It was 38 years to the day since the “Miracle on Ice.” It was 20 years since the 1998 squad brought home the very first Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey. And it was 8 and 4 years, respectively, since the USA Women’s Hockey Team had its hopes dashed by bringing home the silver medal at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
But none of that mattered to the 2018 squad, as they rose to the challenge and overcame their underdog status to win the gold medal at the winter games in PyeongChang.
The Baltimore Post had the privilege of interviewing two players who were integral to Team USA’s success: Haley Skarupa and Monique Lamoureux. Both were in the Washington D.C. area to attend the outdoor NHL game between the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs, held May 3 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
It is a fitting homecoming for Skarupa, a Rockville native who started playing hockey by following in the footsteps (or skate tracks, if you will) of her older brother. Returning home an Olympic champion, Skarupa hopes that Team USA’s gold medal moment will shine a brighter spotlight on women’s hockey and open more doors for females who want to pursue the sport.
Meanwhile, Lamoureux–playing in her third Olympic Games–finally tasted gold after seeing the top spot slip away in the previous two Olympics. She cemented Team USA’s final shootout with a tying breakaway goal against the heavily favored Canadian team, and she watched with baited breath as Team USA’s goalie kept the final shots out of the net during the shootout.
Skarupa and Lamoureux come from different backgrounds and different levels of experience, yet they forged a bond with their teammates both on and off the ice that solidified their place as champions. In 2017, the women’s hockey team demanded equal compensation for their efforts, and they stayed unified as USA Hockey tried to replace them.
The following interview took place on March 2, 2018.