Hayley Wickenheiser is one of Canada’s most celebrated athletes.
She grew up in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, playing hockey on a backyard rink tended by her father. By age 15, Wickenheiser was named to Canada’s national women’s hockey team. In the 21 years since then, she has played at 12 world championships, winning seven gold and give silver.
Wickenheiser has competed at every Olympic Winter Games since women’s hockey made its debut in 1998. She has four Olympic gold medals and one silver. She also was a member of Canada’s softball team at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
In 2014, Wickenheiser was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame and voted as an athlete representative to the International Olympic Committee. “It’s very strange and interesting,” Wickenheiser says of being an IOC member. “It’s a big machine with lots of moving parts.”
In part one of a two-part radio series on women in sport, QNet Sports reporter Kendall Vander Veen spoke with Wickenheiser by phone from Calgary. Wickenheiser will miss the women’s world hockey championship in Malmo, Sweden, March 28 to April 4 because she’s recovering from foot surgery.
But Wickenheiser, who’s now 36, says she hopes to compete at the Winter Olympics one more time in 2018.