American twins will have some sisterly company at Olympics
Just call it a sister thing. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando take notice when another hockey team has sisters on the roster.
The U.S. Olympians are twins. Combine that with how few sisters play hockey. And with how few reach national teams playing internationally. It's easy to notice when sisters are dressing up for another country.
"It's just cool to see," Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said.
The Lamoureux sisters will have some sisterly company at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games. Their teammate Hannah Brandt has a sister playing. Her name is Marissa. She plays for the unified Korean women's team.
Switzerland has two sets of sisters on the roster. They have Nina, Isabel and Monika Waidacher. They also have twins Laura and Sara Benz. Canada nearly had its own sister act. They almost had Sarah and Amy Potomak. But neither made the Olympic team.
Being sisters definitely can provide an edge in hockey.
"When we get the opportunity to be on the ice together, there's a chemistry that just never goes away." That's according to Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson.
"It's always there. So whenever we have an opportunity to have a couple shifts together or if we're ever put on a unit or line together, it's always there. And we've pushed each other every day whether it's workouts or during on-ice training. It's just that accountability that we've always had growing up."
Women's hockey didn't debut at the Olympics until 1998. It was in Nagano. But playing hockey simply was something the Lamoureux sisters were bound to do. They were born in Fargo. It is in North Dakota. Their father is Pierre. He played for the University of North Dakota. And all four of their brothers played hockey in college. Brother Jacque was a Hobey Baker finalist. That was in 2009. He was with Air Force.
The Lamoureux sisters played a year in college. They were at Minnesota. That was before switching to North Dakota. They were there for their final three seasons. Their last season was in 2012-13. They have played internationally for the United States. They have played since 2006. Both play forward. Monique also plays defense. They are now 28. The sisters credit each other for their long success. It now includes a third Olympic berth.
"That's part of the reason we've pushed ourselves to this level. We have been competing at this level for quite a long time, It is that built-in accountability day-in, day-out even if we're not with the team," Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said.
Monique Lamoureux-Davidson calls it the benefit of having grown up together playing every sport together on the same team. Though they haven't played together on the ice as much as people might think. Coaches have often spread the skill. They played them on separate lines.
"It's just that thing when we're on the ice together, we have that undeniable chemistry," she said.
And the American sisters definitely have an Olympic edge. They have won silver medals. They won them in 2010 and 2014. Jocelyne has 11 points in 10 Olympic games. Monique has 13 points in the same span. The U.S. women's team is chasing the gold medal. It eluded the Americans in Sochi. The United States blew a 2-0 lead to Canada in the final at those Games.
Monique is chasing simple fulfillment.
"The last four years we've been kind of chasing down this dream of being Olympic champions. Nearly every single day your day is scheduled around being the best athlete you can be," she said. "You change up your plans, you do everything you can to be the best athlete, best leader, best team you can be."
Jocelyne can't wait for the chance to represent the United States once again in the Olympics. She has pride and emotion. It bubbles up whenever she thinks of the Winter Games. It's what the sisters have been working for most of their lives. And there's one ultimate goal.
"It's gold," Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson said. "We've come up short the last two Olympics and our ultimate goal is just to play our best. If we can do that, we truly believe we can come out on top."