February 09, 2014

Carla MacLeod

This is Carla MacLeod. She won Olympic gold medals with Team Canada's womens team at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. The blue liner who starred at the University of Wisconsin also helped Canada in four world championships, winning 1 gold and 3 silver. She was even named MVP of the 2009 tourney.

That's quite the hockey resume. But what else would you expect from someone who is distantly related (thanks to her paternal grandmother) to Maurice "Rocket" Richard.

“If you asked me four years ago what I’d be doing now I certainly wouldn’t have said flying to Japan every month,” MacLeod told Mike Brophy in an interview. “It has been really neat to go over there and experience the culture and be able to understand Japan.”

MacLeod's former Team Canada coach Melody Davidson recommended her to Japan. She started out as a volunteer but now is the paid assistant coach to the women's national team.

“I can tell you I enjoy coaching more than I ever did playing,” she said. “I absolutely love it whether it’s at Mount Royal in Calgary or in Japan. When (Japan) won the last game of the Olympic qualifier and we knew we were going, I’ve never felt such pride."

With MacLeod's help the Japanese women have learned to be more aggressive on the ice and better positioned defensively. They have returned to the Olympics in Sochi for the first time since they hosted the Olympics in Nagano 1998.

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