ice hockey

A Look at Some Notable Winter Olympics Ice Hockey Records

Canada is the most decorated country in the sport but who ranks second in the all-time medal count?

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

One of the most popular events in the Winter Olympics is ready to take center stage in Beijing. 

Ice hockey is back once again and while NHL players won’t be participating, there is still a ton of talent that will be on display. 

In PyeongChang, there were a few Olympic records set in ice hockey and there is a chance for some more to be set in Beijing. 

Here is a look at some of the records for Olympic ice hockey. 

Which countries have the most Olympic gold medals in men’s ice hockey?

Canada is the most decorated country in the sport, boasting a record nine gold medals and 16 total medals in 24 appearances.

The Soviet Union ranks second all-time with seven gold medals, while the United States ranks second in total medals with 11 (two gold, eight silver, one bronze). Sweden (two), Czech Republic (one), Great Britain (one), Unified Team (one) and Olympic Athletes of Russia (one) have also won gold medals.

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Czechoslovakia, Finland, Germany, Russia and Switzerland have all medaled without winning gold.

Which countries have the most Olympic medals in women’s hockey?

When it comes to women’s ice hockey at the Olympics, it’s been Canada and the United States running the show. 

The women’s event is fairly new to the Winter Olympics, having been established in 1998, but out of those six Olympics, Canada and the United States are tied for the lead in medals with six. Canada has won gold four times and silver twice while the United States has two golds, three silvers and a bronze. 

Finland is in third with three medals, all bronze. Sweden and Switzerland are the only other countries to medal in the event, with Sweden having a silver and a bronze and Switzerland owning a bronze. 

Who has appeared at the most Olympic Games in hockey?

The record for most appearances at the Olympics is shared by two Finnish men’s ice hockey players. 

Teemu Selänne and Raimo Helminen each share the honor, having gone to six Olympic Games during their careers. Helminen made his first Olympic Games in 1984 and his last came in 2002. The Finnish forward won a silver and two bronze in his long Olympic career. 

Selänne started his Olympic career with Finland in 1992 and played in every Olympics up to 2014, with the exception of the 1994 Games, so he played on the same team as Helminen for three Olympics. “The Finnish Flash” won a silver and three bronze medals. 

Which players have won the most medals in Olympic ice hockey?

Two Canadian women hold the record for most medals won in Olympic ice hockey. 

Forwards Jayna Hefford and Hayley Wickenheiser each have four gold medals and a silver medal. The two played on Team Canada from 1998 to 2014. The two helped Canada win four consecutive gold medals between 2002 and 2014. 

Both are ingrained in Canadian women’s ice hockey history. Hefford scored the game-winning goal in the gold medal game of the 2002 Olympics against the United States. Wickenheiser twice was named tournament MVP at the Olympics (2002 and 2006). 

Who is the oldest player to medal in Olympic ice hockey?

History was made at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Finland’s Riikka Sallinen became the oldest player to medal in ice hockey at the Olympics when the Finnish women’s team took bronze. 

Sallinen was 44 years old in 2018 when she won her second career bronze medal. She won her first bronze 20 years ago at the 1998 Olympics. Selänne had previously held the record after winning bronze in 2014 at 43 years old. 

Who is the youngest player to medal in Olympic ice hockey?

The youngest player to win a medal playing ice hockey at the Olympics is Alina Müller of Switzerland. The Swiss forward was just 15 years old when she helped her country to a bronze medal at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. 

Müller also played in 2018 with Switzerland and she has another chance to play in 2022 – and she hasn’t even graduated college yet. Currently, she plays on the women’s ice hockey team at Northeastern University. 

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