Granato, Cammi

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Cammi Granato


American hockey player

Cammi Granato was one of the best young women hockey players ever produced in the United States, and one of the most recognized. She was captain of Team USA's hockey team which won Olympic Gold in 1998. Playing center, Granato used her head on the ice and had great scoring ability.

Granato was born on March 24, 1971, in Maywood, Illinois, to Don and Natalie Granato. Her father was a beer distributor who played amateur hockey. Granato had four brothers and one sister. One brother, Tony, played on several teams in the National Hockey League, and went on to coach the Colorado Avalanche. Another brother, Don, played in the minor leagues. As a child, the second youngest of six, all four of her brothers played hockey. While her parents tried to get her interested in figure skating, she wanted to play hockey. Her brothers tried to make her play goal, but she was determined to become a skater.

Granato began playing hockey when she was five, but her parents did not become supportive until they saw how serious she was. Granato played club hockey from ages five to sixteen on a boys' team, the Downers Grove Huskies. Granato encountered some problems with other teams targeting her for injury and parents not wanting their sons to play against her, especially as she got older. She was once deliberately concussed by a player in a game, and suffered a shoulder injury another time. By the time, she reached her full height, she was only 5'7" and 141 lbs. Granato stopped playing for the team during her junior and senior years in high school because of social pressures and fear of injury as the boys became bigger than her.

While hockey was her favorite sport, Granato also played many others. She played on a boys' baseball team, and at the high school level she had success on the girls' basketball and soccer teams. Granato was also a gifted handball player, who received the national recognition, but hockey was her focus.

Played College Hockey

In 1989, Granato entered Providence College on a hockey scholarship, one of the few schools in the country

with an elite women's hockey program. It was the first time she had played against other girls. Granato immediately succeeded. A four-year starter, she was also co-captain. She was freshman player of the year, and later was named Women's Hockey Player of the Year in the Eastern College Athletic Conference.

Granato's team won league titles in 1992 and 1993. Her coach, John Marchetti, told Harry Blauvelt and Carl M. Blumberg of USA Today, "She can score from anywhere. She's not exceptionally quick, but she's very powerful and her shot is extremely accurate." In ninety-three college games with Providence, she scored 135 and 110 assists. Granato graduated from Providence in 1993 with a degree in social sciences.

While still in college, Granato also had her eye on international play. She was one of the founding members of the U.S. Women's National Hockey Team, which finished second to the Canadians in its inaugural tournament in 1990. Granato also played on the team in 1992, 1994-97, and at other times. At the world championships in 1992, 1994 and 1997, the women won silver.

Though the women's national team provided one outlet for Granato's hockey career, they had a limited schedule and not enough time to work on skills. So, in fall 1993, Granato began working as an assistant coach for a Junior A team, the Wisconsin Capitols (United States Hockey League). It was the first time she coached.

Still wanting to play, but with no remaining NCAA eligibility, Granato decided to move to Canada to continue her education in January 1994. She attended graduate school at Concordia University in Montreal and played on their women's hockey team. The team was already powerful, but became more so with the addition of Granato. Concordia went on to win three Quebec Inter-collegiate Women's Hockey League championships during her tenure. In 123 games with Concordia, she had 178 goals and 148 assists. Granato earned her master's degree in sports administration.

Played in Olympics

In 1998, Granato got to live a dream when the first women's hockey tournament was included in the Winter Olympics. Her brother Tony had played for the men's team in 1988. Granato served as captain of her team, and scored the first ever goal in a 5-0 victory over China. She went on to lead the women to a gold medal victory over Canada. When she won, Granato told Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, "For so many years, people told me that you weren't supposed to be on the ice. Whey are you doing this? You're not going to go anywhere with this. And now I have this gold medal around my neck, and it feels pretty good."

The success of the American women led to much exposure for all the players including Granato. She was offered a tryout with the New York Islanders. She turned it down because she did not need the attention, and did not think she had the muscle mass to compete with men. Instead, Granato tried to get other girls and women interested in the sport by conducting clinics. Granato also got endorsement deals from Nike, CBS Sports Line, and AT&T, among others.

After the 1998 Olympics, Granato tried another hockey related career when she became a radio broadcaster for the Los Angeles Kings, the second such woman in league history. This position allowed her time to continue to train for the U.S. women's team, though she only did it only for one season. In 1999, Granato devoted herself to hockey full time by playing for USA's select program for several years.

In 2002, Granato was again a member of the U.S. women's Olympic hockey team. Again named captain, Team USA won the silver medal by losing to Canada, 3-2. After the Olympics, she planned on playing for the Vancouver Griffins of the National Women's Hockey League in 2002-03, and hoped to play in the 2006 Winter games.

In describing what makes Granato a great hockey player, her 1998 Olympic coach, Ben Smith, told Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, "Cammi is a player whose total is better than the sum of their parts. She is not the strongest skater or shooter, but in tight circumstances, she comes through. Her teammates look up to her as a leader."


1971Born on March 24, in Maywood, Illinois
c. 1976Begins playing hockey
1989Begins playing college hockey at Providence College
1990Founding member of the U.S. Women's National Hockey Team
1991Plays on U.S. Women's National Hockey Team
1992Plays on Women's National Team
1993Graduates from Providence with bachelors degree; works as an assistant coach for Junior A team, the Wisconsin Capitols, in the fall
1994-97Plays college hockey for Concordia University (Montreal)
1994-97Plays on the U.S. Women's National Hockey Team
1997Earns masters in sports administration from Concordia University
1998Plays on the U.S. women's team at the Olympics in Nagano; wins the gold medal
1998-99Works as radio commentator for the Los Angeles Kings
2002Plays on the U.S. women's team at the Olympics; wins the silver medal

Awards and Accomplishments

1990With U.S. Women's National Hockey Team, won silver at the women's world championship
1991Named Women's Hockey Player of the Year for the Eastern College Athletic Conference
1992Named Women's Hockey Player of the Year for the Eastern College Athletic Conference; played on Women's National Team, winning silver at World Championships
1994Silver medal as part of the women's national team at the world championships
1996Named USA Hockey women's player of the year
1997Silver medal as part of the women's national team at the world championships
1998Played on the U.S. women's team at the Olympics in Nagano, winning the gold medal
2002Played on the U.S. women's team at the Olympics, winning the silver medal


Address: c/o USA Hockey, Inc., 1715 Bob Johnson Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80906.



Athletes and Coaches of Winter. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2000.


Associated Press (October 28, 1990).

Blauvelt, Harry, and Carl M. Blumberg. "Providence star got her start against antagonistic brothers." USA Today (January 8, 1993): 10C.

Dater, Adrian. "Granato finds voice doing radio work." Denver Post (January 3, 1999): C8.

Delany, Maureen. "Check out the 'other' Granato." Press-Enterprise (February 5, 1998): C1.

Dupont, Kevin Paul. "Back to the Future for the Golden Girls." Boston Globe (February 12, 2002): D13.

Hickling, Dan. "Granato's star continues to shine." Providence Journal-Bulletin (February 4, 1996): 17C.

Huebner, Barbara. "Granato front and center." Boston Globe (February 7, 1998): G7.

Huebner, Barbara. "Granato still game." Boston Globe (December 9, 1998): F1.

La Canfora, Jason. "Clash of the Titans Is All Set." Washington Post (February 20, 2002): D9.

Loverro, Thom. "Skating boundaries." Washington Times (February 2, 1998): B7.

Lucas, Mike. "She's Accepted, She's a Granato." Capital Times (September 21, 1993): 1B.

Loverro, Thom. "Cammi's old dream comes true." Washington Times (February 18, 1998): B1.

Michaelis, Vicki. "Granato still giving it her best shot at 30." USA Today (February 7, 2002): 5C.

Olson, Lisa. "One Historic Triumph for Cammi, U.S." Daily News (February 9, 1998): 49.

Phillips, Randy. "Granato gears up for Games." The Gazette (January 24, 1997): F4.

Phillips, Randy. "Granato leads Stingers to Quebec title in swan song." Gazette (March 3, 1997): C6.

Phillips, Randy. "That Granato." Gazette (February 10, 1994): C3.

Raboin, Sharon. "Granato has everything in check." USA Today (January 26, 1998): 19C.

Raboin, Sharon. "Worlds veteran Granato now scores by leading." USA Today (April 7, 200): 11C.

Robbins, Liz. "Aggressive Canadians Win Gold Over U.S." New York Times (February 22, 2002): D1.

Rubin, Roger. "For Cammi Granato, Hockey's Her Life." Daily News (April 10, 1997): 106.

Schuyler, Ed. "Cammi Granato." Associated Press (February 25, 1998).

Tuchinsky, Evan. "Cammi Granato blazes trail at Kings' microphone." Press-Enterprise (October 9, 1998): C7.

Woodley, Kevin. "Olympic loss keeps vet Granato on ice." USA Today (July 1, 2002): 3C.

Woodward, Steve. "Granato wouldn't be cowed into quitting." USA Today (July 30, 1993): 10C.


Colorado Avalanche Web Site. (December 16, 2002).

Sketch by A. Petruso

Career Statistics

1990World Championships59514
1992World Championships58210
1994World Championships55712
1995Pacific Women's Championships54711
1996Three Nations Cup5516
1996Pacific Women's Championships5639
1997World Championships5538
1997Three Nations Cup4224
1998Pre-Olympic Tour29141731
1998Thee Nations Cup4022
1999World Championships5358
2000Select Team20172542
2000World Championships5617
2001National Team38363268
2001World Championships57613