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Four ladies’s hockey stars who double as world-class travellers

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In case you suppose hockey gamers simply play video video games or hit the golf equipment after they’re not figuring out or ingesting protein shakes, suppose once more. It’s time to fulfill 4 Olympic ladies’s hockey stars who like to discover our planet, from Canada and Sweden to China and New Zealand.

Armed with college levels in topics like journalism and historical past, these world-class puck-handlers take in native tradition, customs and delicacies, whether or not they’re touring for hockey or having fun with a well-earned trip. On and off the ice, they’re function fashions for the practically 200,000 ladies who play this sport worldwide.

We requested Canada’s Natalie Spooner, Finland’s Noora Räty, the US’ Hilary Knight, and Sweden’s Pernilla Winberg to dish the small print on their most memorable hockey journeys, finest trip journeys, and future bucket-list journeys.

Natalie Spooner (Canada)

Spooner, a personable two-time Olympian, travelled for her actuality TV debut in 2014, showing with Canadian teammate Meaghen Mikkelson on The Wonderful Race Canada. That 12 months, Spooner grew to become the primary participant to win each an Olympic gold medal and the Clarkson Cup – the championship of the Canadian Ladies’s Hockey League (CWHL) – in the identical season.

This 5-10, 181-pound ahead has suited up for the Toronto Furies since 2012.

Most memorable hockey journey

“The 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It was a dream come true that I by no means thought potential as a younger lady. Successful gold in my first Olympics will all the time maintain a particular place in my coronary heart. The Video games themselves had the texture of Disneyland. All of the sights, venues, and leisure had been in a single bubble, hooked up to the athletes’ village.

One other wonderful expertise I had was touring to Nunavut with Undertaking North to ship hockey gear to distant communities. Having the chance to expertise Canada’s north was extraordinarily eye-opening.”

Finest trip

“Considered one of my favorite locations to discover is Italy. From wine-tasting to studying in regards to the nation’s romantic historical past, I felt proper in my factor there.

To get away from all of it, I as soon as took a visit with some teammates to Exuma, Bahamas. I’d by no means skilled white-sand seashores and bathtub-warm water like we did there. We swam with pigs, fed iguanas, and even caught and cooked our personal fish one evening.”

Future bucket-list journey

“Croatia. With its mixture of coastal terrain and historic cities like Dubrovnik, I can’t look forward to that journey!”

Noora Räty (Finland)

2018 was an enormous 12 months for Räty. The dynamic 29-year-old goalie received her second Olympic bronze medal in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and made the all-star workforce. Räty then led China’s Kunlun Purple Star to the CWHL last and was named Goaltender of the Yr.

Räty, a College of Minnesota journalism graduate, additionally appeared on an upcoming season of Selviytyjät Suomi, the Finnish model of Survivor, shot within the Philippines. The 5-Four, 143-pound netminder’s hometown of Espoo, simply exterior Helsinki, is the positioning of the 2019 Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ladies’s World Championship.

Most memorable hockey journey

“Enjoying professionally in Shenzhen, China. I by no means thought I’d receives a commission to play the game I like in a not-so-typical hockey metropolis, with 25C climate, amenities that examine to the NHL, and a world-class group.

It’s been a blessing to expertise issues just like the Nice Wall, sizzling pot, Chinese language New Yr, and Chinese language drugs. I’m additionally taking Mandarin lessons.”

Finest trip

“A mom-daughter journey to Phuket, Thailand in 2016. Having been away from Finland since 2009, it’s all the time particular once I get to spend time with my household, and particularly my mother.

We loved the seashores, Thai meals (my favorite!), the Large Buddha, Thai massages, native purchasing, and rather more. We additionally took a crazy-cool kayaking journey to Phang Nga Bay with limestone sea caves and cliff-lined lagoons.”

Future bucket-list journey

“New Zealand. Queenstown, the nationwide parks, geysers, Maori tradition, and browsing are all on my agenda. I’d like to go whale-watching after which soak in a sizzling spring whereas having fun with a beautiful view.”

Hilary Knight (United States)

Knight fulfilled a lifetime dream in 2018 when she received her first Olympic gold medal. A seven-time world champion, this American energy ahead has additionally guest-starred on Saturday Evening Dwell and posed for ESPN The Journal’s Physique Difficulty. Knight studied historical past on the College of Wisconsin.

The 5-11, 172-pound winger, who has greater than 120,000 Instagram followers, performs for the CWHL’s Les Canadiennes de Montreal.

Most memorable hockey journey

“The 2015 IIHF Ladies’s World Championship in Malmö, Sweden. I’m a bit of biased as a result of I took some Swedish lessons in faculty and discovered a good quantity in regards to the language and tradition.

Malmö has an important mixture of outdated structure and progressive new buildings on the waterfront. I cherished strolling round, and our workforce loved the native espresso retailers. Numerous fika time! On our off-day, we took a brief practice journey to go to Copenhagen, Denmark.”

Finest trip

“We organized a workforce trip to St. Thomas within the Virgin Islands. It was a unbelievable place to rejuvenate and recharge. Waking up each morning and sitting exterior having fun with breakfast whereas trying on the blue ocean was surreal, like residing in a dream. The sundown was simply as stunning because the dawn, and the native individuals had been super-friendly.”

Future bucket-list journey

“There are such a lot of locations I wish to go. I flew to New Zealand for 48 hours to movie an advert marketing campaign proper earlier than our workforce centralized for the Olympics. I want to return and spend extra time there. I took a helicopter journey up into the mountains. I believed it was probably the most stunning place I’ve ever been.

I’d additionally like to go to France and Austria. Janine Weber, my former Boston Blades teammate, is from Innsbruck, and he or she was in my hometown of Solar Valley, Idaho this previous summer time. She texted me: “Hey, the place ought to I’m going?” So it will be cool if I may go to her hometown, have the identical convo and take a look at all of her hotspots.”

Pernilla Winberg (Sweden)

Winberg was simply 16 when she scored the semi-final shootout winner in opposition to the favored People in her Olympic debut in 2006 in Turin, Italy. After this upset, which has been in comparison with the U.S. males’s 1980 “Miracle on Ice” Olympic victory over the Soviet Union, her Swedish workforce captured an historic silver medal.

The 2014 Winter Video games factors chief, who obtained her diploma in group well being from the College of Minnesota-Duluth, is a four-time Olympian and 11-time World Championship participant. The 5-5, 150-pound ahead presently serves as an assistant captain with Linköping HC in Sweden.

Most memorable hockey journey

“So many uncommon issues occurred in Turin. Throughout our pre-Olympic camp, we mainly solely ate pasta or rice with meat sauce. We obtained caught within the elevator in our resort a few instances! And a few Chinese language athletes insisted on getting my autograph as a result of they thought I used to be Pernilla Wiberg, the well-known cross-country skier. However most of all, I bear in mind beating the People for the primary time ever, as a result of all of us believed we may, though our possibilities had been actually small.

Additionally, the summer time earlier than the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, I cherished spending a month close to the mountains in Kelowna, British Columbia. Our nationwide workforce stayed at an important resort with a pool, and all of the amenities had been wonderful.”

Finest trip

“Each summer time, I head someplace like Mallorca, Spain, with my household. There may be all the time enjoyable purchasing, good meals, and, in fact, good climate. It’s nice to calm down and luxuriate in time collectively since I’m not dwelling fairly often in the course of the season.”

Future bucket-list journey

“Australia. I’ve heard a whole lot of cool issues about it. After I get extra time to journey for one thing apart from hockey, that’s the place I wish to go.”

Picture Credit: Natalie Spooner: Chris Tanouye/CWHL, Hilary Knight: Shanna Martin-Guide/CWHL

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