The greatest player in Olympic women’s hockey history is not ready to call the Sochi Olympics her farewell.
Hayley Wickenheiser is one of two Canadians to play in every Olympic tournament (Jayna Hefford is the other), winning silver in 1998 and gold in 2002, 2006 and 2010.
Wickenheiser took tournament MVP honors in 2002 and 2006, read the athlete’s oath at the 2010 Olympics and is the all-time leading scorer in Olympic women’s hockey history.
She’s 35 with seemingly nothing left to accomplish on the international stage, yet Sochi may not be her final Olympics.
“It is not something I have decided,” the 5-foot-10, 180-pound forward told the Medicine Hat (Alberta) News going into the first of a six-game exhibition series between the U.S. and Canada on Saturday night in Burlington, Vt.
That decision will come after the Sochi Games, where Canada will attempt to win its fourth straight Olympic gold. That would match the men’s hockey record for consecutive Olympic titles, held by Canada (1920-36) and the Soviet Union (1964-76).
The U.S. women own the momentum, though, winning the World Championship on Canadian ice in April.
“I guess we go in as underdogs,” Wickenheiser told the newspaper before Canada beat an Alberta boys junior team Wednesday night. “I love going into those big battles against the U.S. and the big games that we play in. It kind of fuels the fire to keep playing.”
Miracle on Ice legend to work for Russian news agency during Sochi
Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol is the latest athlete to announce publicly thoughts about skipping the Rio Olympics due to the Zika virus.
Gasol, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, held a press conference and wrote a column in Spanish newspaper El Pais titled “Olympic dream or medical nightmare?” on Monday.
“Returning to Spain after eight months in the United States, I am struck by how few people in Europe are talking about the Zika virus and its consequences,” Gasol wrote in the column. “From my conversations with both U.S. and Spanish experts, my conclusion is that Zika is a much bigger and more serious threat than we think.”
MORE: U.S. Olympic basketball game times announced
London Olympians Nic Long and Alise Post became the first members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic BMX team by capturing bronze medals at the World Championships in Medellín, Colombia, on Sunday.
Long, eliminated in the London Olympic quarterfinals, earned his first World Championships medal.
He finished third in Medellín behind France’s Joris Daudet and the Netherlands’ Niek Kimmann, the latter just missing in a bid to become the first BMX rider to repeat as World champion since the sport was added to the Olympic program in 2008.
Post, tearfully eliminated in the London Olympic semifinals, earned her third World Championships medal.
She was second for most of the final behind eventual Colombian winner and 2012 Olympic champion Mariana Pajón and was passed by Australian Caroline Buchanan on the final straight.
The U.S. can send two women and three men to Rio in BMX.
Long and Post bring the entire list of U.S. athletes qualified to Rio to 147 members.
MORE: 100 Team USA athletes to watch on road to Rio