BURLINGTON Ė At 26 years of age, Gizela Blom might seem a little old to be making her senior national team debut, but she is no newcomer to the game. Blom has played for her club team AIK since 2003, including in 2005-06 when the team won the European Womenís Champions Cup. AIK has been the most successful womenís teams in Sweden in the last decade.
When did you start skating? Why?
I was about 5 or 6 years old when I started skating, mostly because of my brother who also played hockey.
Who was your first hockey hero? Why?
Iím not sure, but I love Peter Forsberg and Mats Sundin. Theyíre both really good players.
What was the name of your first team?
Norrtalje. Itís was a little city where I played for the first ten years.
What made you want to take hockey seriously enough to play for the national team?
I love to play hockey. Itís such a cool sport, and itís fast. Youíre skating and shooting. Itís just fun. I love the sport and everything about it, especially playing with the national team and the best players.
Why do you wear number 29?
No. I was just given 29, but with AIK I was always 27. Number 7 was always my favourite, but I see 27 everywhere. Itís my number.
Any pre-game superstitions?
Sort of. I do the same thing before every game. I have the same routine and do the same warmup.
Whatís on your iPod?
Pretty hard music like Guns Ďní Roses or Motley Crue.
What do you remember about your first game with the national team?
It was a fabulous feeling. I had always dreamed about it, so I was pretty nervous. It was fun. I had a few shifts with Maria Rooth on the same line. Sheís a great player, so that was awesome. The tournament was in Finland, and we played Germany.
Whatís your career highlight to date?
I have a lot of them. Iíve won a lot of Swedish championships with AIK. And, of course, all the things with the national team. When we beat Canada this year for the first time with me on the team, and I scored, that was pretty amazing.
Whatís your greatest strength and biggest weakness?
Iím pretty fast. Iím sort of a power forward. For weaknessÖIím not sure. There are so many things I want to do better.
Who on your team do you most admire? Why?
Elin Holmlov. Sheís a great stickhandler and you never know what sheís going to do. Sheís a great player.
What do you want to do after your playing career?
I donít know yet because Iím focused on hockey for a few more years and going to a few more World Championships and the Olympics. Thatís my goal, so Iím not planning for anything after hockey yet.
Finish this sentence. This will be a great tournament ifÖ
Öwe win a medal before we go home.