The Apps hockey story continues, and it now rests on the shoulders of 22 year old Gillian, the powerful winger with Canada’s Women’s Olympic Team.
Gillian Apps comes from a family with great tradition. Her grandfather Syl, played in the NHL from 19 and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961. Her father Syl Jr., played a total of 727 games in the NHL. Now Gillian is adding her own chapter to the Apps legacy, but it’s a chapter to be written in women’s hockey.
“My father’s here and he’s having a great time. It’s really special for me to be able to have my family over here. My dad is really excited to see how the women’s game has grown. He used to coach me when I was younger. It’s just come so far and there are so many girls playing hockey now in Canada, which is great to see. I expect great things in the future for the women’s game. I think my dad is really enjoying it as well.”
Apps didn’t take an easy route to the Olympics. As a promising 18 year old, Apps was released from the Women’s Olympic Team. While it was difficult to take at the time, Apps is now more philosophical about it.
“I was young last time and I can see now that I wasn’t ready that year. I think that the months that I spent with the National Team were huge for me, realizing how far I had to bring my game. Being able to play with such great players, and practice with them every day, I just wanted to be like a sponge and soak everything up.”
“It was hard to be cut but I think I wanted to make sure, in the last four years, that it didn’t happen this time. I’m happy to be part of the team this time in Italy and hopefully things just keep working out.”
Four years later, Apps is thriving under the spotlight of the World at the Olympics. She has been a force on the wing alongside Cherie Piper and Hayley Wickenheiser. She may be an Olympic rookie, but Apps has already five goals, including a hat trick.
Sounds like the Apps legacy is in very good hands.
Apps on the difference between the Olympics and the World Championships
“You have in the back of your mind that this is for an Olympic medal. All the teams here want to bring home an Olympic gold so I think that’s a little of added pressure, but it adds to the excitement and it makes each game more important as we go on in the tournament.”