The USA Women’s National Hockey team is now less than a year away from the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, South Korea. The team's goal is clear, WIN THE GOLD MEDAL. Two-time Olympic silver medalists Hilary Knight and twins Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux sat down with me during their media tour of NYC last week…Meghan Duggan was also on the trip.
Let’s first meet Hilary Knight on SportsJam with Doug Doyle. Knight is one of the greatest hockey players in the world and will be competing this afternoon in the National Women’s Hockey League All-Star game in Pittsburgh, PA. She’s a forward with the Boston Pride. Then in March she’ll look to lead the USA Women’s Team to another world championship.
A family move to Chicago changed Hilary's life at a young age:
“I moved from California to Chicago. I come from a predominantly skiing family and my mom was like what do I do with my kids, there are no mountains here? So luckily she’s (mom) super active in sport and when she met this other woman who coached her sons and daughter and said you need to sign up them up to play hockey, so that’s how I got into ice hockey.”
Knight credits her mom for her competitive spirit:
“She’s the strongest female influence I’ve ever had. She would say go play hockey, boy or girl, just go do it. I think that’s what really resonates with me now, it’s not women’s hockey, it’s hockey. My mom sparked all that.”
The World Champion and Olympic star posed for ESPN The Magazine's "The Body" issue in 2014 and received rave reviews:
"It sort of happened by chance, I was trying to put on weight to ful fill my role as a power forward and I know competing at 5’11’’ 185 pounds versus other competitors in our player pool, it gives you a huge advantage. During that quest to train more, I put that weight on, I just starting posting pictures. I went through the whole process myself of being strong and comfortable in my body. You know you put on muscles and you tend to think you are ashamed of that. I want to cover my arms because they look too strong, but instead you need to embrace those differences and embrace that hard work and that’s where the strong is beautiful tag came out.”
When host Doug Doyle asked what athlete she would enjoy interviewing, Knight showed her admiration and respect for tennis legend Serena Williams:
"She's transcended her sport, changed her sport, and what she's done for women and what she's done for society is incredible."
The all-star forward had a great career at the University of Wisconsin where she won two national championships under former Pittsburgh Penguins center and Olympic hero Mark Johnson. She's been part of six World Championships as a member of USA Hockey.
Knight and her teammates are still smarting from losing in the gold medal game to Canada in 2014 but she says it motivates her every time she's on the ice:
"Our team is so strong and so powerful, and I'm sure there are a lot of people looking for us to choke, and we're not going to do that this time."
Knight enjoyed going to her first NBA game this past week when her and her teammates caught a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. The next night they marveled at watching the Rangers skate on home ice.
Click above to listen to the entire SportsJam with Doug Doyle interview with Hilary Knight.