Women’s Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics
Women’s ice hockey is one of the famous winter sports for women in the United States which came into existence in the late 19th century when women started to show interest in playing hockey in informal settings. It took the proper shape between the 1960s to 1970s. The first women’s ice hockey tournament took place in 1968, in Duluth, Minnesota. The tournament was organized and developed by USA Hockey (then the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States) and featured four teams. The game gained enormous popularity and continued to grow in the 1970s.
In 1980, the first Women’s National Hockey Championship was held, with six teams competing for the title. The championship became an annual event, and in 1990, the first Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship was held in Ottawa, Canada. The United States took home the gold medal, defeating Canada in the final. All these paved the way for women’s ice hockey to have its own place in the winter Olympics. Continue reading to know more about the history of the women’s Olympic ice hockey tournament and the top female ice hockey players in the Olympics.
History of the Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament
The first women’s ice hockey tournament was held at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. At the Nagano Games, the tournament featured six teams: Canada, the United States, Finland, Sweden, China, and Japan. The United States won the gold medal, defeating Canada in the championship game by a score of 3-1. Finland won the bronze medal. At the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, the format of the women’s ice hockey tournament was changed to feature eight teams instead of six. The United States once again won the gold medal, defeating Canada 3-2 in the championship game. Sweden won the bronze medal. The 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, saw another change in the format of the women’s ice hockey tournament. The tournament was split into two groups of four teams each, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinals. The United States won the gold medal, defeating Sweden 4-1 in the championship game. Canada won the bronze medal.
Where did the first women’s ice hockey tournament take place?
- A. Minnesota
- B. Texas
- C. Ohio
- D. California
All-time famous female ice hockey players in the Olympics
- One of the co-founders of the US Women’s National Team was Cammi Granato, who made her debut at the 1990 women’s ice hockey world championship. She has won two Olympic medals—one gold and one silver—to date.
- Brianna Decker has won gold at the World Championships, NCAA, CWHL, and NWHL championships in addition to her three Olympic medals, two silver, and one bronze.