The Sochi Winter Olympics are starting in February and we couldn’t think of a better winter athlete to do our quote of the month than former NHL superstar Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League for four teams from 1979 to 1999. He is the leading point scorer in NHL history and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season. Gretzky has appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals 6 times with two different teams. He won the cup four times in a row with the Edmonton Oilers in the late-80s. Following his retirement, Gretzky went on to purchase a minority stake in the Phoenix Coyotes NHL franchise and would later become their head coach for five seasons. Gretzky made his first international appearance as a member of the Canadian national junior team at the 1978 World Junior Championships in Montreal, Quebec and Canada went on to win the bronze medal. Gretzky debuted with the Team Canada’s men’s team at the 1981 Canada Cup. He led the tournament in scoring with 12 points en route to a second-place finish to the Soviet Union. Gretzky would lead Canada to Gold in the 1984, 1987, and 1991 Canada Cups. Gretzky would help Canada win silver in the 1996 World Cup after the tournament was revived and renamed to the World Cup.

The 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan were the first Olympics where NHL players were allowed to participate. Expectations were high for the Canadian team, but the team lost to the Czech Republic in the semi-finals. Gretzky was Executive Director of the Canadian men’s hockey team at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Gretzky was the final Olympic torchbearer at the 2010 Winter Olympics and was named Special Advisor to the Canada men’s national ice hockey team. Gretzky had an uncanny ability to judge the position of the other players on the ice that many said that he played like he had ‘eyes in the back of his head’. His intelligence and reading of the game were unrivaled and he could consistently anticipate where the puck was going to be and execute the right move at the right time. This is what Gretzky would say when asked what makes a great hockey player…

“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” - Wayne Gretzky

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