The 2018 Winter Olympic Games kicked off last Friday, and for hockey fans, all eyes should be on the U.S. team, and specifically Hilary Knight, who could likely lead her team to a gold medal. According to Knight’s coach, Mark Johnson (an Olympic all-star in his own right), Knight’s strength, size, and speed are what makes her such a tour de force on the ice. At 5’11” and 172 pounds, she can essentially outrun, outstick, and out scuffle anyone on the ice.
Hilary Knight is no stranger to this kind of domination. In college, she shattered her school’s record for all-time goals with 143, 30 of which were game-winners. Incidentally, the former school record was held by her coach!
Pyeongchang marks Knight’s third Olympic appearance, and she’s heading into the games with an impressive 101 goals and 78 assists. That means she’s the highest scoring Olympic player in the world right now.
At the world championship level, Knight has helped lead her team to three consecutive gold medals over their rivals, the Canadian national team. The U.S. and Canada are scheduled to play each other on February 15th, and it’s highly predicted that they’ll meet again the following week to battle for the Olympic Gold.
The Canadian team has won the past four gold medals at the Olympic Games. Knight has personally lost to the Canadians at the past two Olympics, and she has every intention of breaking that streak this year.
Hilary Knight determined at a very young age that she would be an Olympic hockey player, even before women’s hockey was an Olympic sport. Her family moved to Chicago when she was 5, and that’s when she took up the sport, playing on boys’ teams.
As she goes into the 2018 Olympic Games, Hilary Knight has become one of the highest profile players in the sport, with 72,000 Twitter followers and sponsorship deals with Nike, Red Bull, and GoPro. This level of following and support has helped Knight and her team make great strides in the sport of women’s hockey, including higher pay and benefits, comparable to male athletes.
While Knight acknowledges these are great achievements, she admits that for the immediate future her attention and the attention of her teammates are focused on just one thing: beating Canada for the Gold!