News / USA

Veteran US Women's Hockey Player Aiming for Gold in Sochi

FILE - Julie Chu scrimmages with the U.S. Women's National Hockey team, National Sports Center, Blaine, Minnesota, Aug. 20, 2009.
FILE - Julie Chu scrimmages with the U.S. Women's National Hockey team, National Sports Center, Blaine, Minnesota, Aug. 20, 2009.
Mike Richman
Julie Chu has been playing ice hockey since age eight. Now 31, she is one of the most accomplished women's players in U.S. history, but has fallen just short of winning gold medals in the past three Winter Olympics.
 
Chu is aiming to snap that streak at the upcoming Sochi Games in Russia, where the U.S. and Canada — two North American hockey powers — are consensus favorites to play for the gold.
 
The talented forward understands that for the Americans to capture the gold in Sochi, they will likely have to beat Canada, and she is excited about the opportunity.
 
“We have had a long history against the Canadian women’s team, and it runs on our men’s side as well," said Chu, the oldest player on the U.S. team and one of its leaders. "When you are so close in proximity, I think that that’s a natural rivalry and two great hockey countries. And so we are really excited every time we get a chance to step on the ice against them leading up to not only a tournament but also any kind of competition."
 
Most talented U.S. team
 
Canada has won three straight Olympic gold medals, beating the Americans in the finals in 2002 and 2010. The United States took the bronze medal in 2006, when Sweden won the silver.
 
But the United States recently defeated Canada four games to two in a recent six-game exhibition series. The Americans also have won four of the last five world championships.
 
With 21 players from those world championship teams, including 11 with Olympic experience, Chu believes this is the most talented U.S. Olympic women's ice hockey team ever.
 
Despite such depth, the U.S. women's team lacks for publicity compared with its male counterparts, but that doesn't bother Chu.
 
“I think for us, we just try to do what we do best, and that is play hockey," she said. "Obviously we would love for it to be covered all the time, and I think the more we keep getting out into our communities, pushing our sport, doing interviews, hopefully that coverage will increase. But right now we are loving hockey. We are loving being a part of this Olympic journey.”
 
Chu has been on the U.S. national team since 2002, winning five world championships. She played in college at Harvard University, finishing as the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history.
 
Playing since childhood
 
Chu's parents are both of Chinese origin and she is the first Asian-American woman to play for the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team.
 
Hockey "found" her, as she put it, more than two decades ago.
 
"When I was eight years old and started playing hockey, it was not really an option," Chu said. "Soccer was the first sport a lot of girls played in [the eastern U.S. state of] Connecticut where I grew up, and I somehow fell into it, and I am so fortunate that my parents actually said yes and allowed me to play when it probably was easier for them to be like, `Girls are not supposed to do that.'”
 
Chu made her presence known on the ice, in part, by checking boys into the boards.
 
“I did play checking hockey," she said. "So I was physical a couple of times with the boys. But at the same time, I got knocked around plenty of times too.”

You May Like

Diplomats Work to Extend Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry, diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar gathered in Paris Saturday to discuss crisis More

Photogallery US Defense Department Warns of Arms to Eastern Ukraine

‘Imminent’ delivery of Russian rocket launcher poses threat to civilians, US says More

Video Researchers: Africa Genetically Modified Crops Held Back by Scaremongering

GM crops offer best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to co-author of Chatham House report More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid