Olympian Hilary Knight Is Creating a Warmer Future for Women’s Hockey

Olympian Hilary Knight Is Creating a Warmer Future for Womens

“I was terrible,” she recalled. “I actually could not lift the puck until maybe right before high school.”

She certainly made up for lost time, moving on to play for the University of Wisconsin and leading her beloved Badgers to the NCAA championship in 2009 while earning her degree in history. She first played for the national team at 17 and when she made her Olympics debut in Vancouver in 2010, she was the youngest member on the team at 20 years and 217 days old. (She’s now the oldest and in a six-way tie for most Olympic appearances with four.)

“So the irony is, a lot of people know me for my shot, right?” Knight, who broke the World Championship scoring record in 2021 when she thwacked her 45th goal, said. “I remember my coach used to put a Big Gulp on top of the net, and he said, ‘I will buy you a soda if you can hit this drink off.’ And I was never able to hit the drink off the top of the net. I just wanted to so badly!”

But she didn’t get too discouraged. “I took it as a challenge,” she explained. “And I just really wanted to lift the puck, and so I did more reps and whatnot. It just showed, certainly to me personally at a young age, that if I set my mind to something and I set these little goals and work at it, then anything’s possible.”

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