When the accident happened, I thought to myself, 'I must do something, these are my people, this is my province and these are our sons and daughter!'
Hayley Wickenheiser is regarded as one of the best female hockey players in the world. As a decorated Olympian, she has led her team to four gold and one silver medal as well as being named the tournaments’ most valuable player in both 2002 and 2006. For the 2014 Sochi Olympics Hayley was selected to be the flag bearer for the Canadian Olympic team in the Opening Ceremonies. During those same Olympics it was announced that she had been elected to the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes Commission. As part of the Canadian Women’s National Team since age 15, Hayley has won innumerable regional, national and world championships. Off the ice, Hayley’s achievements include: Sports Illustrated number 20 of 25 Toughest Athletes in the World, a two-time finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation Team Athlete of The Year, named multiple times among the Globe and Mail’s “Power 50” influencers in sport, and named among QMI Agency’s top 10 “Greatest Female Athletes in the History of Sports.” In 2011, Hayley was appointed to the Order of Canada “for her achievements as an athlete and for her contributions to the growth of women’s hockey.” She was inducted to Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2015. Hayley has seen success not just on the ice, but also as an elite softball player, when she participated in the 2000 Summer Olympics as a member of Team Canada and worked as a Softball Analyst with CBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Wickenheiser’s passion for sport is matched by her desire to give back to the community in her work with organizations such as Lace ‘Em Up, JumpStart, KidSport, Project North, Right to Play and dozens of other organizations. She has travelled the world to support those efforts, including trips to the furthest northern communities of Canada and as far away as Rwanda and Ghana. Her most profound project has been the creation of the Canadian Tire Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival, which hosts over 2,500 female hockey players from around the world in Calgary annually giving girls access not just to hockey, but to world-class educational sessions both on and off the ice. Hayley was born in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan and is a proud mom to her teenaged son, Noah. She has received numerous honourary degrees and graduated with Honours with a Bachelors in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary in 2013. In 2016, Hayley completed her Masters, running a study that is researching the connection between physical activity and the neurology of autistic youth.
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