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Hayley Wickenheiser will make 2014 Sochi Games her last Olympics

One of the biggest subjects of this week’s 2010 World Hockey Summit was the state of women’s hockey, which was actually the focus of today’s talks. As I discussed last weekend, Canadian national team captain Hayley Wickenheiser has been one of the leading voices discussing ways to improve the Olympic competitions from being a glorified tournament to pump up the American and Canadian programs.

After many years of being a prominent player for Team Canada, Wickenheiser announced today that the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be her final Olympic appearance. Here is the word from

Canadian women’s hockey superstar Hayley Wickenheiser, 32, announced Thursday at the Molson World Hockey Summit that the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be her final Olympic appearance with the national team. She, however, did not announce her full retirement from the national team.

Wickenheiser, 32, has played for Team Canada for the past 17 years and has been an integral part of the team’s run of three-straight gold medals in Olympic competition, including a championship-game victory over the United States this past February in Vancouver. Wickenheiser captained the Canadians in that tournament.

Wickenheiser was the keynote speaker during Thursday morning’s session of the Summit, which focused on how women’s hockey could become more competitive in the run-up to Sochi 2014.

She accomplished a lot as a player, but chances are, Wickenheiser’s biggest challenges will come behind the scenes. The women’s game faces plenty of obstacles to overcome when it comes to increasing worldwide participation, but Wickenheiser and others will do the best they can to improve the game.

I’m sure she wouldn’t mind winning another gold medal along the way, though.