The Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics are set for Friday evening but the Olympic competitions in Sochi, Russia, have already began.
Every two years Americans, and the rest of the world, get to support their country on the grandest of stages; the Olympics. It’s the Winter games’ turn, in 2016 it will be time for the next installment of the Summer games. In the name of patriotism, these athletes compete for glory and gold, through the will and determination of sport; on the highest level.
The margin for error in the Olympics is essentially zero. But Badgers can surely handle the pressure.
The University of Wisconsin is more than well-represented in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Exactly 10 former-Badgers athletes are attempting to take home medals for America, while simultaneously spreading Bucky’s reputation across the globe.
Men’s Ice Hockey:
Ryan Suter: His father played for the USA team that conducted the “Miracle On Ice” defeating the Soviets for the 1980 Olympic gold. From Madison, WI, and currently is an alternate captain for the Minnesota Wild. Has been an All-Star and amassed 270 points in the NHL while playing defense. Was on the 2010 Olympic team which won a silver medal in Vancouver and will wear an alternative captain’s “A” in the 2014 games.
Joe Pavelski: Lead the Badgers in scoring with 56 points in 2005-06 when Wisconsin won it’s sixth national championship. Was Suter’s teammate on the 2010 Olympic team which took home the silver medal. Currently plays for the San Jose Sharks and has 29 goals on the year; third most in the NHL to date.
Ryan McDonagh: Scored 46 points in three years at Wisconsin despite being a defenseman, currently plays for the New York Rangers in the NHL.
Derek Stepan: Scored 77 points for the Badgers in only two years on the ice before jumping to the NHL, currently plays for the New York Rangers, with McDonagh.
Women’s Ice Hockey:
Hilary Knight: The all-time career points (262) and goals (143) leader in Badgers history will be leading Team USA into Sochi. This is her second crack at the gold medal is after winning the silver medal in 2010 in Vancouver.
Brianna Decker: Fresh off of the campus in Madison, this will be her first taste of Olympic action. Scored 244 points in her career, including an 82-point season in which she won the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Award — the MVP award of women’s college hockey.
Jessie Veter: Wisconsin’s best all-time goalie, recorded a record 39 shutouts in her time in Madison. Won the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Award. Was the starting goalie of the 2010 Olympic team which took home the silver medal.
Meghan Duggan: Helped lead Wisconsin to the national championship in 2011-12 with a team-best 87 points. Won the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2011. Was also on the 2010 Olympic team which brought home the silver medal.
Meaghan Mikkelson: Simply a winner, she won back-to-back championships with the Badgers in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and a gold medal at the 2010 Olympics with team Canada. One of the best defensemen in Wisconsin history, scored 115 career points, is looking for another goal medal.
Erika Brown: Third Olympic appearance for the four-year letter winning Badger. At Wisconsin she was a letter winner at golf and not curling. Helped the Badgers win a national championship; their only golf national championship. Was once the youngest curler in Olympic history. Go Erika! Who doesn’t consider curling MUST-WATCH-Television?
Congratulations to these Badgers alumni representing their country in the 2014 Winter Olympics. They not only make their country’s proud but their alma mater’s, and fans, proud as well.
On Wisconsin, all the freaking way to Sochi, Russia!
Thanks very much to Dan Corcoran and [TheBadgerHerlad] for the information on this story. Check out UW-Madison’s Premier Independent Student Newspaper (Since 1969) BoH faithful. You will not be disappointed.