Sunohara, Vicky

Vicky Sunohara was born May 18, 1970 in Scarborough, Ontario. Her family is Japanese and Ukrainian, and her grandparents on her Japanese side were victims of Canada’s infamous World War Two internment camps; forced to leave British Columbia they came to Ontario after the war. Vicky’s father David played hockey at the university level for Ryerson University and taught Vicky the game of hockey in the basement of the family home. He built a rink in their backyard and taught Vicky how to skate. By the age of five, Vicky was playing hockey on a boys’ team but soon after was forbidden from playing with boys and instead played on a girls’ team. Growing up, she enjoyed competing in all sports and liked being challenged on the ice and loved all types of hockey. At the high school level, she attended Stephen Leacock Institute in Scarborough. She also played many other sports, and she excelled at soccer in particular. She has stated that there were times growing up when she wanted to be someone else because of her Asian heritage; she experienced name-calling and bullying, but she fought through it with her mother’s help. She went on to an extremely successful career at the University of Toronto, and then she represented Canada at eight Women’s World Hockey Championships from 1990 to 2007, playing centre and coming away with seven gold medals and one silver medal. She also participated in the first three official women’s hockey competitions at the Olympic Winter Games. She won a silver medal at the 1998 Games in Nagano, a gold medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City and a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin. She has since gone on to raise a family and to coach university hockey – not to mention her own sons’ team. Vicky visited us at Crestwood in March 2024, sharing breakfast with Crestwood girls and then doing an interview with members of the girls’ hockey team.