With a Barbie doll in her effigy, Quebec Olympic ice hockey champion Marie-Philip Poulin continues the fight for women’s equality in sports.
Earlier this month, Tim Hortons and Barbie launched two dolls, one depicting the Beauceronne in a hockey uniform, the other depicting her English Canadian colleague Sarah Nurse. The two companies thus want to “help girls achieve their dreams”. The dolls are available for sale at participating Tim Hortons restaurants across the country.
In an email exchange with the QMI Agency, Marie-Philip Poulin, gold medalist of the Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014) Games, underlined this desire to “inspire young people to follow their passions and to dream big ”, speaking of the need“ to raise awareness [et] to continue to fight for the equality of women in sport ”.
The captain of the Canadian women’s hockey team was named the best female hockey player in the world by a survey of NHL players this year. She is proud of the road traveled by women’s sport since her childhood and wants female hockey players to be able to practice their sport at a professional level.
“We hope to soon be able to create a league that will allow us to earn a respectable salary,” she said.
Asked about the paradox between the symbol of the recent commercialization of a doll in her effigy, and the impossibility of high-caliber female hockey players to earn a decent salary from sport, Marie-Philip Poulin was optimistic.
“We must continue this fight and I am convinced that things will change shortly. Several women are making their mark in professional sport today. The Marlins have just appointed a female GM, the United States will have a first female vice-president. I really feel that things are going in the right direction, ”she says.
Family support: an imperative
Although the symbolic force of a hockey doll is glaring with meaning, Marie-Philip Poulin underlines the importance of the family cocoon in order to flourish.
“My older brother used to take me to play with him and the other boys. He always made sure that I had my place [sur la patinoire]. My parents supported me throughout my youth and in my career, ”said the hockey player from Beauceville.
She believes this is what “gave her the confidence to go into an environment that was less popular for girls at the time.”
All proceeds from the sale of the dolls will be donated to the Hockey Canada Foundation to support women’s hockey.