The Athlete | Sarah Nurse
Canadian women’s hockey player Sarah Nurse led Team Canada to a gold medal win in the 2022 Olympics and broke the points record for a single Olympic tournament while doing so — she recorded five goals and 13 assists, surpassing the previous record held by Hayley Wickenheiser since Turin 2006. She became the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold in hockey, paving the way for thousands of young Black girls hoping to follow in her footsteps. She also made history this year as the first women’s hockey player to appear on the cover of EA Sports NHL 23
By Natalie Spooner, National Women’s Hockey Team player
I remember the opening day of training during centralization for the 2018 Olympics and thinking, “Sarah Nurse is going to be a force to be reckoned with.” She has always been a strong, dynamic player who can do it all: win faceoffs, kill penalties and, of course, score. Female hockey players face a ton of obstacles, and for Sarah the path was even harder — as she was often one of the only Black players on her team. In true Sarah fashion, she never let this hold her back and ultimately became the first Black woman to play hockey in the Olympics. Sarah didn’t let her opportunity go to waste, and at these past Olympics, we saw her breakout by setting a record for points in a single Olympics. Coming out of the Olympics, Sarah used her success to open doors and make even more space for women in hockey — becoming the first-ever female cover athlete on EA Sports NHL 2023! She’s a true trailblazer, paving the way for so many young Black girls, not just in Canada but around the world. Because of Sarah, there are new kids putting on skates and picking up sticks, experiencing the game so many Canadians love as she opens the door for a more diverse future in hockey. She continues to be a key part of Team Canada, and I can’t wait to watch her add to her list of accomplishments as she continues to carve her path toward the next Olympics. So I guess the 2018 me was right, because Sarah Nurse is a force to be reckoned with.
See our full list of Toronto’s most inspiring women of 2022 here.