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Hayley Wickenheiser in 2003

Wickenheiser in 2003
Born August 12, 1978 (1978-08-12) (age 31),
Shaunavon, SK, CA
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
171 lb (78 kg; 12 st 3 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Right
Ntl. team  Canada
Playing career 1993 – present
Website Official site

Hayley Wickenheiser (born August 12, 1978) is a women's ice hockey player from Canada. She was the first woman to play full time professional hockey in a position other than goalie. Wickenheiser has represented Canada at the Winter Olympics four times, capturing three gold and one silver medal, twice being named tournament MVP. She is widely considered the greatest female ice hockey player in the world.[1][2]


Hockey career


Minor hockey

Wickenheiser started her hockey career in her hometown of Shaunavon when she was eight years old. She played on boys' teams until she was 13.[3] In 1991, she was a member of Team Alberta in the Canada Winter Games for the Under-17 Girls' competition, where she helped her team to a gold medal victory by scoring the game winning goal and was named Most Valuable Player of the final game.[1][4] While playing in the Calgary minor hockey system, Wickenheiser took home numerous awards, including team MVP honours for the 1993-94 season, and the Harley Swain Memorial Award for dedication to hockey throughout Calgary's AAA bantam system.[4]


At the age of 15 (1994), Wickenheiser was named to Canada's National Women's Team for the first time and has remained a member since. Her first international tournament was the 1994 World Championship, held in Lake Placid, New York. She played three 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 four such honours (1997, 1999, 2000, 2005). In 1999, Wickenheiser helped Canada to another gold medal and was named tournament MVP. Wickenheiser has six World Championship gold medals (1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2007) and three silver medals (2005, 2008, 2009). She was named to Team Canada in 2001, but was unable to compete due to an injury, and was also on Canada's roster for the 2003 World Championship which was canceled.[5]

Wickenheiser was a member of Team Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics, when women's hockey was introduced as a medal event. She also played 21 games for Team Canada during their pre-Olympic tour. Canada won a silver medal at the event and Wickenheiser was named to the tournament all-star team. Her performance at the 1998 Olympics impressed Men's Team Canada General Manager Bobby Clarke so much, that he invited her to participate in the Philadelphia Flyers rookie camps in 1998 and 1999.[6] 2002 was another chance at Olympic gold, and Wickenheiser was named to Canada's roster for the 2002 Winter Olympics held in Salt Lake City, Utah. On Team Canada's pre-Olympic tour, Wickenheiser played 26 games and racked up 36 points. In a bit of redemption for 1998, Canada won the gold medal by defeating Team USA in the final game. Wickenheiser was named Tournament MVP and she was the top scorer on the Women's side.[4] At the 2006 Winter Olympics, Canada was defending its gold medal status. When the final match was set, Canada was facing off against Sweden, a surprise finalist. They won gold again, and Wickenheiser once more was named tournament MVP, Top Forward, and to a berth on the all-star team. She also led the tournament in scoring.[4][5]

Wickenheiser at the 2010 Winter Olympics

Wickenheiser captained Canada to a gold medal at the 1998 Christmas Cup (World Women's Under-22 Championship). She has also contributed to 11 gold medals for Canada at the 4 Nations Cup tournaments (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). At the 2006 Four Nations Cup, she served as team captain.[5] On February 17, 2010, Wickenheiser became the all-time leading Olympic goal scorer as Canada defeated Sweden 13-1. Wickenheiser reached her record total of 16 career Olympic goals by scoring once on Wednesday as Canada followed up their 18-0 win over Slovakia and 10-1 defeat of Switzerland.[7] With a third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Women's hockey by defeating the United States of America 2-0, Hayley now has 4 Olympic medals: 3 gold, 1 silver.


In 2003, Wickenheiser became the first woman to score a goal playing in a men's professional league. Over the course of the season, Wickenheiser played 23 games, scoring 2 goals and adding 10 assists.[4][5][6] Wickenheiser joined a European league to play professional hockey, as the game is more open and less physical than North American leagues. This attempt to play professional hockey was not an entirely smooth process, as Wickenheiser was initially slated to play in Italy, until the Italian Winter Sports Federation ruled that women were ineligible to play in a men's league. She also turned down an offer from Phil Esposito to play for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL. Finland's Hockey Federation unanimously supported letting women play in a men's league, allowing her to debut with HC Salamat in the Suomi-sarja, the third highest hockey league in Finland, on January 10, 2003.[8] Wickenheiser played briefly with Salamat in 2004. They had won promotion to Mestis, Finland's second tier of professional hockey, and this was not as good a fit for her. She left the team after ten games.

In 2007, Wickenheiser had a week-long tryout contract with Swedish club IFK Arboga IK in the Swedish male third league. After two practice games, where Wickenheiser scored two goals in the first game, she was not offered a contract.[9] In 2008, Wickenheiser signed a one year contract with Eskilstuna Linden, also in the Swedish men's third league.[10][11] Wickenheiser was named one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in Hockey" by The Hockey News, one of the "25 Toughest Athletes" by Sport Illustrated[12] and one of the "Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Canada" by the Globe and Mail.

Club team

In 1996, Wickenheiser was named MVP of the Esso National Women's Championship, helping Alberta to a fourth place finish. In 1997 and 1998, Wickenheiser won Nationals with the Edmonton Chimos and Calgary Oval X-Treme respectively. She was named tournament MVP both years. Between 1999 and 2001, Wickenheiser continued to play for her club teams at the Esso Women's National Championships, winning a gold medal and two silvers. She played 2004-05 with the Calgary Oval X-Treme, in the inaugural season of the Western Women's Hockey League. The X-Treme were league champions. Wickenheiser was the regular season leading scorer and named to the league's all-star team. She also played for Alberta at the Esso National Championships, where they won gold. She led the tournament in scoring and was named MVP.[4]

Softball and fastball career

In addition to playing hockey, Wickenheiser has been playing softball since her childhood as well. On June 24, 2000, she was named to the Canadian softball team for the 2000 Summer Olympics.[13][14] This was the culmination of a long ball career. In 1994, she participated Canadian Midget Nationals where she was named All-Canadian Shortstop and Top Batter. In 1995, Wickenheiser was a member of Team Canada at the World Junior Fastball Championships, held in Normal, Illinois. Canada finished fifth at this event. In 1997, Wickenheiser participated at Midget Nationals with the Silver Springs 76ers. Her team finished second and Wickenheiser was again named All Star Shortstop and Top Batter. In 1999 she also participated at Senior Nationals, where her team finished fourth.[4] In 2000 Haley attended and competed for Simon Fraser University and helped lead the team to a 38 and 13 record on route to a 3rd place finish at the NAIA National Championships. Later that summer she competed in the Olympics games in Sydney, Australia, where she lead Canada with the team's highest batting average however while Canada was competitive had a 1-6 record, losing three games by one run. Since the Olympics Wickenheiser has not been as active in softball. For the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing, Wickenheiser worked for CBC Sports and served as a color commentator during the softball games alongside Jim Van Horne.[10]

Personal life

She was born in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and lived in Shaunavon with her family until she was 12 years old, when they moved to Calgary, Alberta.[15] She has a brother named Ross and a sister named Jane. Wickenheiser lives in Calgary with her boyfriend Tomas Pacina and their son, Noah.[5]

In 2004, Wickenheiser was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Nipissing University.[4][5] In July 2006, Wickenheiser was honoured by her hometown of Shaunavon when the sportsplex there was renamed 'Wickenheiser Place.'[5]

Her cousin was the late National Hockey League player, Doug Wickenheiser.

Career statistics

Medal record
Competitor for  Canada
Women's ice hockey
Olympic games
Silver 1998 Nagano Tournament
Gold 2002 Salt Lake City Tournament
Gold 2006 Torino Tournament
Gold 2010 Vancouver Tournament
IIHF World Women Championships
Gold 1994 United States Tournament
Gold 1997 Canada Tournament
Gold 1999 Finland Tournament
Gold 2000 Canada Tournament
Gold 2004 Canada Tournament
Silver 2005 Sweden Tournament
Gold 2007 Canada Tournament
Silver 2008 China Tournament
Silver 2009 Finland Tournament


Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
1995 Canada WWHC 3 0 1 1 0
1997 Canada WWHC 5 4 5 9 4
1998 Canada OLY 6 2 6 8 4
1999 Canada WWHC 5 3 5 8 8
2000 Canada WWHC 5 1 7 8 4
2002 Canada OLY 5 7 3 10 2
2004 Canada WWHC 5 3 2 5 2
2005 Canada WWHC 5 5 3 8 6
2006 Canada OLY 5 5 12 17 6
2007 Canada WWHC 5 8 6 14 0
2008 Canada WWHC 3 3 4 7 6
Totals WWHC 36 27 33 60 30
Totals OLY 16 14 21 35 12


    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2002-03 HC Salamat Suomi-sarja 12 1 3 4 6 11 1 6 7 4
2003-04 HC Salamat Mestis 10 0 0 0 2 - - - - -
2008-09 Linden HC Division 1 21 1 2 3 10 - - - - -
Totals 43 2 5 7 18 11 1 6 7 4
Preceded by
Cassie Campbell (2002, 2006)
Captain, Canadian Olympic Hockey Team
Succeeded by
Unknown (2014)
Preceded by
Jayna Hefford (2005)
IIHF World Women Championships Best Forward
Succeeded by
Natalie Darwitz (2008)
Preceded by
Natalie Darwitz (2008)
IIHF World Women Championships Best Forward
Succeeded by
Unknown (2011)
Preceded by
Krissy Wendell (2005)
IIHF World Women Championships Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by
Noora Räty (2008)


  1. ^ a b "Profiles of Notable Women in Hockey". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  2. ^ "Hayley Wickenheiser Reads Athlete's Oath". Metro News. Retrieved 2009-02-19. 
  3. ^ "AOL Canada Chat with Hockey Player Hayley Wickenheiser". AOL Canada. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Official Site of Hayley Wickenheiser: Highlights". Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Hockey Canada Player Profile: Hayley Wickenheiser". Hockey Canada. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  6. ^ a b Hestekin, Kjellrun (2008-05-27). "Oration Honouring Hayley Wickenheiser". The Gazette (Memorial University). Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  7. ^, Canada shatter scoring records
  8. ^ "CBC Sports: Wickenheiser makes pro debut Saturday". CBC Sports. 2003-01-09. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  9. ^ "Sveriges Radio". Retrieved 2008-07-10. 
  10. ^ a b "Wickenheiser signs with Swedish men's team". CBC. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  11. ^ TT (2008-07-21). "Världens bästa spelare till Sverige" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  12. ^ Sports Illustrated 25 Toughest Athletes
  13. ^ "Women's Olympic Softball Team Named, Hayley Wickenheiser is in". Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity. 2000-06-24. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  14. ^ "Softball: Hayley Wickenheiser". Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  15. ^ "CNN/SI: Hayley Wickenheiser". CNN/SI. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 

External links

Simple English

Born August 12, 1978 (1978-08-12) (age 32),
Shaunavon, SK, CA
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
171 lb (78 kg; 12 st 3 lb)
Position Forward
Shoots Right
Ntl. team  Canada
Playing career 1993 – present

Hayley Wickenheiser (born August 12, 1978 in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan) is an women's Olympic ice hockey forward that plays for Team Canada. She is the first woman to play full time pro hockey in a position other than goaltender.

Other websites

Hayley Wickenheiser's official website


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