Veteran Swiss Defence who plays with her twin sister Stefanie Marty. Currently at Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (since 2008/09).
Q/A with Elizabeth Etue Nov. 2009
Q. What did you learn playing US college hockey that was most helpful in terms of playing and training?
A. In this last two years I realized what it means to give my best every time I step on the ice. The biggest difference between college hockey and the club hockey at home is the level of intensity of the players. You have to battle as hard as you can every single time, whether it is a practice or a game, everything else does not suffice.
Q. What was the most important influence in your hockey experience and why?
A. I cannot think of one single influence which was the most important for me. Generally, I would say it is the environment I grew up in that I had the support I needed all the time. My parents did and still do everything imaginable to enable me to conduct my hobby; my coaches on the boy’s teams always supported me (which cannot be taken for granted since I know a lot of other cases); my friends showed and still show a deep understanding of the very time consuming hobby and that, especially in the winter, I hardly ever have time for them; lastly my twin sister Stefanie is a very big part of the success too. We push each other hard all the time when we are around each other. When one slacks, the other one pushes her and so we make each other better.
Q. What is your contribution to the team?
A. Swiss Team: As one of the more experienced players I am one of the role models of the team, a player who the younger players orientate themselves towards. I want them to feel comfortable and help them to be integrated in the team. Also I am pretty loud in the locker room and now and then good for a joke.
College: As one of the captains I am one of the leaders on this team as well. I am much quieter than I am on the Swiss team though, mainly because of the language. Rather than being a leader in the locker room, I try to lead by example.
Q. What is your national teams biggest advantages and challenges?
A. I would say that our biggest advantage is at the same time our biggest challenge. We all play hockey as a hobby and do not earn any money with it. Everyone either goes to school or works at least 60% besides playing hockey. This takes a lot of pressure from our shoulders and the fun is in the foreground all the time. At the same time we do not spend nearly as much time as other teams together and do not know each other that well.
Another advantage is our goaltending which was outstanding the last international tournaments.
Q. How is this Olympics team different from previous teams?
A. It is going to be a much younger team than we are used to, especially compared with the team we were in the 2009 World Championship.
Q. What would you ask your country's fans to do to support the team?
A. Women’s hockey in Switzerland does not have a lot of fans and is still very biased by different sides. All I could wish for from Swiss fans is to watch our games and cheer for us. There are so many people who on principle refuse to watch women’s hockey. If we could just gain some of these people’s attention it would bring some support for our sport.
Q. What is your strategy vs Canada and US?
A. In a game like this we obviously have to play very defensively. But at the same time we cannot have too much respect from them. Our goal for those games is to score at least one goal.
Q. What is a regular training day for you? or what makes up your training diet/exercise ?
A. This year I am a normal student athlete. On average, we have two games and practice four days per week with two weight work out sessions with the team. Additional I do some other workouts depending on how much work I have in school.
Q. What do you read to inspire you or who inspires you in the hockey world?
A. I do not have an athlete I look up to. In general, I look up to people with a great work ethic, do not cut corners and respect the people around them. I like to read stories about teams which achieved something special through a great team spirit and work ethic.
Q. What is your mental motivation to keep working so hard?
A. It is the goal to be the best I can be. Not everyone has the chance I have and I want to use these conditions as good as possible. With the Olympics I have a huge goal and this is more than motivation enough to work hard every single day. Also it is the work ethic I developed over the years I already described above. My sister and I grew up challenging each other every single day. This became a habit, even when I am not around her.
Q. What are you doing differently in your training now for Olympics?
A. I am not doing a lot different than the other years. The big difference is that the focus is on the Olympics in February not the normal focus on the World Championship in April. Also I focus a little bit more on hockey than on school.
Q. Why are you not training with the team in Switzerland?
A. The option to play college hockey is in my opinion the best way for me to prepare for the Olympics. With the Swiss team, we have one training camp per month which is normally Friday to Sunday. Then we have camps during Christmas/New Year and than a one-week training camp before the Olympics in February. For more camps we do not have the money. Further, every player either goes to school or works at least 60% and the coaches are not professionals. They work a 100% besides hockey. The players who are in Switzerland this year (which is the majority of the team) play there in club teams.
Q. How many Swiss players in US college hockey right now?
A. We have only 4 players in US college hockey right now (Stefanie, Florence Schelling (Goaltender), also Northeastern, Darcia Leimgruber (Maine), and me). There are 3 other players in Canadian Colleges (Lucrêce Nussbaum and Andrea Fischer (both St.Thomas) and Camille Balanche (Montreal)).
Q. What is it like to play with your sister on the national team?
A. Until Stefanie and I split ( to play on different college teams) one year ago, we always played on the same team whether it was on a boy's team or on a women's team. Further, we went to the same classes in high school and secondary school. So we are not only sisters, but also best friends and know everything from each other.
I don't think that the fact that we play together on the national team is special and affects our relationship. Rather I think that the separation since last year and not being around each other all the time has affected our relationship a lot and we got much more independent from each other.
Still it was normal last year during the national team camps to play with her and yet still today it is weird being on different teams and far away from her.
Q. What kind of feedback do you give each other?
A. When we play with each other we talk a lot, more than with other teammates. I tell her everything I think she could do better. She knows very well how to take a critique and I know she is not going to get mad at me. Giving feedback to my sister is much easier than giving a critique to any other team mate who I am not as close with.
Q. On your resume it says you played on the B National team?
A. The B National team does not exist anymore (I think since 2004 when the U18 was originated). It was kind of a U22 team and intended for players who did not make the A team yet. Most of the players were very young, but there were also a few player 20 years old or older.