What is it that makes Hayley Wickenheiser great? Her many fans would have many different answers to that question.
There are championships that point to her greatness. At the top of her resume are four Olympic hockey gold medals.
There are numbers that point to her greatness: she retired with close to 400 points since joining the national women’s program in 1994.
There are accolades that point to her greatness: she is a member of the Order of Canada, she has a rink named after her in Shaunovan, Sask. and she has a Masters in medical science.
In a weekend interview with Ron MacLean, Wickenheiser talked about playing softball at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
No one expected Canada to win a gold medal – and they didn’t. In the interview, she said, “I’d much rather have that expectation of bringing home a gold medal, than being in an environment where no one cared if you did well.”
With a game on the line, great athletes want the ball in their hand or the puck on their stick.
Wickenheiser is in that group.