Community Connections

For my community connections project, I chose to interview a 6-time Olympic female athlete with 5 gold medals for Canada’s hockey team, the first women to score in a professional men’s league, IIHF Hockey Hall of Famer and Hockey Hall of Famer, Hayley Wickenheiser! Today Hayley Wickenheiser is the assistant director of player development for the Toronto maple leafs, as well as a student at the medical school at the University of Calgary.

A photoshoot with Sochi Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser at the Winsport, Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary, Alberta on May 27, 2014.

Hayley Wickenheiser is a well renown female in the hockey community, Hayley has always been a great inspiration to me, and I am so glad I had the chance to interview her for this project. What really inspires me about Hayley is that even though she had a big career in hockey it doesn’t mean that you have to play hockey forever, after retiring she pursued another dream of going to medical school. I’ve met Hayley Wickenheiser a few times at her hockey tournaments I’ve been in, meeting her for the first I didn’t quite know who she was but as I grew up, I began to learn the things she has accomplished. Hayley Wickenheiser has changed the Women’s hockey game so much and helped it grow, therefore, I wanted to choose Hayley.

The questions I asked Hayley after asking if she’d be willing to answer a few questions which are…

Why are you passionate about playing hockey?

Her answer was “I was passionate about playing hockey because I loved every time you stepped on the ice you could do something different. It’s a creative game, it’s never the same thing twice. I’m not the kind of person who could just do the same thing over and over again, I like being in a team sport and I like to try different things.”

What obstacles have you faced to get you where you are today?

“As far as obstacles I have faced a lot, like verbal abuse from parents and kids from other teams when I was growing up, I got cut when I was in midget AAA boys because I was a girl the coach said he couldn’t handle having a girl on the team. Countless numbers of times where people couldn’t respect having a female on the ice, they don’t think you’re as smart and good as the guys are and basically proving myself every time I stepped on the Ice.”

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

What advice would you pass on to someone interested in having a career and impact in hockey?

“The advice I have is for people is to become the master of your craft, if you really want to be great at hockey as a player you have to practice, you have to train, you have to watch the best players in the world and study what they do, you need to be like a sponge soak up everything you can. Outwork everyone else, having a good work ethic and attitude will take you a long long way I find, and a lot of people aren’t willing to put in the work that it takes. Find mentors, learn the best from the people that are willing to help you, ask for help, try not to listen to the critical advice form others and be your own best friend those are really important things when times get tuff.”

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels


If you could go back to before you joined team Canada is there anything you would change?

“If I could go back to before I made team Canada is there anything I would change, short answer no. I wouldn’t change anything that I did, sometimes I would of learned to be more patient as a younger player/athlete. But for the most part, I wouldn’t change a thing, I’m very happy with how the things worked out.”

Image result for hayley wickenheiser team canada


Who did you look up to the most while growing up?

“I looked up to Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier the most when I was playing as a young player, I loved the Edmonton Oilers of the 80s and everything that they stood for and how they played the game and I’d studied how they’d played and watched their game then go out on the outdoor rink and pretend that I was them. I didn’t have any female hockey players, I thought I was the only girl in the world playing hockey when I started.

In this interview I learned that you need to really love and commit to the hockey if you want to pursue in it, you need to stay determined and focused. You need to stay positive and push yourself, you need to study the game and practice all the time. Hockey is a very creative and technical sport, in order to get far you need to have a good attitude and stay positive. I also learned that hockey has changed so much, and women are now more respected but still not as much as men. Hayley Wickenheiser is a great inspiration for anyone especially girls who want to play hockey.


Thank you so much, Hayley, I’m so glad you answered my questions and I learned so much!

Hailey Wickenheiser (


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