Women of Oilersnation: Caroline Szwed
By Kyla Lane1 year ago
Are you ready to meet Oilersnation’s biggest acquisition of the off-season? The one and only Caroline Szwed has joined the team at Oilersnation and she’s ready to bring you ALL the fire content! She took the time to share her story and what she’ll be doing on Team ON and I’m pumped for everyone to meet her!
Last week I featured Kristen Hagg! If you missed it, you can read her feature here!
MEET CAROLINE SZWED
KYLA: Who are you?! What’s your day job, what are your passions, what’s something interesting about you?
CAROLINE: A dog mom that is obsessed with her adopted furchild named Cash, a fiance to the biggest (and best) Oilers fan in all of Edmonton and a daughter to the most amazing first generation immigrant parents.
My biggest passion has always been sports, specifically soccer. I started playing soccer at the age of 10 and quickly progressed into the provincial and national program by the time I was 14. I represented Canada at the U-17 World Cup in New Zealand and then went on to play D1 collegiate soccer at West Virginia University. Unfortunately, my soccer career ended after three knee surgeries but eventually propelled me into the career I have now. I strongly believe if it wasn’t for losing soccer and that identity, I wouldn’t have ever worked as a nationally televised host across Canada. At my core, I truly believe everything happens for a reason.
Something interesting about me: I can speak Polish, I love to read and I can move my eyebrows like The Rock.
KYLA: Can you take us through how you first got into sports as a young girl and how that led you to playing soccer and a career in sports media?
CAROLINE: My parents always had me in sports growing up, which was such a blessing. When I started playing soccer, I immediately fell in love with it and became super obsessed. That’s not an exaggeration. Everywhere I went, I had a soccer ball with me at all times. I always knew that soccer (and sports) would be a part of my life forever. For the majority of my life, I was very introverted, shy and quiet, and soccer was my place to freely express myself. I knew that was a feeling I wanted to keep with me forever.
After the surgeons had told me that I had to quit soccer after my third surgery, I decided to get my Masters in Journalism and pursue a career in TV as a sports host. At that time I was grieving the loss of soccer in my life but if it wasn’t for that injury, the feeling of having my identity stripped and really having to think about who “Caroline” is, I would have never broken out of my shell. I became more extroverted, confident and felt this deep desire to talk to people and share their stories. I literally all of a sudden loved having conversations and I felt like I discovered this whole new side of me that I never knew existed.
Here’s the thing, everyone is on a journey and that knee injury taught me a very important lesson in my life. It taught me to trust the process in all my hardships. At that moment, I had no idea WHY this was happening to me but now I understand it happened for me. Crazy, eh?!
KYLA: You are officially the newest member of the Oilersnation team and the ON community is super pumped to have you on board! Can you tell us a bit about how joining Team ON came up and what your new role entails?
CAROLINE: First of all, I would love to take this moment to thank all of OilersNation for the warmest welcome possible. From the team behind the scenes, to all of the fans, I have actually never felt more at home. I love you guys already!
I am so excited to join the team as a Content Creator. You’ll see me anywhere and everywhere! I apologize in advance (haha). If I’m being completely honest, I want to become friends with all of OilersNation. I want to connect with everyone, share their stories, create content that they want to watch and listen to and I want to do something special here in Edmonton. I want to capture the magic that this city and the people who live here have to offer.
I remember the first time I came to Edmonton to visit my fiance, I immediately fell in love with the energy here. It grounded me and I instantly felt a sense of peace… maybe it was the smell of donair sauce lingering in the distance but Edmonton stole my heart. So! I’m here to stay, create content with the awesome team at the Nation AND with the fans that make Nation Network possible. It’s going to be a team effort and I’m super excited for this upcoming NHL season.
KYLA: What are you most looking forward to in joining Team Oilersnation and being a part of this amazing community of passionate Oilers fans?
CAROLINE: I’m looking forward to finally creating content that’s genuine and authentic to me. It’s about time that women, their voice and their opinion are respected in the world of hockey. Beyond my role as a content creator, I want to be a voice for all the amazing women here who LOVE their hockey and their Edmonton Oilers. I am looking forward to connecting with the entire community but especially with the women here in Edmonton.
KYLA: What’s your best advice to other girls and women who are dreaming of working in sports or already working in sports?
CAROLINE: I love this question. This is why I am so passionate about what I do and the platform/brand that I’ve created. I am very transparent with my journey, whether it be mental health or transiting from sport to broadcasting or how my car accident impacted my life. I always think to myself if just one person is listening or needed to hear that, that’s one person who maybe will shift their perspective that day.
I want the younger generations to know that the most important thing in this life is to enjoy it. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than, don’t let anyone stop you from believing in your biggest dream and never lose sight of what makes you happy. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. If I could go back and tell my younger self anything, it would be to chill out and have some fun. Don’t worry about what everyone expects of you, just be yourself and never change who you are, for any job or anyone. Trust the process, have fun and let it all unfold at the right time.
KYLA: Do you have a favourite Oilers memory or do they all involve the blue and white team we shall not name?
CAROLINE: HAHA. Can my favourite Oilers memory be that I met my fiance who is the biggest Oilers fan? We have to give Physio Mike (he’s a famous physiotherapist here in the city) a big shout out because if it wasn’t for him, I would have never moved to Edmonton. Fun fact about us, we met at the beginning of Covid online, met in person in Vancouver in June and we were engaged by November. A true Covid love story! Now let’s hope that our relationship survives me being a Leafs fan!
My favourite Leafs memory would have to be watching the team play growing up with my dad. We barely ever missed a game and I was such a crazy young little fan that I would go to school with “GR” written on my hand with permanent marker because Gary Roberts was my favourite player. Ah, the good old days!
KYLA: What does hockey and being a part of the Oilersnation community (sorry, Leafsnation, she’s ours now!) mean to you?
CAROLINE: This role I’m in now with Oilersnation means so much to me – I think more than people know. In this next chapter of my career, it’s extremely important to me that I have a voice and that I have the creative freedom to create the content I want. Oilersnation has given me the space to do that with an unbelievably talented team and some pretty amazing fans. I feel very grateful and excited. I haven’t felt this way in a very long time in my industry and it’s a good feeling knowing that I’m just getting started.
her Soul Shot shows women how powerful they are through sport by providing resources, community, and inspiration for all women to live their soul’s truth and take their shot in sports.
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