Olympic Dreams

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Kaitlyn Sudolnik writes, On December 12…

On December 12, 2009, my sister McKenzie, 7, played hockey with her Colorado Select team between the first and second periods of the U.S. versus Canada women’s pre-Olympic hockey game at Denver University. We began with two lovely national anthems, “The Star Spangled Banner,” by McKenna Halter and “O, Canada,” by Kelsey Coker. Luckily our seats were close to the rink, so we could see absolutely EVERYTHING! I was so proud of McKenzie for making it this far in her young hockey experience. She was nervous and she felt great, and it made her even more nervous to find that her pal AJ from school was there to watch her play! The funny thing was I usually go to watch the Colorado Avalanche play, and it so happened that every single person out there was female!When the game began, a hockey puck flew over the boards and into the screaming crowd. There were lots of calls for high-sticking, crashing and holding. Soon after the game started, I bid her goodbye to McKenzie and she trotted off to her locker room. Canada got the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd goals, leaving the US behind in the dust. My mother was happy for them, because she has a Canadian background. Chants for the U.S. rose from the crowd many times, even from a group of 14 girls dressed in pink that sat right next to me. The Mascot of the U.S. was an eagle.Soon enough, McKenzie was on the ice. My family and I cheered for her plentifully, enough to wear our voices out. The final score was 0 to 0. I was so proud of her for already making it this far in her hockey experience. I can see her being a player on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team in 2022!