Montreal, PQ
- Tessa Bonhomme, Sudbury, ON
- Meghan Agosta, Ruthven, ON
- Rebecca Johnston, Sudbury, ON
- Cherie Piper, Toronto, ON
- Gillian Apps, Unionville, ON
- Caroline Ouellette, Montreal, PQ
- Jayna Hefford, Kingston, ON
- Jennifer Botterill, Winnipeg, MN
- Haley Irwin, Thunder Bay, ON
- Hayley Wickenheiser, Shaunavon, SK
- Sarah Vaillancourt, Sherbrooke, PQ
- Gina Kingsbury, Rouyn-Noranda, PQ
- Marie-Philip Poulin, Beauceville, PQ
Head Coach: Melody Davidson, Oyen, SK
- Doug Lidster, Kamloops, BC;
- Peter Smith, Montreal, PQ
A Brief History
According to the Canadian Hockey Association, the first recorded women's hockey game took place in 1892 in Barrie, Ontario, however other sources set the first game in Ottawa, in 1889. By the turn of the century, women's hockey teams were playing across Canada.
The organized women's game declined after World War Two though, and languished for lack of interest during the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, hockey was assumed to be the sole preserve of men and boys.
In 1956 Ontario Supreme Court ruled on a landmark case. A nine year old girl, Abby Hoffman, challenged the 'boys only' policy in minor hockey, by playing most of the season with a boy's team. She hid her gender by dressing at home and wearing her hair short.
Abby lost her case when the Supreme Court ruled against her, but the publicity around her struggle helped to spark renewed interest in women's hockey. The 1960s saw the beginning of a revival. Most girls who tried to join boys teams were still turned away, but women's hockey was slowly gaining in popularity, and girl's teams were demanding their share of ice time.
As the new generation of female players attended college and universities, they pressed for the opportunity to play there as well.
In the 1980s, women's hockey became part of Canadian intercollegiate games. In 1993, the game was recognized by the NCAA, and in 1990, eight countries fielded teams for the first Women's World Ice Hockey Championship.
In the years that followed, participation grew exponentially until women's hockey made its Olympic debut at the 1998 Olympic Games in Japan.
Women's hockey is now one of the fastest growing games in the world. Interest in the current, ruling World and Olympic champions is helping to pave the way for the foster and nurture of the next generation of women and girls in hockey.
It shows that the same blend of courage and determination that fueled those early struggles for acceptance still burns strong. And we all know that women can do pretty much anything they set their minds to...
A Proud Moment
A Golden Tradition Continues!
1998 - Nagano Winter Olympics: Canadian Women's Hockey Team wins the Silver Medal
2002 - Salt Lake City Winter Olympics: Canadian Women's Hockey Team wins Gold
2006 - Turin Winter Olympics: Canadian Women's Hockey Team wins the Gold Medal
2010 - Vancouver Winter Olympics: Canadian Women's Hockey Team wins Gold
Team Canada Golden Girls
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