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Thursday, March 6, 2014 You broke your hand during the tournament and sat out the semifinal against Switzerland, but we didn’t hear much about it. How exactly did that happen?

After the women’s gold medal game, we saw you on TV at the bobsled track cheering on your fellow Canadian athletes. How much camaraderie builds up among the Canadians during the Games, even across sports?

We kept it really, really quiet. I collided with Hayley Wickenheiser in practice on Feb. 16, the day before the semfinal game. It was a very fluke accident — my hand pretty much just caught on her as we skated by each other doing a battle drill. My finger bent the wrong way; it was really fluky. ... After having some discussions with our coaching staff and the medical staff, the goal was to get me back playing in the final game. There was no way I was missing that game; broken bone or not, I was playing. But breaking your hand four days before the Olympic gold medal game that you’ve been preparing for for four years, I was devastated. I didn’t know if I would be able to play, and even the day of the game, going to the rink, I didn’t know if I was going to play one shift or if I would end up going as much as I did. I’m just thankful that the coaching staff and the medical staff believed in me and did absolutely everything in their power to get me back on the ice.

That is my favourite part of the Olympics, having the opportunity to spend time with the other athletes. They have a lounge in our building in the village, and we were able to go up there and hang out with all the other athletes. ... It was important to me to get out and support the other athletes. As a Canadian team, that’s what we’re there for. We’re there to support each other, and I’m just really thankful Speaking of the athletes’ village, we I had the heard a lot about the conditions of the opportunity to living quarters in some parts of Sochi. get to know some of those athletes. From an athlete’s perspective, though,

how was it? Was it as bad as it was made out to be?

Absolutely not. I think the issue was that the hotels where the media were staying weren’t ready for when they got there. And when we saw those articles, we were shocked; we were surprised. The accommodations in the village were absolutely outstanding, and the (Canadian Olympic Committee) made sure we were 100 per cent comfortable. The venues were amazing. I did not have one experience there where I felt things were a mess in any way, shape or form.

There was no way I was missing that game;

broken bone or not, I was playing. There was some talk late in the Games that women’s hockey wasn’t competitive enough because it was Canada and the U.S. in the gold medal game once again, and maybe it shouldn’t be in the Olympics anymore. What are your thoughts on that? Are other countries starting to catch up? Absolutely. Look at the scores of the games; when you compare that to Vancouver, there weren’t nearly as many blowouts. Switzerland winning a bronze medal, with Finland finishing in fifth place and Sweden in fourth — going into (the tournament), people probably would have predicted Finland would have that bronze medal and Switzerland would be in fifth place. Our games against Finland, it was 3-1. Those are tight games; those are not easy games to win. And Switzerland gave us some really good games as well. I think the scores speak for themselves. Yes, it was Canada-U.S. in the final, but it could have been any of the other teams. As a player playing against all of those teams, I can certainly say there is a lot of progress being made.

2018 is still a long way off, but do you see yourself going to Pyeongchang, South Korea, to try for the golden three-peat? I honestly haven’t thought about it. I’m just really trying to enjoy all of this, soak it all in. There’s obviously a lot of requests and events and stuff. Right now, my focus is sharing this medal with all of Canada, and just kind of taking things one step at a time. Right now, I have zero plans on retiring, and we’ll see where things go from here.

Photo: Sun Media News Services

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St. Albert Leader March 6, 2014  

St. Albert Leader March 6, 2014

St. Albert Leader March 6, 2014  

St. Albert Leader March 6, 2014

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