So how did she do it? How did Ouellette play so many games with Canada’s National Women's Team, be part of four Olympics, and be an impact player for so long? Ouellette is as humble as they come in the sporting world, always giving credit to others. On her longevity, for instance, Ouellette looks to France St-Louis, a member of Canada’s first-ever Olympic team in 1998.
“France was a big mentor for me at the start of my career. She made me realize that making Team Canada is one thing but playing with the national team for a long time is an entirely different beast,” says Ouellette. “France was the greatest role model. She was very disciplined and in amazing shape. She’s the same idol for me now as an adult as she was for me then. She’s a great mentor in my life.”
Ouellette also mentions Melody Davidson, who coached Ouellette at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympics. Ouellette, now a hockey coach at Concordia University and with Canada’s national program, says she has learned a great deal from Davidson.
“She told us about being an every-day player; loving the game when it’s going well and not going so well.”
Ouellette’s partner Julie Chu, whom Ouellette faced off against in three Olympic Games, says what kept Ouellette performing at such a high level for so long was a continual drive and commitment to get better.
“She was an ultimate competitor,” says Chu. “It didn’t matter if it was a practice or game, she hated to lose. And she honestly took every single rep and went as hard as she could every rep. When you do that, that’s how you end up being great. That’s how you end up improving. She’s a great example of that and she doesn’t shy away from it.”
Ouellette and Chu recently entered a new chapter of their lives with the birth of daughter Liv on Nov. 5, 2017. Ouellette says the experience of parenthood has been like no other.
“I didn’t grow up around babies or kids in my life. So I was a bit worried when I was pregnant, thinking ‘Am I going to know what to do? What if I don’t?,’ or even ‘Am I going to love being a mom?’” says Ouellette. “And then when I first met Liv, it was so powerful. I love her so much. I miss her at night when she’s sleeping and I can’t wait to see her in the morning. It’s the greatest blessing in the world. And I get to experience this journey with my best friend.”
Hockey is already a part of Liv’s life. In fact, Ouellette was pregnant with Liv during the 2017 Clarkson Cup final when she, Chu and their Montreal Canadiennes teammates defeated the Calgary Inferno 4-1.
“I joked with the girls after that one that we were the only team to win the Clarkson Cup with too many players on the ice,” says Ouellette with a laugh.