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Three time Olympian Charline Labonté Announces Retirement

By Kristi Patton on September 27, 2017

Three-time Olympian Charline Labonté, who helped Les Canadiennes des Montreal win the Clarkson Cup last season, announced her retirement. (Chris Tanouye/CWHL)

Messages to four time Olympic gold medalist goaltender Charline Labonté flooded social media after the announcement she is retiring from international competition with Canada’s national women’s team.

“When I first stepped on to the ice age at of four, little did I know it would be the day that would shape the next 30 years of my life,” said Labonté in a released statement. “Now, four Olympic gold medals later and a three decade career under my belt, I feel as though I am ready to say goodbye to the game that has not only brought me so much joy, but that has helped raise me into the woman I am today.”

 

 

While her career with Hockey Canada is over, she still has things cooking. The longtime goaltender has plans to focus on a new career in the culinary industry and will remain connected to hockey through coaching and sport psychology.

“I’ve had the chance to experience memorable moments with Hockey Canada,” said Labonté. “The coaches, the staff, and my teammates led me to win four Olympic medals, but above that, they are all exceptional people who have had a great influence on my life. I feel privileged to have lived as many great moments with my best friends.”

 

Video highlight reel from Hockey Canada

Labonté, 34, made her debut with Canada’s National Women’s Team on an international tour against Sweden and the United States in the fall of 2001, the first of 61 games she would play wearing the red-and-white.

She finishes her international career with a 1.51 goals-against average, .919 save percentage, 16 shutouts, and a 45-12-1 record, ranking second all-time in games played, minutes played (3,374), shutouts, and wins.

“To my my teammates, thank you for being a constant source of support and inspiration. You are my second family and I will cherish our journey together forever. To my coaches and trainers, thank you for pushing me beyond my comfort zone day in and day out. It has allowed me to say goodbye to you today as a champion. To the fans of the game, it will always be an honour to have played in front of you,” said Labonté.

The Boisbriand, Que., native won Olympic gold with Canada in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. At the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, Labonté led all goaltenders with a 0.33 GAA and .976 save percentage.

She is also a two-time gold-medallist and six-time silver-medallist at the IIHF Women’s World Championship, helping Canada to the top prize in 2007 and 2012, and earning Top Goaltender honours at the 2009 edition of the tournament.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Charline from her debut with our national women’s program to now; her ability to bring a high level of professionalism and passion each and every day is what has always set her apart,” said Melody Davidson, general manager of national women’s team programs for Hockey Canada. “She is a terrific teammate, but more importantly an incredible person and we wish her all of the best as she embarks on a new chapter in her life.”

 

 

Tom Renney, CEO of Hockey Canada also shared a message to Labonté.

“I want to thank Charline for her dedication to Canada’s National Women’s Team. Her accomplishments in goal for Canada are tremendous; as a four-time Olympian she leaves behind an incredible legacy and we wish her success as she sets her focus on a new career.”

Labonté also had a successful career playing for Les Canadiennes des Montreal in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, culminating in winning her first Clarkson Cup last season after backstopping the team two two finals appearances in 2012-13 and 2014-15. She was also named goaltender of the year for three seasons in a row.

“It’s sad to see her leave,” said Canadiennes teammate Cathy Chartrand. “Having Charline behind you always gave us confidence. We grew up together and followed in each other’s footsteps. We want her to start the next stage of her life and we hope it will go well for her.”

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By Kristi Patton| September 27, 2017
Categories:  Female
Keywords:  Female National

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