F.H.C.

Field Hockey Canada
Men's National Team

Chris GIFFORD


Chris Gifford
Forward
National Team Caps
228
Height, Weight188 cm (6'2"), 84 kg (185 lbs)
Date of BirthMarch 20, 1966
BirthplaceVancouver, British Columbia
ResidenceVancouver, British Columbia
ClubWest Vancouver F.H.C.
Athlete Stick Sponsor
Malik

Occupation:
  • landscape gardener, Gifford Gardening

Major Competitions



2000 Olympic Games
2000 Olympic Games
  • 1987 Pan American Games, Indianapolis (1st)
  • 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul (11th)
  • 1989 Intercontinental Cup, Madison, USA (2nd)
  • 1990 World Cup, Lahore (11th)
  • 1991 Pan American Games, Havana (2nd)
  • 1993 Intercontinental Cup, Poznan (7th)
  • 1995 Pan American Games, Mar del Plata (2nd)
  • 1996 Olympic Qualifier, Barcelona (6th)
  • 1996 World Cup Preliminary, Sardinia (2nd)
  • 1997 World Cup Qualifier, Kuala Lumpur (5th)
  • 1998 World Cup, Utrecht (8th)
  • 1999 Pan American Games, Winnipeg (1st)
  • 2000 Americas Cup, Cuba (2nd)
  • 2000 Olympic Games, Sydney (10th)

Other Competitions
Personal File:
  • enjoys golf and skiing

           WORTH NOTING...           
(Note: interview done in June 1999)

Winnipeg will be your forth Pan American competition!

Multisport events are always great. More media exposure, meeting other athletes, slowly building up a fan base throughout the two week tournament as people start to realize that Canada is in the hunt for Gold! Most memorable field hockey moment? Winning the 1987 Pan Am Gold against Argentina! I played the last two minutes with my hands in the air and the score 3-1. Ross Rutledge had just undressed the keeper at the centre line, as Argentina pressed forward, and ran the ball in for the clinching 3rd goal. Unbelievable! Biggest international goal? 1989 Intercontinental Cup (World Cup Qualifier): Canada vs India in the semi final. Nicki Sandhu played a 50 yard ball to me as I was streaking inside, one touch into the circle ahead then I dove to chip it over the charging keeper. My next recollection is the face first into the goalie pads followed by my teammates piling on top of me to celebrate. I never saw the ball enter the net! Major hockey influence? Shiv Jagday: inspiring, his dedication and love of the game brings out your best, almost as a thank you. Other athletes you admire? The Greats, Jordan, Gretzky, not so much because of their talent but because of their consistency, perseverance and commitment. I often thought about the challenges of being a professional athlete versus the challenges faced by ourselves. What is more difficult? Same performance demands but the pros have to face the media, earn a living and handle consistent pressures while we deal with underfunding and balancing careers with work or school. Which path gives you more? Most significant moment in your career? Looking to the 1991 Olympic Qualifier in New Zealand as a breakthrough year; then the sad news that my father had been struck with cancer and I returned to Vancouver. This gave me a new perspective on hockey: part of life, not life itself! New goals, attitude and refocused dedication.

My Dad was the one who showed me the path to being here today. He took a stand on the kind of people that I chose to hang around with and the activities I got involved in. He supported me in sports he knew, ice hockey, basketball and track and field, and also in a sport he was unfamiliar with, field hockey. Lately, I've been wondering why it is that I chose to pursue the sport that my Dad was less familiar with.

What kind of player are you? Hard-working, extremely fit, team player, always available to lend support or a helping hand. I remember talking to Rick Roberts about staying positive, keeping things simple. Who are you off the field? Hockey is also about the circle of friendships. Teammates have always been a significant part of my social life. I was recently married to Sandy and I am now enjoying new friendships away from the game. Family life has taken on greater significance in the last few years. It is challenging to find the time with weekends and evenings committed to hockey.

Top 5 Places to Finish a Tour?

  1. La Chocolata, Mar del Plata, Argentina
  2. Pan Am Beach, Mar del Plata, Argentina
  3. Olympic Beer Garden, Seoul, Korea. Peter Milkovich and I managed a courtesy bike ride home by way of the Russian cycling team! Pete tried the no-hands approach. Bad idea!..
  4. Indianapolis, Pan American Games Delegates Hotel. Nothing can beat a Gold Medal celebration!
  5. Belgian Hockey Centre, Brussels. Nothing like finishing a tour with some beer drinking and dancing. The problem was I had a blown ankle which clearly affected my performance on the dance floor. Deciding to fill the Gatorade cooler and drain the bar taps after closing time was a bit optimistic!

"Plan ahead but be able to roll with the punches."


Adidas
Equipment Sponsor of the Canadian National Teams

For more information: fhc@fieldhockey.ca
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