Women’s hockey, though lacking in air time and media play, still maintains the competitiveness and desire of their male peers. Undoubtedly, when the ladies of Team Canada match-up against the girls of Team USA, these games are one of the best displays of hockey anywhere. Skill, tenacity, and beauty all rolled into one. And it is this beauty that will be the crux of this post. Superficial? Most definitely. Sexist? Quite possibly. Excuse to fawn over female athletes as a hot blooded male? Guilty as charged. Besides, after devoting several paragraphs of man-crush goodness for both ladies and men alike in the past, it’s only appropriate to highlight the grace, elegance, and sheer hotness of the girls on your 2010 Gold Medal winning hockey ladies of Team Canada.
Goalie - Charline Labonté (Canada)
Scrolling along on Team Canada’s roster, initially underwhelmed, when I stopped dead in my tracks coming across this French Canadian. Unlike her peers with their polite and generic smiles, Charline Labonté saw fit to bring out her seductive brown eyes and totally show off the “look”. A long time Team Canada member, she also happens to be one of the most decorated women hockey players currently playing today. And more importantly, much like Patrick Sharp was the impetus for my Team Canada Man-Crush list, Labonté is the main reason for this illuminating endeavour.
Multiple medal, trophy winner internationally and in her university career, it is safe to say Labonté was at the very least Team Canada’s number 1C goaltender with 1A Kim St-Pierre and 1B Shannon Szabados coming into the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games. However, with the goaltender position so deep, in which eventual starter Szabados performed brilliantly, Labonté barely experienced any game action in Vancouver. But as the consummate teammate as she was, Labonté embraced her role as spirit leader, especially illustrated by the numerous post-Gold celebration photographs with Labonté front and centre in several shots (I collected plenty of photos for research purposes).
Furthering her reputation as goalie extraordinaire, Labonté also became the second female after Manon Rhéaume to play in the men’s Major Junior hockey league (QMJHL). Labonté posted a win with Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the 1999-2000 season and dressed in 28 games total. Impressive skills, brown hair, and Quebecois. Femme Fatale.
See, Julie Chu of Team USA proves I’m not the only one who finds Charline deserving of extra attention. Not sure if Charline tied her hair or not, but I’m sort of in love with short hair Labonte. (via cabin9’s flickr)
As if there was any doubt as to why Canada has such a phenomenal flag. She can show me her butterfly stance anytime.
Here’s the thing with Labonté - her smiles always seem real. Sure, receiving an award will make anyone happy, but Labonté appears so natural and at ease. There’s a genuine kindness and calmness to her that’s crazy attractive. Plus, the tight-fitting purple chemise Labonté chose to wear for the event makes all the right angles and saves. Granted, the lack of v-neck makes it a tad conservative, but Labonté is a classy goalie. Can’t expose the front of her net or her 5-hole, amirite? I’ll show myself out. (via CIS-SIS’ flickr)