Sami Jo Small went to the Olympics as netminder for Canada's women's hockey team, winning a gold medal. Small went to college at Stanford as a scholarship track and field athlete, specializing in the javelin, discus and hammer throw.
She also played volleyball at the provincial level in her home of Manitoba. Small is convinced each of these sporting experiences to shape her skills both as an athlete and a teammate.
"I know for me personally, it certainly helped with balance in my life," Small said of her multi-sport experience. "What I could learn in one sport directly attributed to improvement in the other sports, as well as learning about my teammates and being a teammate in a different aspect.
"Each sport had its own attributes that helped utlimately with my goaltending career."
Not being immersed in hockey 24/7, Small is convinced that this was a key factor in helping her development as as world-class netminder.
"I think the biggest one is the balance that it created in my life," Small said. "For my own mental health, always being busy and having something to do prevented me from thinking too much or dwelling too much on a previous game or practice that maybe didn't go as well."