Four-time Olympic medalist, Hayley Wickenheiser is regarded as one of the best female hockey players in the world with an uncompromised determination and dedication to her sport. However, it’s not just her lethal slapshot that is respected by her teammates, fans and peers; Hayley Wickenheiser is also an award winner, community leader, mentor, history-maker and an accomplished businesswoman.
It all started at age 15 in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan when Hayley Wickenheiser was chosen for the Canadian Women’s National Team. She has since led the squad to six gold and one silver medal at the Women’s World Hockey Championships. As an Olympian, she earned a silver medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics and three Olympic gold medals in 2002, 2006 and most recently at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Accompanying all that hardware, Hayley was also named the tournaments’ most valuable player in the 2002 and 2006 victorious Olympic runs as well as in numerous Esso Women’s Hockey Championships.
Hayley Wickenheiser has proven to be an elite athlete time and time again. Sports Illustrated recently named her number 20 of the Top 25 Toughest Athletes in the World. She is also a two-time finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation Team Athlete of The Year and was recently named, for the second time, among the Globe and Mail’s “Power 50” influencers in sport. Most recently, QMI Agency name Hayley among the top 10 “Greatest Female Athletes in the History of Sports.”
In January 2003, Hayley Wickenheiser made hockey history when she became the first female hockey player to notch a point in a men’s professional game with the Kirkkonummen Salamat of the Finnish second division. Wickenheiser also played in Eskilstuna, Sweden with a men’s professional division-one hockey team for the 08-09 season.
Along with hockey, Wickenheiser has mastered a number of sports. An elite softball player, 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.
Hayley’s passion for sport is paralleled by her drive to give back to the community in several ways, particularly to organizations with a commitment to youth such as KidSport, Right To Play, Dreams Take Flight, Clean Air Champions and Spread The Net. In May 2007, Hayley traveled to Rwanda with a team of Canadian Olympic athletes for Right to Play, an athlete-driven humanitarian organization and she will head back to Africa in 2011.
Putting her pursuit of a BSc at the University of Calgary to good use, Hayley has led numerous projects with the goal of raising the profile of women’s hockey around the world. She is constantly working to provide mentoring opportunities for young athletes and is currently planning the third year of the Wickenheiser International Women’s Hockey Festival in Burnaby, BC in November 2012.
Hayley is also an engaging storyteller who enjoys connecting with Canadians. Hayley uses her experiences on the rink to motivate young players, shares how she overcame obstacles with her team to inspire audiences, and uplifts people of all walks of life with her passion and love of the game.
Hayley delivers inspiring keynote speeches relaying stories from her five Olympic games for charity, school, and corporate events.
In the summer of 2011 she received Canada’s highest civilian honour and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.