Calgary – Due to the lack of women’s hockey games … there may be an abundance of women’s hockey games.
Next month, International Ice Hockey Federation (FIHG) officials are expected to confirm the holding of an edition of the Women’s World Hockey Championship in a year where the Winter Olympics will also be held.
Currently, the men’s world hockey championship is presented in the same year as the Olympic Winter Games, but does not have a women’s component.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, FIHG’s board member, Zuzsanna Kolbenhauer, recalled that women’s hockey was the only category within the federation that did not organize an event of great importance during an Olympic year.
Hosting the World Championships in August 2022 means there will be three high-profile women’s tournaments in the span of a year, two years after the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 with very few international women’s hockey teams.
The 2021 World Championships, rescheduled in August and moved to Calgary because Nova Scotia declined to host the event in May, comes less than six months before the Beijing Olympics next February.
The FIHG Council proposes that the World Women’s Hockey Championship be held again in the spring during years when the Olympic Games are not on the calendar.
“The more events we can add to the schedule, the better,” said Hilary Knight, a forward with the United States team.
“We attach great importance to the Olympics, but it is important to present the World Championships in the Olympic year as well,” he said.
For countries running full-time women’s hockey programs in the months before the Winter Olympics, this means they will have to prepare again for the next summer’s World Championships, shortly after the end of the season. Conferring Olympic medals to Beijing.
“If we are to develop our sport to an international level, make sure we are visible and play consistently at this high level, it is important to have a world championship every year,” said Gina Kingsbury, director of sports. National women’s hockey program within Hockey Canada.
The World Women’s Hockey Championship in Calgary is the first to be held in two years. Recently, the lack of matches at the international level has increased the hunger among the players.
“We’re going to take every opportunity to play hockey and play the game,” said Canadian team captain Marie-Philippe Paulin, while acknowledging that women’s hockey players get bored of not playing. Against the best or against the best.
Kolbenhauer believes women’s hockey has made enough progress to host a second major tournament in the Olympic year.
“We all agree on the board, and on the women’s committee, that this is the next step we should take in the development of our sport and the development of women’s hockey.”
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