PRESS RELEASE The YWCA and Its Foundation Grant the 2014 Woman of Distinction Award, Sports and Wellness Category, to Caroline Ouellette, Athlete and Four-Time Olympic Hockey Medallist
May 20, 2014 – The YWCA Montreal, its Foundation and Scotiabank are proud to present the Woman of Distinction Award in the Sports and Wellness category to a woman who stands out for her determination: Caroline Ouellette, athlete and four-time Olympic hockey medallist. Selected by independent volunteer committees, Ouellette will be honoured on September 30, 2014, at the 21st Women of Distinction Awards, held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
An accomplished athlete who has made a significant contribution to women’s hockey
Ouellette started playing hockey when she was nine. Through determination, passion and perseverance, she achieved her teenage dream of becoming a professional athlete. A pillar of the national hockey team since 1999, she has been a source of inspiration to her teammates in the Montreal Stars, the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) and the Bulldogs of the University of Minnesota Duluth in the United States. Ouellette has accumulated an impressive record of achievements during her 12 years of playing for Team Canada: four Olympic gold medals (Sochi 2014, Vancouver 2010, Turin 2006, Salt Lake City 2002); six World Championship gold medals (1999–2001, 2004, 2007, 2012) and five World Championship silver medals (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013). Assistant captain of the Canadian hockey team from 2006 to 2013, Ouellette was named captain in 2014 for the Sochi games. Her leadership and determination were instrumental in the team’s success. Her vast experience, maturity and team spirit have significantly contributed to uniting the players in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Ouellette has been a member of the Women’s High Performance Advisory Committee since 2006. In 2013, she received the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award, bestowed each year to an active player who has made a significant contribution to women’s hockey, both on and off the ice, and who has demonstrated a strong community involvement and dedication to all aspects of the game.
Advocating the importance of sports for youth wellness
Ouellette’s achievements reach far beyond the rink. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminology and another in women’s studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), and she is very active in her community. Due to her success with the Canadian hockey team and her extensive experience as a public speaker, Ouellette is a compelling spokesperson, advocating the health benefits of sports for young people. At home and abroad, she often addresses the issue of girls’ confidence and self-esteem; she recently travelled to Africa as an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play.
As assistant coach of the Concordia University Stingers and through her training camps for girls, Ouellette shares her vast knowledge of the game. She is also a guest speaker and spokesperson for the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation’s Carrément Rose campaign.
Ouellette recently took part in an expedition to the North Pole with the True Patriot Love Foundation. Along with teammate Geneviève Lacasse and 52 others, including several corporate leaders and 12 soldiers, she helped raise $1.75 million in support of the foundation that helps wounded Canadian soldiers.
Photos by Marcie Richstone
Caroline interviewed by Global TV