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Marie-Philip Poulin: five things about an ice hockey superstar

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 20:  Marie-Philip Poulin #29 of Canada celebrates during the flower ceremony after defeating the United States 3-2 in overtime during the Ice Hockey Women's Gold Medal Game on day 13 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 20, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Canada’s Marie-Philip Poulin is widely regarded as the finest women’s ice hockey player in the world. She proved the key player as her country won back-to-back Olympic gold medals at the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Here are five facts about the Canadian sporting superstar…

Double heroine

Poulin scored the winning goals in the finals of both the 2010 and 2014 Games. In fact that doesn’t quite do her justice: Poulin scored both of the goals in the 2010 final, as Canada beat USA 2-0 in Vancouver. She scored the equaliser to take it to 2-2 and then the overtime winner against USA in 2014. Safe to say that Poulin was the difference between gold and silver on both occasions for her ice hockey-mad nation.

Miracle match

In the 2014 final, Canada had trailed the USA 2-0  with less than four minutes to go. Then with an empty net to aim at, the USA had hit the post. Brianne Jenner struck to give Canada a glimmer of hope in the third period – and then Poulin stepped forward to show why she’s one of the very best. With less than a minute to go, she equalised to take the game into overtime, and then she struck the winner to break US hearts. “It was, to be honest, a miracle,” she said afterwards. “It was a game of hockey that is going to be in the history books forever.” Very true.

Sharing Sidney Crosby’s limelight

Poulin, 26, has been dubbed the ‘Sidney Crosby of women’s hockey’ after the captain of the Canadian men’s team, who also won back-to-back golds in 2010 and 2014. “I am lucky to have people compare me to him,” Poulin said. “I am not sure how I feel about it, I get really shy.”

“It was, to be honest, a miracle. It was a game of hockey that is going to be in the history books forever.”

Starting young

Like so many sporting stars, Poulin started out in the sport at a very young age. She was figure skating at four and took up ice hockey a year later. “I have an older brother that was playing and wanted to do what he was doing,” Poulin explained.

Paying the bills

It may surprise many to hear that the finest player in the world has to have a day job to pay the bills. So too do the rest of Poulin’s Canada team-mates. Last year she got a new job as skills coach of McGill University’s women’s hockey team. “We have to work on the side to live,” she said. “All my team-mates have full day jobs and at night they play hockey.”

 

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