Interview by Jason Setnyk | Photo by Philip Tor
Cornwall, Ontario – Gabrielle Davidson Adams is an outstanding student-athlete pursuing a degree in Sociology at Harvard University. Also, she is an accomplished NCAA Division 1 hockey player for the Harvard Crimson women’s ice hockey team. Davidson Adams, who has returned to Cornwall this summer, was recently chosen as a Tourism Ambassador for our vibrant city.
Davidson Adams’s journey to Harvard and her success on the ice began with her formative years in the Cornwall Girls Hockey Association, where she played for the Typhoons. Recognizing her potential, and with the support of her family, she made the pivotal decision to attend the renowned Ontario Hockey Academy in 2015. This choice provided her with an environment conducive to developing her athletic abilities and emphasized academic rigor.
Throughout her hockey career, Davidson Adams’ participation in the sport has played a pivotal role in shaping her character. The demanding nature of the game has instilled in her invaluable qualities such as teamwork, discipline, and perseverance. These qualities have contributed to her success on the ice, propelled her academic achievements, and fueled her passion for human rights and social equity.
This summer, Davidson Adams eagerly embraces her role as a Tourism Ambassador for Cornwall. With enthusiasm for exploring the region’s activities and local culture, she is poised to showcase the city’s unique attractions to visitors and residents alike. Her selection as an ambassador exemplifies her commitment to promoting her community’s rich heritage and natural beauty.
In addition to her ambassadorial responsibilities, Davidson Adams will dedicate her time to giving back to the Cornwall Girls Hockey Association, where her hockey journey began. She will actively participate in the association’s summer hockey camp, supporting young athletes and imparting her knowledge and experiences.
When asked about her approach to life and the opportunities that come her way, Davidson Adams emphasizes the importance of personal growth. She embraces every experience as a stepping stone towards her development, eager to seize new opportunities and make a positive impact in the world.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – What has been your most memorable moment or achievement as a hockey player at Harvard?
“When reflecting on your question, two moments come to mind. I’d say the most memorable moment would have been this past season when we played an outdoor game at Fenway Park. I think it’s easily every hockey player’s dream to play a Winter Classic-esque game. It even snowed as we played, so it was a very special moment in my career. As for the achievement, on a collective level, winning the Beanpot Championship during my freshman year would have been it. The game was a nail-biter, and the score went back and forth the entire time, but we managed to win 5-4 against Boston College. The Beanpot trophy is a big deal in Boston, so it was special to bring that trophy home with us!”
2 – Can you share with us how you first got into playing hockey and what motivated you to pursue it at such a high level?
“Growing up, my parents put me in every sport imaginable at age three, soccer, lacrosse, trampoline, figure skating, etc. After one of my figure skating sessions at the Civic Complex, I vividly remember watching hockey players step onto the ice after me. I was instantly captivated by the sport and knew I wanted to try out hockey. The rest is history! My parents registered me with the Cornwall Girls Hockey Association at age 5, and I never looked back! I’d say I was pretty good at a lot of the sports I played, but hockey was the sport that I played the most with “heart.” I knew deep down that hockey was “my thing” and that I wanted to pursue it as far as I could!”
3 – How do you manage to balance your rigorous academic schedule at Harvard with the demands of being a student-athlete?
“While it can be difficult to balance both these aspects of my college experience, I believe I have found a way to do so efficiently. I think my biggest asset has been using a calendar and daily planner. Since most of my days are hectic, I’ve found benefits in laying out my academic and athletic schedule both on a physical and online calendar. Laying out my classes, ice times, workouts, and work schedule helps me fit downtime and studying into my days. I also like to write down my goals for the day in my planner, specifically what assignments I hope to complete that day as well as the things I hope to focus on while on the ice. While these tools have helped me tremendously, I’d be lying if these were the only reasons why I am able to balance everything in college. I believe that my time at the Ontario Hockey Academy prepared me well in advance on how to manage time and stay organized. A lot of the skills I use today I picked up while at the Academy.”
4 – As a student-athlete, what kind of support do you receive from the university regarding resources and facilities?
“Unlike many other schools, Harvard doesn’t provide additional support to student-athletes. We have all had to apply the same way as any other student: standardized tests, admissions interviews, an alumni interview, an admissions essay, etc. In the eyes of the university, we are students before athletes, so when we get into the school, we receive the same amount of academic resources as the rest of the student body. At this university, I have some of the best resources available; we have access to over 20 million physical and digital items, whether it be books, photographs, artifacts, etc. The staff is also amazing. All of the professors I have had the privilege to get to know have been some of the kindest and most caring people; they all want what is best for their students and want us all to succeed. As for athletic resources, we have access to private training facilities, state-of-the-art training, and rehab centers, all of the sports equipment needed to fit our needs, and great nutritional options so that we are able to perform optimally.”
5 – How has attending Harvard influenced your growth as an athlete and individual?
“I think Harvard has helped me develop tremendously as an athlete. We are on the ice four times a week, training three times a week, and playing two games a week on average. Not to mention, I am playing with and against some of the best hockey players in the nation, so just that alone has helped me bring my game to the next level. I also believe that Harvard has definitely helped me grow as an individual. Harvard is a liberal arts college, which means that students take a broader approach to education by focusing on multiple disciplines. In simpler terms, I am able to take classes in the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences instead of solely studying and preparing for a specific career. To date, I have taken courses in math, statistics, economics, human rights, social media, social justice etc. This style of learning has allowed me to become well-rounded in a multitude of topics as well as more aware of the dilemmas in our society. I think that Harvard has opened my eyes to a lot these past two years, and I am eager to continue broadening my horizons!”