Black Sticks great Gemma McCaw retires from international hockey after Olympics postponement

Source: 1News

Gemma McCaw has retired from international hockey, admitting that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was behind her decision.

McCaw stepped away from the game after the Rio Olympics, giving birth to her first child, Charlotte, in December 2018 before returning to the turf and top scoring in the 2019 National Hockey League.

Her form earned her an international recall and saw her play her 250th game for the Black Sticks earlier this year.

“When I came out of retirement to rejoin the Black Sticks last year, I was so excited to be back playing and working towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. No one could’ve imagined a global pandemic getting in the way of that dream, but there are things beyond our control,” she wrote on Instagram.

“Lockdown taught me many things, but most importantly those seven weeks at home brought into focus just how important family is. So, with that in mind, I’ve made the decision to end my Black Sticks journey here.”

After debuting as an 18-year-old, McCaw represented New Zealand in three Olympic Games; Beijing, London, and Rio de Janeiro.

“It has been very special. To return to international hockey after having Charlotte was quite the journey, but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do that, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support from my family,” the 30-year-old said.

“I will miss the little things, getting through the hard training together, the laughs and fun off the field, and working together each week to make your team and country proud.”

“I look forward to spending quality time with my family, keeping fit and healthy and focusing on my work in the health and wellbeing space. I will also enjoy watching my team play and can’t wait to cheer them on next year.”

McCaw scored 72 goals in 254 games for the Black Sticks.