Canadian Women's Hockey League [CWHL] (charlinelabonte.com, 04 Apr 2013)Start of sporting career
She began playing ringette at age five and transitioned to hockey at age nine. Until she joined the women's national team programme in 2001, she mostly played on boys' teams. "I was from a small town on the south shore of Montreal and we moved so my parents wanted me to meet new people, so they put me in to ringette. I just loved hockey. I'm not sure why, my family are a bunch of artists so they don't know anything about sports and especially not hockey." (mcgill.ca, 21 Feb 2008; weekesmedia.com, 22 Feb 2013)Reason for taking up this sport
She had always liked hockey and started to take it more seriously when she realised she had a chance to make it professionally and accomplish her dream of competing at an Olympic Games. "When I realised that this is something that may be possible for me I put everything in to it. I don't think I was necessarily talented but I knew that I was a hard worker and this could maybe get me far. I figured I had nothing to lose just trying to achieve a goal, and when I realised that maybe one day I could make it to the Olympics I just did everything I could to achieve that dream." (weekesmedia.com, 22 Feb 2013)Most memorable sporting achievement
Winning her first gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. "It was the best moment in my hockey life. It's hard to explain, you really have to be there to know what it's like. Winning a gold medal with my best friends, with my family in the stands, was unbelievable." (mcgill.ca, 21 Feb 2008) Hero
Canadian NHL goaltender and Olympic gold medallist Marc-Andre Fleury. (olympic.ca, 01 Jan 2011) Most influential person in career
Alongside her parents Pierre and Diane she also cites goaltending coach Francois Allaire, whose hockey school she attended for 10 years, as the person having helped her most in her hockey career. (mcgill.ca, 21 Feb 2008) Awards
She was named Top Goaltender by the Tournament Directorate at the 2009 IIHF World Championships and was named McGill female Athlete of the Year [Gladys Bean trophy] in 2009.
(charlinelabonte.com, 04 Apr 2013; cwhl.ca, 13 Jul 2012; cwhl.ca, 19 Jul 2012 )
She became the second female player, after Manon Rheaume, to play men's major junior hockey in Canada when she played with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's [QMJHL] Acadie-Bathurst Titans. She started playing in the QMJHL in 1999, at the age of 17, when she became backup goaltender for the Acadie-Bathurst Titans, before moving on to women's hockey in 2003. (mcgill.ca, 21 Feb 2008, charlinelabonte.com, 04 Apr 2013) General
After gaining a bachelor's degree in physical education from McGill University, in 2013 she was attending McGill's graduate school pursuing a master's in sport psychology. (charlinelabonte.com, 04 Apr 2013)
ICE HOCKEY CARD
As a result of playing in the QMJHL she was featured on a hockey card issued by Upper Deck in their 1999-2000 Prospects set [card #54]. "It was very weird to see myself on a prospect card. I never imagined I would ever end up on it. I guess that year was just a bunch of 'firsts' for me and I simply tried to enjoy everything and learn as much as possible." (cwhl.ca, 13 Jul 2012)
She was the first athlete ambassador for former NHL goaltender Kevin Weekes' clothing brand 'I Have No5', which also tries to promote grassroots hockey and community involvement in hockey. "I grew up watching Kevin play in net so I was just really attracted right away. I like the idea behind getting in touch with the community, everyone being involved no matter what level of play, no matter what you do. I just really like his mentality and the values that NO5HOLE brings and tries to spread."
(weekesmedia.com, 22 Feb 2013; thegoalieguild.com, 22 Oct 2012) Social Media
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