Thursday, September 10, 2015
Jayna Hefford's international hockey career has come to an end. The Hockey Hall of Fame will be calling soon.
The Kingston, Ontario had been with the Canadian National Women's Team since the 1997 World Championships. She retires as second all-time in Team Canada history in games played (267), goals (157), and points (291).
Hefford is a four-time Olympic gold medallist - 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, with a silver medal added in 1998. In 2002, Hefford famously scored the game-winning goal with two seconds remaining in Canada’s victory against the United States in Salt Lake City.
Hefford is also a seven-time world champion (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2012) and five-time silver medallist (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013) at the World Championships.
She also was 12 time gold medallist at the 3 Nations/4 Nations Cup, winning 5 silver medals there as well.
“Jayna’s accomplishments on the ice speak for themselves, but it is her off-ice contributions to the game and leadership that I admire,” said Melody Davidson, general manager of national women’s team programs, Hockey Canada. “I want to thank Jayna for the leadership she has shown as a veteran and mentor to our younger players, and to the larger hockey community in Canada and around the world.”
Hefford was a tremendous skater, both in terms of speed and balance. But it was her desire to always be better that made her a legend.
"A few years before Vancouver, I decided if I was going to stick in it into my 30s, my mid 30s, I knew I had to get better," said Hefford, only one of five athletes in the world to win gold at four consecutive Olympics. "It wasn't good enough to be there just because I had gotten that far already. I probably had some of my most successful years in the latter part of my career which is something I'm proud of. I saw the results of that hard work."
The new retiree Hefford is a new mom.
"Once you become a parent, it's no longer about you. When I'm reflecting about retirement, I'm thinking a lot more about what my parents did for me growing up and all the selflessness and the sacrifice. I guess I'm more appreciative of what they did to help me live out the dream."