What comes to mind when you think of hockey? The hits? The fights? The loss of teeth? Think again. There’s a side to the sport that the average hockey fan will never experience – women’s hockey.
Meet Victoria Samuelsson, the 17-year-old daughter of former NHL player turned defensive coach of the New York Rangers, Ulf Samuelsson.
Victoria tried many other sports before she settled on hockey.
“My dad was the one who pushed my to try hockey,” Victoria said. She must be grateful for those nudges today, playing hockey on an international level. Victoria plays for the Swedish national hockey team.
One of the biggest differences between women’s and men’s hockey is that at 17, Victoria is almost at the peak of her career.
“I plan on playing in college. Then, there’s the Olympics and after that I have to get a real job,” she said.
The only options for a professional career as a female hockey player are low- paying professional leagues in Sweden.
“I would have to get another job anyway,” she said.
When people reflect on their childhood, what they reminisce about the most is having no responsibilities and obligations. There will always be those who don’t have a normal childhood – like Victoria who isn’t even 20 and is knee deep in her career. Moving from the United States to Sweden meant she couldn’t go to a normal high school and instead went to an online school. Earning a spot on the Swedish national hockey team meant moving back to the states wasn’t an option.
Soon, Victoria and her family will be moving to California. After taking a year off, she will be starting college and the rest of her life.
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