Her story so far
In her first year of playing with the boys, none of them realized she was a girl until the end-of-year pool party. She then moved back to Canada and slowly worked her way onto more competitive teams, serendipitously landing at the University of Guelph, where she played under Sue Scherer, Canada’s National Women’s Team captain at the 1990 IIHF Women’s World Championship. She completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honours. To this day, one of Cassie’s proudest achievements is winning the OWIAA University Championship in 1995, where she scored two goals in the championship game to lead the Gryphons to victory over a University of Toronto team loaded with national team players. Success in spite of the odds would continue to be a theme throughout her career on and off the ice.
The competition heats up
Cassie joined Team Canada in 1994 after two unsuccessful attempts at being selected in 1990 and 1992. She played defence from 1994-1999, earning a spot on the 1997 IIHF Women’s World Championship All-Star team, before being asked to play forward. The 1998 Olympic Winter Games – the first to host women’s hockey as a medal sport – didn’t go as planned, with Cassie and Team Canada bringing home silver instead of the coveted gold medal. Cassie converted the disappointment she bore as an alternate captain who felt she could have done more to help the pioneering veterans on the team win their only chance at gold, into motivation that sustained her through the rest of her career. The loss taught her the valuable lessons that allowed her to improve and learn new skills, and ultimately mould that silver into back-to-back gold medals in 2002 and 2006.
As team captain, Cassie took full advantage of the opportunities to bring home gold at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, and again in 2006 in Torino, becoming the only Canadian national hockey team captain to lead the nation to two Olympic gold medals. The 2006 Olympic Winter Games closed off a winning career for Cassie, whose career has included winning titles at the Esso Nationals, NWHL Championship, and WWHL Championship.
Life after hockey
Following her retirement from competition, Cassie joined the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team in the fall of 2006, reinforcing her household name in Canada. She was soon gracing the cover of Chatelaine magazine, much to her grandmother’s delight. But through the flashbulbs and media glitz, Cassie’s pedigree as an athlete, a promoter of the game, and a bonafide hockey expert never faded – and that is when the call came…
October 14, 2006, was the second game of Cassie’s broadcasting career – one that she will never forget. CBC colour commentator Harry Neale was going to miss his first game in decades due to inclement weather. When Cassie was invited to fill in and sit alongside play-by-play virtuoso Bob Cole, she thought they were playing a joke on the rookie.
But that night, Cassie became the first woman to do colour commentary on Hockey Night in Canada. An auspicious start to a broadcasting career that would include an analyst position at Sportsnet as well as providing commentary at three Olympic Winter Games, the first at the 2010 home Olympics in Vancouver where she was challenged to stay unbiased watching her former teammates win gold. She is also the first woman to call a men’s Olympic final, joining Mark Lee on radio as Canada beat Sweden at the 2014 Games.
A trailblazer for women in sport, Cassie has stayed true to who she is through it all. For Cassie, it was always important for young girls to see the real person under the jersey, to see what’s possible in the face of adversity, and to see that a woman can succeed on her own terms without giving up control over her public image. Cassie is proud to have been welcomed by the old guard of Canadian hockey, who have always made her feel like a hockey player above anything else. The ultimate compliment.
Serving her community
As one of the best-known members of Canada’s hockey community, Cassie has always made it a priority to use her platform to inspire and help as many people as possible. Through ongoing relationships with a variety of charitable organizations and as an influential board member at well-known Canadian institutions, Cassie strives to make sport a force for positive change.
Order of Canada
In 2016, Cassie’s contributions to the women’s game – both on and off the ice – as a player, broadcaster, and role model were recognized with an appointment to the Order of Canada.
Cassie is married to Brad Pascall, assistant general manager of the Calgary Flames. They welcomed daughter Brooke Violet in 2010. Brooke participates in a wide range of activities in Calgary, where the family lives, including hockey.
Cassie has published a young adult book called H.E.A.R.T., an honest and inspirational look at the ups and downs of her hockey career and the road to success.
Stats at a glance
with Team Canada
international hockey record
medals with Team Canada
|1973||Born in Richmond Hill, Ont., November 22|
|1993||OWIAA Second Team All-Star|
|1995||OWIAA First Team All-Star|
|1996||OWIAA First Team All-Star|
|1996||Guelph Sportswoman of the Year|
|1997||Named to IIHF World Women’s Championship All-Star Team|
|2000||Wins gold with the Toronto Aeros at the Esso Women’s National Championship|
|2000||Named Top Forward at the Esso National Women’s Hockey Championship|
|2001||Wins gold with Team Alta. at the Esso Women’s National Championship|
|2003||Wins gold with Team Alta. at the Esso Women’s National Championship|
|2005||Wins the inaugural WWHL Cup with Calgary Oval X-Treme|
|2006||First woman to provide colour commentary on Hockey Night in Canada|
|2007||Canada Sports Hall of Fame Inductee|
|2008||Cassie Campbell Community Centre opens in Brampton, Ont.|
|2009||Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch relay runner|
|2012||Order of Hockey in Canada|
|2012||Ont. Sports Hall of Fame Member|
|2013||Joins Sportsnet’s broadcast team|
|2014||CWHL Humanitarian of the Year Award|
|2016||Member of the Order of Canada|
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