Jan. 25, 2018

New Canadian stamp commemorates Dinos women's hockey coach Danielle Goyette

Beautiful Canada Post collection acknowledges pioneers of women’s sport
Danielle Goyette gives the thumbs-up as she appeared before a crowd at the announcement at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary. Photos by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
Danielle Goyette gives the thumbs-up at the announcement at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

It has been quite the week for University of Calgary Dinos women’s hockey coach Danielle Goyette. On the heels of a scholarship created in her name on Monday came Tuesday’s news that she would be honoured with the Order of Hockey in Canada. Wednesday, she was part of a group of Canadian female winter sport athletes who will be immortalized on postage stamps across the country.

Canada Post’s Women in Winter Sports collection commemorates six pioneers of women’s sport on five beautiful stamps that will soon be in circulation. Goyette, who has coached the Dinos women’s hockey program since her retirement from the national team in 2007, joins Sharon and Shirley Firth (cross-country skiing); Sonja Gaudet (wheelchair curling); Nancy Greene (alpine skiing); and Clara Hughes (cycling and speedskating, who trained for most of her career at UCalgary’s Olympic Oval).

Goyette’s stamp, designed by Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, features a celebration from one of her many international victories, along with an image showing her powerful left-handed shot wearing her No. 15 Team Canada jersey.

“My coaches always told me to shoot more … look at that shot!” Goyette joked as she spoke to the crowd assembled at the announcement at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary. “I hope it’s a reminder for the rest of their lives!”

“I was so pleased to learn that Canada Post had decided to not only honour Canadian athletes, but more specifically female athletes. As a member of the first Canadian women’s hockey team, my teammates and I broke ground on the international stage. Today, I want to share this honour with all of the amazing women that I ever had the chance and privilege of playing with.”

Goyette pointed out just how far women’s sport has come from the time she had to play with the boys on the outdoor rinks, perfecting her moves on Saturday nights after watching Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, and the Montreal Canadiens on television.

“There were not a lot of female athlete role models for me growing up. Today in Canada, there are far more opportunities for women in sport, specifically hockey, from Timbits all the way to the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.”

Her career trajectory was unconventional, but wildly successful. Moving to Calgary from small-town Quebec to train with the national team program, she spoke little English and had to work hard for everything she achieved — and the list of achievements is lengthy. She is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, an eight-time world champion, and she scored more than 100 international goals during her illustrious career. She carried Canada’s flag at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

After making the transition to coaching, Danielle’s efforts led to the Dinos returning to U SPORTS competition in 2009, and in just their third season back on the circuit they captured the 2012 national title.

She is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame (2015) and the Hockey Hall of Fame (2017).

Her contributions to the University of Calgary were recognized with the creation of the Danielle Goyette women’s hockey scholarship, announced Monday. A group of alumni and supporters of the university came together to create the award, which will fund two student-athletes in women’s hockey with $2,017 each year, in perpetuity, in honour of her year of induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The St-Nazaire, Que. native was further venerated with Hockey Canada’s announcement Tuesday that she would join Mike Babcock and Ryan Smyth in the Order of Hockey in Canada, recognizing her extraordinary career as a trailblazer for young female athletes.

The Women in Winter Sports collection and all related products are available now at retail outlets and online at canadapost.ca.