Fatima Al Ali

Emirati ice hockey player Fatima Al Ali fell in love with the sport at a young age, eventually earning a spot on the UAE Women’s National Team. While practicing her stickhandling at a rink in Abu Dhabi, Fatima met Washington Capitals great and team ambassador Peter Bondra. Impressed by her stick skills, Peter made a short video of Fatima and posted it on Twitter. Little did both know that the video would go viral and bring Fatima and her teammates halfway around the world to skate with the Capitals in Washington, DC during the NHL’s “Hockey is for Everyone” month, compete against other women’s teams and participate in clinics with the American Special Hockey Association.

From dropping the ceremonial puck in front of a crowd of 18,000 to taking the ice alongside her hockey hero Alex Ovechkin, the sports photographer turned national team member would go on to become the first Arab woman to officiate at an International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship and serve as an NHL global ambassador.

Listen to Fatima share her story about a journey that broke stereotypes and captured the hearts of hockey fans around the US.