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Getting to know your U SPORTS student-athletes: Emily Oleksuk, St Thomas Tommies

U SPORTS Staff

U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”

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Name: Emily Oleksuk

School: St. Thomas University

Sport: Women’s hockey

Position: Forward

Year of eligibility: Fourth

Program: Communications and Public Policy

Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ont.


 1. What attracted you to St. Thomas University?

What attracted me to STU was the small class sizes and family feel to the campus. I was also highly impressed with the reputable professors. And of course I had a fantastic official visit and was blown away of how welcoming the team was.

2. What’s your favourite memory, and your greatest athletic achievement as a U SPORTS student-athlete?

My favorite memory as a U SPORTS student-athlete thus far occurred in my first year, when our team was able to make history for St. Thomas and qualify for nationals in Calgary. It was a feeling I will never forget!

3. Where are you hoping your path will take you after university?

After I graduate, I do not have a specific plan but the ultimate goal is to be working in the field of communications within the sports community! 

4. Who’s had the greatest influence on your athletic career?

My dad 100 per cent! I would not be the person or hockey player I am today with out him and I am beyond grateful to have my own personal coach along for my journey.

5. Who is someone in the sports world, past or present, with whom you’d love to have dinner with? Why?

 Someone who I would love to chat with over dinner would be Manon Rhéaume. I think most would agree that she is incredibly inspiring in the hockey community for girls and women. I would love to hear her perspective of the evolution of women’s sports and just learn more about her personal experiences. She was truly fearless!

6. What is your pre-game ritual? Do you have any superstitions/idiosyncrasies around preparing yourself for a game?

Anyone who knows me knows that I love coffee…I am not a very superstitious person but coffee is the one MUST before I put the gear on!

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7. What’s your go-to song to get pumped up for practice or a game?

I love a good 80’s rock before a game. It reminds me of the locker room when I first began my hockey career and the parents would burn CD’s for the team!

8. What’s your favourite social media account to follow?

One of my best friends and teammates travels the world and takes wonderful pictures and videos that she posts on an Instagram account! It’s lots of fun for me to live through her experiences. Follow her @paces2places!

9. If you could try another sport, what would it be and why?

I think skiing is so awesome and so fun! I was never able to take up the sport while playing competitive hockey because of potential injury but I would definitely want to give it a shot!

10. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you as an athlete?

The most embarrassing thing that still daunts me to this day happened in my first year at STU. Coach Peter Murphy thought my last name was pronounced OlekCHUK instead of OlekSUK and started calling me “chuck” as a nickname. I was new to the team and far too nervous to correct him. Weeks later a teammate of mine corrected him explaining that “chuck” had nothing to do with my name. Four years later, my nickname is still chuck all throughout campus.