Two Difficult Experiences Helped the US Women's Hockey Team
October 2, 2017

Facing off against the Canadian Women’s hockey team for the gold medal prize in the Pyeongchang Olympics will be a lot easier for the US team after the players were bonded thanks to two disturbing experiences that thankfully had happy outcomes.
In spring of 2016, with the intention of obtaining better treatment from USA Hockey overall, and travel stipends and accommodation of the kind their male counterparts were getting, the US Women’s Hockey Team threatened to miss the World Championships. And, more lately, the players needed evacuating from their apartments in the Wesley Chapel Florida training base they call home as Hurricane Irma started heading their way.

Shelter from the Storm becomes a Giant Sleepover

Meghan Duggan, forward for the team, stated that it turned into a huge sleepover, which included the 23 members of the team and the rest of the resort. She stated that they were all holed up in a hotel function room, and that they enjoyed snacks, played card games, probably much like the online gambling casino ones so widely available these days, and even enjoyed the attentions of a massage therapist. She added that they embraced the experience as best they could, and went through it together, leaning on each other for support. She said that she knew that they were incredibly fortunate, especially as compared to other Florida communities.

The Team Initially Went Incognito

When they first arrived, no one knew quite who they were, but Duggan stated that word got around, and, when it had emerged that they were the US Women’s hockey team, they happily took a few pictures with people who requested them.
She said that they shared what they had, and hopefully won a few people over as fans –Duggan stated that they had created a little community that night, and that being together made everyone feel a lot safer.

A Short Period of Danger

Hilary Knight, forward for the team, acknowledged that she was scared during the time they spent at the shelter, but added that it lasted less than 24 hours and they came up with plenty of activities to keep themselves busy with indoors. She also made it known that she was incredibly grateful that everyone managed to stay safe, and that she was well aware of the fact that many people did not manage to emerge as unscathed as they did.
Knight spoke of how proud she was that they had remained so united, and that it reminded her of the negotiations that took place over the issue of the World Championships.
She says that, although they only met up four to six times annually, it was a difficult time for many: constant evaluations were in place, and the cutting block is always just around the corner. She spoke of the lack of job security, and said that she was proud of her teammates for putting it all on the line in an attempt to get treated as well as their male counterparts were. She added that the level of trust and camaraderie that had formed as a result would no doubt see them do very well when the Olympics came up.


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