Hi Amanda, please start off by introducing yourself.
My name is Amanda Pelkey. I am an Olympic Gold Medalist in women’s ice hockey and a two time World Champion.
I began playing hockey when I was three years old when I strapped on my brother’s roller blades and skated down the hall way in my house. From that point on, I was hooked to the sport. I grew up in the small state of Vermont playing boys hockey.
At the time, girls hockey was just growing within our state and it wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school that I played for the girls year round. Now, girls have endless opportunities to play the sport but we still have a long way to go for advocating!
I am currently an active player in the PWHPA (professional women’s hockey players association) and the head coach for a girls hockey academy.
Growing up, did you have a favorite superhero? If so, who and why?
Growing up my I didn’t necessarily have a favorite super hero but my role model still to this day is Cammi Granato.
Cammi was the captain on the 1998 Olympic team that won our first ever Olympic gold medal in women’s ice hockey. Growing up we didn’t get to see much of the USA Women’s team so when we did get to, it was special.
Not only was she a leader on the ice but a trail blazer for our sport. The way in which she carries herself always stood out to me. I got to meet her when I was younger and still to this day has made an impact on me and my career.
Being a female athlete and Olympic Gold Medalist, what has been your biggest daily struggle?
As woman in general, I believe that we all have a sliver of “wanting people to know our worth in the world.
When it comes to female sports, we fight for our visibility everyday. In order for people to value your worth and our skill level we need to be seen.
Back in 2017, my Team USA team mates and I fought for our worth against USA Hockey. Up until that time period we were not compensated for our time as athletes.
Every single day for many years in a row we trained 5 hours a day to be at our best for ourselves and our team mates. We came to agreement as a group that we were going to fight for what we believe was right.
Back in 1998 the Women’s team tried to fight the same fight. The problem was not everyone on the team was united and on board. So it fell through. This time around we understood the importance of being unified as one. I learned the power that it takes when we all stand together. Many people believed we were fighting for simply money. It went beyond that.
We were fighting to be seen more. So little girls could dream the same dream we had.
We decided as a group to boycott our World Championships that we were hosting until USA Hockey came to an agreement with us. It wasn’t until three days before the tournament began that we came to an agreement.It was one of the most powerful moments to ever be apart of it. We won the gold medal that week and the best part about it was to see all the posters in the stands thanking us for fighting.
We now understand the power behind a pack. To all the women out there fighting, stay united.
What is the biggest piece of advice that you give to younger female athletes that you mentor?
The best piece of advice I would give to younger female athletes is to never back down from taking a step forward into the unknown.
Create your own path if you don’t like the path your steps are on now. It is also important to understand that your path may be different than your peer The moment we start to compare and contrast is the moment we might get lost. Be confident but also humble.
Lastly, to always remember that the relationships you make are the most important part of of your journey.
What makes you a Winged Woman?
I am so honored to be apart of this pack!
The moment I read information on this company I felt a spark of creativity and confidence. I have tried many CBD products to help with my migraines and recovery from training. This brand has been my favorite.
Beyond the products, I love how I feel a sense of connection to the purpose. What makes me a Winged Woman is my belief in standing up tall, making new connections, staying healthy and believing in the process of positive change in this world and in sports.
Lastly, what’s one thing you would say to your younger self if you could?
If I could say something to my younger self I would first say hug your family and the people close to you as much as you can. Without them your journey would have been much more difficult.
I would also say to continue to spend as many hours on the out door rink because that’s where your love and passion for hockey grew.
I’d tell her to hold onto that dream of making the Olympics one day. Never lose sight of it. Every day the fire inside will grow and grow. Learn to tame it with excitement towards that goal.
Never lose sight of where you came from and everyone who was apart of the process. Hold on tight to those people and team mates. They are what makes your story whole.
Thank you so much, Amanda Pelkey, for sharing what makes you a Winged Woman and how you’ve become an unstoppable athlete, champion, and Olympic Gold Medalist!! To learn more about Amanda Pelkey, follow her on Instagram, or check out her website.