| Date of Birth:
March 18, 1970
Place of Birth: Scarborough, ON
Residence: Scarborough, ON
Years on National Team:
Weight: 165 lbs
When you think of men's hockey, you're not likely to think of a player of Japanese descent. However, when you think of women's hockey, Japan might be one of the first nations that pops into your mind. For that you can thank Vicky Sunohara, a true Canadian hockey legend on every stage. Vicky's father David Sunohara, who once played hockey for the Ryerson Rams, was a first generation Canadian whose parents hailed from a small Japanese village called Ueda-shi. Sadly, he died when Vicky was only seven, twenty years before his daughter won her first Olympic medal, which ironically happened to be in Nagano, Japan.
While playing on a scholarship for Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, Sunohara was invited to join the Canadian national team way back in 1990. That same year she played in the first ever World Championships and helped bring home the gold. However, that was just the beginning of what would soon turn into a plethora of victories since she matched her gold medal win at the World Championships five more times (1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004). She also captured the silver at the Nagano Games in 1998 after falling to the Americans 3-1. Despite the loss to the Americans, Sunohara became an example to follow for many Japanese fans, who finally had a hockey star to call their own.
Although some may consider a silver medal a great achievement, Sunohara, along with the rest of the Canadian team, was not satisfied. In 2002, the team took Salt Lake City by storm going 5-0, outscoring their opponents 35-5 and beating the Americans 3-2 in the gold medal game.
Apart from all of her achievements at the collegiate and international levels, Vicky has been a force on the Brampton Thunder of the NWHL since the team's inception in 1999. In a career spanning 145 games, she has amassed 98 goal and 136 helpers for a total 234 points, making her the team's all-time leading scorer. Yet, despite some impressive numbers over the years, don't look for Vicky to be a major offensive threat at the Turin Games since she is now known more as a defensive forward with great leadership qualities.
Sunohara owns and operates the Vicky Sunohara Female Hockey School and continues to add to the already indelible mark she has made on women's hockey.
February 13: Sunohara delivers present from Turin
2006 Hockey Coverage