Golden Goal: Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scores the United States’ shootout winning goal in the gold medal game against Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Lamoureux-Davidson looks back on 2018 gold
She’s only 28, but given Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson’s experience and wisdom, it seems like she’s been around forever.
That’s a compliment though. Selected to play at the 2010 Olympics when she and here identical twin Monique were just 20, Jocelyne just wrapped up her third Games in ideal fashion. Her shootout goal in the gold medal game against Canada sealed the United States’ first Olympic title since 1998.
Three weeks later, Jocelyne sat down with IIHF.com to discuss PyeongChang and her future.
You’ve had a couple weeks to digest all that's happened. What are your thoughts on winning gold?
Obviously thrilled that we walked with the gold medal and it was really a special experience. I think Korea did such a great job with hosting. I guess, for me personally, I'm pretty happy with how I played, and I thought I made the most of the opportunities I was given. You hope that in big moments that all your preparation kind of pays off. For me personally, I feel like it did, but for our team it was definitely a success and a proud moment, and obviously, something we'll never forget.
Do you have a different perspective a few weeks later than you did right in the moment?
Since I've been able to be home and I think just what we did as a team, it really started to sink in. The impact we're going to have on the next generation as far as girls wanting to play hockey is huge. I've had quite a few girls, and boys, come up to me while I've been at home and saying they want to try hockey for the first time. They're not 6, 7, or 8, they're 10, 11, 12. So, having that immediate impact of kids just wanting to play hockey for the first time I think is pretty special, and ultimately that's our goal is to impact and influence the next generation.
The actual shootout goal itself, do you have a name for it? When did you decide to use it?
It's called "Oops I did it again”. Our coach Peter Elander came up with it. He actually used to coach Sweden, their women's national team in '06 and 2010, and he skated with my sister and I after we graduated from college. But he's been doing individual sessions, just skill sessions with us, for the last seven to eight years. And that was just the name of one of the drills of a skill we were working on. And we've been working on that for years and have practiced it thousands of times.
I kind of knew I was going to go to that before the shootout started. I watched Amanda Kessel and Hilary Knight both come down the middle, so I wanted to do something different. Even though I ended up coming down the middle, I took a round-a-bout way to get there. I came in pretty slow. I pretty much knew I was going to go to that, but just happy it worked out.
You guys won gold, but you were the only U.S. member named to the tournament All-Star Team. What does that say about the squad you have in PyeongChang?
I think that we had balanced scoring throughout the tournament, and I think we didn't have just one line going. We had scoring from all four lines, and we had people scoring in big moments that maybe someone watching wouldn't have expected. So, I think when you're able to have different people chipping in on the scoreboard, every game it's a different person scoring, I think that's a testament to the depth of our team. But it's also a testament that you can't just cover one line.
This was your third Olympics, and you’ve been a hero before, but there seemed to be a lot bigger homecoming in Grand Forks this time around. Why do you think that is?
We've made it no secret that we wanted to come away with the gold medal, and that's been our goal our whole lives. So, we've kind of had welcoming homes before, but this one was just on steroids. To hear the words that one of our coaches had shared and to see all the familiar faces that came out for the evening was pretty special. But I think the most special is the comments from people who really know us, who really know what has gone into this journey and just comments that we were proud of you long before you had a gold medal. That's really what I think what means the most.
Big difference coming home with gold rather than silver, huh?
Yeah. It was definitely nice to come with the gold medal and share that. I mean that's what it's all about, sharing this experience. And when it's gold, there's a lot more people to share it with.
Where is the medal now?
Right now, it's in my purse because I tend to ... People want to see it, so I'm just kind of bringing it with me everywhere.
In the moment, was it just pure elation or relief?
I don't think relief is a word I would use, but definitely just excitement. The time that you get to celebrate with your teammates and embrace your teammates after you win, that's a special moment. To be able to find your family in the stands, and see them, and share that experience with the people who have helped you the most, those are the things that I think about, that I remember the most. I think there was a lot of pride and a lot of belief in our locker room.
Do you think this gold medal means more to you now after losing so narrowly in your first two Olympics?
I think that's hard to compare because every Olympic cycle is so different. The team is different, but I would say there's definite appreciation having lost two times in a row and then going at it for the third time. There's definite appreciation, and I think with those losses, there's a lot of lessons learned. And there's a lot of extra focus and dialed-in focus and preparation that maybe isn't there having not lost, especially the way we lost in Sochi.
You have so much experience, but you're only 28. Do you have another Olympic cycle left in you?
Well, I definitely have a passion to continue to play, but I'm married, and I have had a very supportive and patient husband the last four years. He's been supporting my dreams. Since we met, he's kind of known that this is part of the picture with me. So, we would like to try to start a family, but I guess we're fortunate and are able to make that happen, I think I would like to try and come back. I'm at a different stage in life than I was four years ago, and family is my number one priority right now, so, I think, I’m going to play it by ear these next four years and see what happens.
What about off the ice?
We have an opportunity to be a voice for the people that came before us and didn't have the recognition or didn't have the opportunity to speak out about gender equity and equal opportunity, and I definitely want to be able to try and maximize the opportunities to bring awareness to those issues that we experience in hockey and sports and life and really to be a positive voice for change.
What are some of those opportunities?
Well, the first one that comes to the top of my head is we, my sister and I, we do work for the East Snider Hockey Foundation for the last three years. It's in Philadelphia, and we've been providing equipment for the program, donating equipment for the program, and they provide hockey for, basically, any kid that wants to sign up for hockey in Philadelphia, they can. Their gear can get provided, and they have a league to play in.
And I think it's important that hockey is available to everyone but then also promoting that to girls and letting them know that young girls can play because I think there's so many life lessons that girls can learn through sports. It doesn't necessarily have to be hockey, but I think it develops confidence.
And statistics, you know, numbers don't lie. Young girls who play sports growing up through high school become successful in their careers later in life, are more likely to become successful.
You’ve coached Strength and Conditioning for the University of North Dakota women’s hockey team, your alma mater, before the program was shut down. Is that something you’d like to continue teaching?
I think that's going to kind of to be determined, and it's not just about training hockey players. I think you can use strength and conditioning to maximize your potential as an athlete and maximize your physical qualities. Become better at whatever sport it is that you play, but it's also, again, another vehicle to teach life lessons, accountability, work ethic, and, especially in the weight room, whether you're on a team sport or not, you have to show up every single day. No one is ... Your parents might make you go, but you have to show up and put the work in, and I think that's one of the things that draws me to that field is the difference it can make outside of the weight room for an individual.