olympics

Finland’s Olympic Female Hockey Goalie Says She Will Quit If She Can’t Play On A Men’s Team

Female hockey players make significantly less money than men. Finland’s goalie, Noora Räty, says she will be forced into retirement if she can’t play on a professional competitive team.

1. Finland’s goalie, Noora Räty, said that she plans to retire after the Sochi Olympics unless she can play in a competitive league that doesn’t require her to work a second job.

Phil Noble / Reuters

Given the status quo, Räty says, this means she would need to play in a men’s league. She says she made the decision after realizing that quitting the sport she loves might be the only way to make a living and sustain herself financially.

2. Räty said she wanted to make the announcement after Sochi, but let it slip in an interview. She then tweeted a longer statement explaining her reasoning.

3. “Before the season started, I made a decision that my national team career will end here in Sochi,” she wrote. “Also, I will hang up my skates for good if I can’t play professional hockey IN A COMPETITIVE LEAGUE next season.”

Chuck Myers / MCT

4. “I’m 24-years-old, out of the college, single, and the money doesn’t grow in trees,” Räty explained.

Laszlo Balogh / Reuters

5. “And I’m not the only player having this problem… the majority of female players have the same problem.”

Jim Young / Reuters

6. “In fact, I don’t feel that women’s hockey can grow or get any better in the future if the USA or Canada don’t get a professional league started soon.”

Jim Young / Reuters

7. “That is the next critical step that our sport needs to take or our sport will never be respected like it should be. Asking players to work full-time and then training like a pro athlete at the same time is just too much and unfair.”

10. Women’s teams have been formed following Olympic games before, and so it’s possible (but not likely) that either a professional female Hockey team may form, or that Räty will be picked up by an all male team.

11. A Daily Dot article on the subject noted that some women have played on men’s hockey teams in the past; Canadian goalie Manon Rhéaume played for several professional minor-league teams in the ’90s.

REUTERS/Matt Slocum

12. “Basically, if a world-class female hockey player wants to get paid to do her job, then she has a better chance of doing so in a men’s team than of waiting for a professional women’s league to show up before she retires,” the Daily Dot article says.

Pool / Reuters

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