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Hilary Knight

First Time Olympian  Q/A by Heather McIntyre | Feb/2010

Q: With little time left before you play your very first Olympic game on Feb. 14, how are you feeling?

A: Well I think this goes for any of the girls – just excitement. We’re all bearing down right now. It’s a moment that most of us have been waiting all of our lives for. It’s pretty exciting to look back and see how far I’ve come and the sacrifices different people have made in my life, and the sacrifices I’ve made to get here. Finally we’re on the cusp of everything, so it’s just a mixture of different feelings that I can’t really explain.

Q: Not everyone has an Olympian to look up to, but you do. Can you talk about your relationships with Chip, your cousin who is a three-time Olympic skier?

A: I’ve always looked up to him since I was little, and I remember one of the experiences that I shared with him that really sticks in my mind. I was really interested in weight lifting and had no clue what to do, how to get into it. So I was able to spend a couple of weeks in Vermont and he took me to the gym and walked me through things. (They) came and drug tested him so I made a mental note that, “well, if somebody wants to collect your urine, you must be important!” So that’s a little story I always remember with him. And definitely with our family, I’ve got three younger brothers; we’re a really competitive family. And I think that’s just engrained from work habits; you always want to be the best, especially if you’re the only girl. If just propelled me to what I can do right now so I’m really fortunate to have such a great support system within our family, and then obviously looking up to Chip has accelerated my dreams.

Q: You’ve been a member of the national team for a few years now. In that time you’ve gotten to know Jenny Potter. How has that changed your preparation, your training, your game, your career?

A: I’ve done two summers with the Potter camp (summer training). The best way I can describe it is it’s not for the faint of heart. You really have to be into what you are doing and you want to be the best, because you wouldn’t put yourself through a summer of working out with the Potters unless you wanted to be the best at your skill set. We woke up early all summer long… we ran in the morning and did sprints, and then we’d come back a couple of hours later and go to the rink, go on ice and then we’d shoot, we’d have lunch, and then we’d head to the gym and we’d to piles… it’s really an experience. You look at Jenny Potter and she’s one of the best players in the world, so if she’s doing it, you know you’re doing something right.

Q: As a sophomore in 2008-09 at the University of Wisconsin you led the NCAA with 45 goals and 83 points, helping the team capture the NCAA National Championship. You’ve obviously had a lot of success there and will return for next season. What are you plans for the rest of your time there and beyond? What are you majoring in?

A: I’m just taking a year off with the national team and then I have actually two more years of eligibility at Wisconsin. And I plan on seeing that all the way through. Education is really important, especially for the women’s side of athletics. As far as after that goes, I have no idea. I’m a history major as of now.