The Role I Played by Sami Jo Small, ECW Press

The Role I Played: Canada's Greatest Olympic Hockey Team

Small, Sami Jo

  • “Glimpses of her childhood and life outside of hockey come into view, but the main focus is the roller-coaster ride of striving to compete at the sport’s top level.” — Library Journal

    “Sami Jo has an energetic personality that shines through with every story in this book.” — Jennifer Botterill, four-time Olympian

    Two-time Olympic gold medalist offers insider access, writing with unflinching honesty about the triumphs of her greatest games and the anguish of difficult times with the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team

    Men’s hockey in Canada may hog the limelight, but interest in women’s hockey has never been higher. The Role I Played is a memoir of Sami Jo Small’s ten years with Canada’s National Women’s Hockey Team. Beginning with her experience as a rookie at the first-ever women’s Olympic hockey tournament in Nagano in 1998 and culminating with Canada’s third straight Olympic gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, the veteran goaltender gives the reader behind-the-scenes insight into one of the most successful teams in sports history.

    This book honours the individuals who sacrificed so much of their lives to represent Canada on a world stage and celebrates their individual contributions to the team’s glory. While bringing the personalities of her teammates to life, Small takes the reader into the dressing rooms and onto the ice for an up-close glimpse into the ups and downs of athletes pursuing a sport’s highest achievement.


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  • Sami Jo Small is a three-time Canadian Olympic ice hockey goalie (two golds and one silver) and a five-time World Champion. A graduate of Stanford University in mechanical engineering, she now works as a Certified Speaking Professional, delivering messages on how to build successful teams as well as successful teammates. From Winnipeg, Manitoba, she now lives in Mississauga, Ontario.

  • Published: September 2020

    ISBN: 9781770415652

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 344


The Role I Played is a bold and deeply personal testament to the game’s importance, giving fans the good, the bad, and the ugly of competition, while also providing a thorough document of women’s hockey in this country. But more than anything, it highlights the intense emotion, uncertainty, and self-sacrifice inherent to a life of athletic pursuit.” — Quill & Quire

“While many hockey fans will recognize the contributions to the women’s game by American and Canadian stars such as Cammi Granato, Katie King, Haley Wickenheiser and Danielle Goyette, the contributions of players like Sami Jo Small should be recognized as well and this book will bring a lot of information and enjoyment to hockey fans everywhere.” — The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books blog

The Role I Played is important as both a history book and an autobiography, but more than this Small’s book is simply a great book and a great read. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in hockey, women's hockey, the Olympics, women athletes, or just a good autobiography.” — Hockey in Society blog

“A book fans of Canadian hockey should enjoy as they get to know Small, her journey and Team Canada’s journey.” — Yorkton This Week

The Role I Played is a story for any hockey player, fan or coach that has a love for the game and appreciation for the women who helped pave the way for many young girls who play the sport today.” — Women’s Hockey Life

“The Olympic medalist offers a gritty, compelling view of the ups and downs of the demands of an elite athletic life.” — Open Book

“Put all of the pieces together, and Small's book is one that will stand the test of time and should be on every hockey fan's shelves.” — The Ice Garden

“Glimpses of her childhood and life outside of hockey come into view, but the main focus is the roller-coaster ride of striving to compete at the sport’s top level.” — Library Journal

The Role I Played is worth it to two kinds of people — hockey buffs and those who yearn for inspiration.” — Winnipeg Free Press

“Overall, The Role I Played was a quick read for me as I was immersed in Small’s storytelling from the first page right through the epilogue.” — Hockey Blog in Canada

“I highly recommend this book for any and all hockey fans out there.” — The Ice Garden

“In diary form that younger readers should enjoy, she defines camaraderie on a national team and the sacrifices women made for their hockey dreams.” — The Chronicle Herald

“Small offers a fascinating insider's account of the intensity, competition and camaraderie of elite women's hockey.” — Stanford Magazine Biblio File

“Consider it a must-read for women’s hockey fans.” — International Ice Hockey Federation