Olympian leaves hockey career to join police force

Olympian leaves hockey career to join police force

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — When her teammates arrive for hockey training camp, Meghan Agosta will be reporting elsewhere. She'll be going to the Justice Institute of British Columbia — with her badge and gun.

The three-time Olympic gold medalist in women's hockey is training to be a police officer in the city where she won one of those gold medals. Agosta was among the recruits sworn in by the Vancouver Police Department last week.

Agosta is a probationary constable with the department until she completes her nine months of academy training. Monday was her first day at the academy.

"I've only had two passions in my life and that's policing and hockey," Agosta told The Canadian Press by phone. "To be able to fulfill both dreams is pretty amazing."

She was Canada's top scorer at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, with nine goals and six assists in five games. She was honored as the most valuable player of the women's tournament.

Agosta has represented Canada in women's hockey for a decade. She celebrated her 19th birthday with a hat trick against Russia at the 2006 Turin Olympics. In February, she and her teammates won the gold medal in Sochi, Russia. Canada came back from two goals down to beat the United States in overtime.

Agosta isn't retiring from the national team. She is simply taking a break and intends to keep her hockey skills sharp with the police department's Centurions team. Agosta wants to play in a fourth Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

"I'm not retiring whatsoever," she said. "I'm only 27 years old. I still want to be a part of Team Canada at least until South Korea and I guess we'll see after that."

The women's hockey team trains full time together in Calgary the winter before a Winter Games. In non-Olympic years, it gets together for camps and international tournaments.

Melody Davidson, Hockey Canada's general manager of women's teams, was prepared for Agosta's absence.

"She definitely has said she wants to play and wants to play in the future," Davidson said.

Agosta moved to Vancouver this month. Her husband, Marco Marciano, is the video coach for the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs. Agosta completed a criminal justice degree with a minor in criminal psychology while playing NCAA hockey for Mercyhurst in Pennsylvania.

She has stated several times her ambition is to work with a police department's canine unit, but she's open to other avenues of policing.

"Definitely canine is still on my mind," Agosta said. "Right now, I want to just become the best police officer I can and help make a difference in the community.

"I want to become this constable and figure out what it is I actually love. I'll go out on many different calls to many different things where I'll be able to tell what I'm interested in."

She thinks recruits will be on the shooting range as early as this week. One of Agosta's hobbies is trapshooting.

"I've never shot a handgun," she said. "The biggest challenge for me will be to learn the laws. We're going to studying every single day. It's definitely not going to be easy. And to be a police officer, you are going to be in stressful situations. Playing hockey you're in stressful situations. Going into an Olympic final, that's pretty crazy."

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