A native of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Hayley Wickenheiser has lived in Calgary, Alberta for the past eighteen years where she not only trained, but also pursued a BSc degree at the University of Calgary. Her talent is unsurpassed. Having recently been named Team Captain, she was the Assistant Captain of Canada’s gold medal-winning teams at the 2002 Salt Lake City and 2006 Torino Winter Olympics and named the MVP in both games. Wickenheiser is strong and skilled; a natural with a lethal slap shot, and rightfully described as the greatest female hockey player in the world.
At age 15, Wickenheiser was chosen for the Canadian women’s National Team. She has since led the Canadian Women’s National squad to six gold and two silver medals at the Women’s World Hockey Championships, a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan and two Olympic Gold medals at the Winter Olympics in 2002 and 2006.
Time and time again, Wickenheiser has proven to be an elite athlete. Honoured with the title of Most Valuable Player in numerous Esso Women’s Hockey Championships, a First Team All-Star in all seven of her World Championship appearances, and a participant in two Philadelphia Flyers’ rookie camps in 1998 and 1999, Wickenheiser has earned the praise and admiration of players and coaches alike.
On January 11, 2003 Wickenheiser took an enormous step forward in her on-ice career when she skated into history as the first female hockey player to notch a point in a men’s professional game, the Kirkkonummen Salamat of the Finnish second division. Sports Illustrated recently named her Number 20 of the “Top 25 Toughest Athletes In the World”. Aside from a phenomenal on-ice career, Wickenheiser has mastered a number of sports. An elite softball player, she participated in the 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of Team Canada. But, no matter what she is playing, Wickenheiser’s personal motto is “Excellence and Professionalism.”
Hayley works with many local charities and schools focusing on children and environmental issues. Dreams Take Flight, KidSport, Clean Air Champions and Spread The Net are some to name a few. In May 2007, Hayley traveled to Rwanda with a Canadian Team of Olympic Athletes for RIGHT TO PLAY, an athlete driven humanitarian organization. She is currently working to launch a professional development program called ‘Go For Gold’, which will raise funds for Right To Play and KidSport.
Hayley currently lives in Calgary, Alberta, with her partner Tomas and young son Noah. She plans to play in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and is currently playing with the Calgary Oval X-Treme in the Western Women’s Hockey League. In October 2006, a children’s book on her career titled “Born To Play” hit bookshelves across Canada.
To learn more about Hayley, please go to www.hayleywickenheiser.com