Hockey Canada Network |
Thornhill's Gillian Ferrari Going 'Home' for The Olympics
February 9, 2006

Gillian Ferrari had been delaying a return to her father’s native land of Italy for a while now. But this eason, the time has right, and Ferrari made a first return to Italy with Canada’s National Women’s Team for the Torino Ice Tournament in November. This was her last chance to earn a spot on Team Canada for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Now, she’s back in Italy as she had hoped. Wearing Canada’s colours on the biggest sporting stage in the World.

Now experiencing the ultimate Canadian dream, Ferrari is from a family that has acheived its own Canadian dreams. Both of Ferrari’s parents emigrated to Canada from Europe at a young age, in search of opportunities.

Ferrari’s father, Raffaello, left Italy and his hometown of Braccia at the age of 18, looking to pursue his career in Canada. As a young and talented Italian Chef, Raffaello was hopeful that he could fulfill his dreams across the Atlantic Ocean where there would be less Italian Chefs than in Italy. In Canada, Raffaello met and married another new Canadian, Claire, who had moved to Canada from Wales.

Raffaello Ferrari took advantage of his opportunities, becoming a very reknowned and respected Chef in the Toronto area. He passed away in 1996, but his dream of his family going back to Italy is coming true. Ferrari’s mother and brother Jonathan are both heading to Turin to visit Raffaello’s native land, but also to cheer on their daughter/sister and their home country, Canada.

“My Dad loved Canada. He never regretted moving here one bit, with all the opportunities he got here. But I remember him speaking of how beautiful Italy was, that ‘when you’re older, we’re going to go as a family …I’m going to show you this and this and this’. He loved Italy and where he came from. But he really loved Canada too.”

“It’s going to be very special for me to be in Italy and to play for Canada at the same time.”

While the possibility of playing for Canada in Italy at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games was clearly a dream that Ferrari was chasing, she was always afraid of jinxing it. Scared of making too much of this dream.

“Going into it, I didn’t really want to give it too much thought, because obviously, I knew how difficult it is to make this team. I didn’t want to put any more pressure on myself, more than there already was. As soon as I found out that the Olympics were going to be in Italy, it became really important for me to go. My brother and I are of Italian heritage. It’s where my Dad is from. I went to Italy when I was two but I hadn’t been there since.”

“It was like a goal for myself. ‘I’m only going back to Italy if it’s for the Olympics. I don’t want to go any sooner.’ That gave me that extra kick in the behind to make it there.”

With a last name like Ferrari, she is sure to get some extra attention, along with teammate Meghan Agosta.

“When we were there in November, I got to here people speaking – and it made me think of my father. The same accent. They definitely noticed my name. And then I’d hear them say ‘Ferrari’ the italian way.”

“It sounds so much better,” she adds with a laugh.

“A lot of people ask me if I’m related to the Ferrari car family. But I haven’t really explored it that much. I think if I was, I wouldn’t be worrying about my finances too much.”

Who knows? With some success at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and a little recognition as a Canadian with some Italian roots, maybe it’s the Ferrari car family that will come looking for Gillian.

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

2014 Esso Cup: SUD 6 - FRA 3
Apr 24, 2014
A trio of Lady Wolves scores two goals each to lead Sudbury over Fraser Valley.
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SUI 2
Apr 24, 2014
Konecny’s late goal sends Canada to the semifinals in Lappeenranta.
2014 TELUS Cup: HFX 5 - OKA 4
Apr 24, 2014
Halifax scored four times in the third period to stun Okanagan.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 3 - CHA 1
Apr 24, 2014
Harland had the winner to help the Young Nationals to the victory.
2014 Esso Cup: EDM 4 – STC 3 (OT)
Apr 24, 2014
Alexandra Poznikoff scored 4:21 into overtime to win it for the Thunder.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 3 - EDM 2
Apr 23, 2014
A pair of power play goals in the second led Sudbury to its third win.
2014 Esso Cup: FRA 7 – MON 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Phantom fired 50 shots on net in picking up its first win of the Esso Cup.
2014 TELUS Cup: HAL 3 - CHA 7
Apr 23, 2014
Eight players had multi-point games to lead Châteauguay to its first win.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 4 - MJ 2
Apr 23, 2014
Marco Bozzo’s hat trick helped the Young Nationals to another win.
2014 Esso Cup: STC 3 - WEY 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Sabres scored three in the first and hung on to defeat the Gold Wings.
2014 TELUS Cup: OKA 1 - PA 1
Apr 23, 2014
Kjargaard and Bryshun traded goals in yet another tie game.
2014 Esso Cup STC 2 – SUD 1
Apr 22, 2014
A shorthanded goal from Alexa Vasko late in the second was the difference.
Photo Credit: