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
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Vonn will will return for the final women’s downhill training run on Monday at 9 p.m. ET. LIVE STREAM
Look closely at Lindsey Vonn.
When NBC cameras zoom in on the two-time Olympic medalist, viewers will notice that she wrote a couple of messages on her uniform in permanent marker.
On the thumb of her right glove, Vonn has the word “believe” in Greek. It mirrors a tattoo she has on the inside of a finger.
“Signifying my last Olympics [in 2018] and just need to believe in myself,” Vonn said to NBC’s Nick Zaccardi.
On her helmet, Vonn has the initials “D.K.” and a heart. It is meant to honor her late grandfather, Don Kildow.
Kildow, who served in the Korean War from 1952-54, died on Nov. 1. Watch to learn more about Vonn’s special relationship with her grandparents:
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — At the bottom of the Olympic aerials landing hill, where crashes are common and the term “slap back” is part of the everyday lingo, skiers spend almost as much time figuring out how to protect their heads as they do working on all those flips and spins.
“We learn how to fall,” U.S. jumper Jon Lillis said.
Elsewhere around the action-sports venue, that’s not so much the case.
Concussion dangers lurk everywhere — from the iced-over deck of the halfpipe, to the steeply pitched landings on the slopestyle course, to the careening twists and turns of the snowboard cross track, to the aerials course, where “slap back” is the term for when a skier’s head slaps backward against the snow. But at the Olympics, there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding who diagnoses head injuries, and no hard-and-fast protocol that athletes must clear to be allowed back on the slopes after a concussion.
“A bit concerning,” says neurologist Kevin Weber of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Because you worry that athletes in other sports that may not be as popular as football are getting, I wouldn’t say ignored, but the concussions they’re getting are under-scrutinized.”
Read the full story at NBCOlympics.com