The buzzer hit zero. The game wasn’t over. The buzzer hit zero again. The game still wasn’t over. We went into a shootout, five shooters required. The game still wasn’t over. The shootout went into sudden death. We scored. The game wasn’t over. Maddie Rooney made one last save. The game WAS over! WE DID IT! We became Olympic Champions, Gold Medalists, and we’re on top of the world in Women’s Ice Hokey.

If you weren’t one of the millions of people who were able to watch the game, I can assure you of this: It will go down as one of the greatest hockey games ever. Yes, I said hockey games. Men’s/women’s – doesn’t matter.

Although the XXIII Winter Olympic Games have officially closed, the memories will last forever. For 26 days of February, we were embraced by the people of South Korea. I have never before been so fully surrounded by such kind, helpful, and exuberant people. They were just as excited about the games being in PyeongChang as we were. It was a simple reminder every day that the Olympic Games are so much more than sport. They bring peace, love, and joy to world through sport.

My second Olympic Games experience was even more special than my first. I was able to experience the Olympic Games so much more. A lot of things that were a shock or distraction to me in Sochi became routine in PyeongChang. Some examples include: The overabundance of media, the thousands of athletes from different countries, and wanting to watch all of the other Team USA athletes compete.

Besides winning a gold medal with the most special group of 23 women, the best part about both Olympic Games has been being able to share these experiences with my family. Growing up, we were never able to go on family vacations. I often feel responsible for that because my parents were always sacrificing everything they had for us to play sports, specifically hockey. At the end of the Olympics, there is nothing more rewarding than being able to be on Olympic ice with my mom, Ahlise, dad, John, brother, Kevin, brother, Jake, sister NU ’20, Bailey, and fiancé, Michael. They are the team behind the team. Without them, none of this would be possible. We all became Olympic Champions on February 22nd, 2018.

Posted by Kendall Coyne, CPS’17