“That’s electrifying. That’s as good as you’re going to see anywhere.” That is how NBC Analyst Pierre Mcguire described the shootout goal by Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson that helped the US clinch gold in 2018.
With just over six minutes remaining in the third period, her twin sister, Monique Lamoureux-Morando scored the game-tying goal to force overtime. Now, with the duo firmly solidified as national hockey heroes, they’re moving on to a new chapter in their lives. However, just because they’re hanging up their skates does not mean that they are done making an impact.
Far from it. The Grand Forks natives and former University of North Dakota athletes are set to release their first book, Dare to Make History: Chasing a Dream and Fighting for Equity which chronicles their rise to the world stage and their fight for equity with USA Hockey which gained national attention in the runup to the 2018 Winter Olympics, on February 23. They have also launched the Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux Foundation which is working to help underserved children and communities.
Already with the foundation, the twins have begun donating to schools in the Grand Forks area to help students in need have access to the internet. And they are just getting started.
To learn more about the path they are on, we caught up with the Olympic heroes.
Will you have any involvement with hockey clinics or anything going forward?
Monique: Jocelyne and I will still be involved in the girl’s hockey camps that we put on. Down the road, if there’s an opportunity to stay in the sport, especially at a high level, I think we’d both want to. Right now, we’re both obviously in Grand Forks so we don’t have a ton of opportunity. But I know we both want to stay engaged in the sport.
Jocelyne: I’ve been helping out with the 15U team once a week here which has been really fun. The time away this year has really given us a chance to have some perspective on what we want to do moving forward without hockey in our lives.
What do you want to do moving forward?
Jocelyne: I think first and foremost we want to give more time and attention to our families. We’ve been so focused on hockey for so long. We went to Shattuck St. Mary’s when we were 15 years old. We made the national team when we were 18 or 19 years old and for the last 10 to 12 years we’ve been completely committed to showing up at camp and being in the best shape we can be and being the best players we can be. We’ve been doing that for so long and stepping away and giving more time and attention to our families is our first priority.
We also want to try to make a bigger impact through our foundation which we’ve been giving more time to over the last few months. I also think we are looking for something else that we are equally passionate about outside of the rink. I’m not sure if we’ll find something like hockey, but we will find something that fulfills us.
What is the time commitment like to the foundation currently?
Monique: Right now it kind of varies. We’re taking a class through Emerging Prairie that has really helped to narrow our focus on what we really want to do.
Jocelyne: We have a fundraiser with the Grand Forks Foundation for Education which is coming up in February for Giving Hearts Day. We’ll put a lot more time in around that. But between being moms, our book coming out and trying to get the foundation a little more organized, we’re having to find time where we can.
Do you both plan on continuing to be involved in negotiations with USA Hockey for 2021 even though you are retiring from the sport?
Jocelyne: Negotiations are going on right now and we are part of the player representation. The contract ends at the end of March. This is something that Monique and I wanted to commit to and let out teammates know that if they wanted our voices in the room we wanted to be there to set the stage for the next group of players that’ll be on the national team. We believe this new contract will help grow Women’s hockey and that’s something that we wanted. It’s the last impact we can make for the national team.
What is your book about?
Monique: Our book is about our journey from the frozen ponds of North Dakota to the Olympic stage and what it takes to get there. However, our journey is so much more than that.
Jocelyne: The importance of winning the gold medal has been so much more important than just the achievement itself. It has given us a platform and a launching point to do many more important things than just winning hockey games. We believe there are so many ways to give back because of the careers we’ve had. We want to be examples of how you can positively impact your teammates and your community.
Monique: We think our book isn’t just for girls. It’s not just for hockey players. It’s for parents. It’s for kids. We feel like the lessons in the book transcend sports.
What was it like writing the book?
Jocelyne: It’s a pretty daunting process when you start out. We had to get a publisher to agree to take us on which was a process in and of itself. The amount of edits and time spent working with our collaborator was pretty monotonous at times with having to read the same pages over and over again.
Monique: It’s another thing trying to find the right stories for the book. Some things that Jocelyne and I might find very interesting about our lives might not be interesting to the reader. And things that we might not find interesting might be very interesting to the reader. It was a fun process, but the editing is very difficult and can get boring. But seeing it come to life with the cover and everything is pretty special.
Why write the book?
Monique: We were really encouraged by a mentor and friend of ours. He really believed that our story was book worthy. We also really want people to know that our career is about more than trying to win hockey games and score goals.
Jocelyne: If our career was only about that, the difference we would make would be very short lived. I believe everyone can make an impact on the world and I think it’s important to share stories that show people that.
Why did you want to start the foundation?
Monique: After the Olympics, Jocelyne and I had the opportunity to work with Comcast and travel around the country to low income schools, communities and inner cities. It really opened our eyes to the struggles that so many kids face not just in urban America but also rural America. Jocelyne and I were using our voice and our platform to make a difference around the country, but we needed to do something for our home state.
Jocelyne: That really inspired us to fast track starting our foundation. Our mission is to cheer for the one behind. That came from our mom. Back when we were playing individual sports growing up against one another, she would always cheer for the one that was behind. We have a platform to do that for kids that may not have had the opportunities that we’ve had growing up. Not necessarily in sports, but in school and life.
Why was right now the right time to retire?
Jocelyne: After the Olympics in PyeongChang, we were both committed to getting back on the national team. We did that. We would have played in the Four Nations had it not been cancelled due to COVID. It would have been easy to retire and be done, but we wanted to see what we could do after we had kids. Having kids also opens your eyes to a whole new world though. Last February, the day we were supposed to go to camp, our Grandma passed away. We had to leave for her funeral in the middle of our trip for camp and go back and play in a game the next day. It was an eye opening life event that provided a lot of perspective. Then, COVID happened. My husband and I had the loss of a pregnancy in the summer. Life events like those make you really question what you’re doing and reevaluate your priorities in your life. For me, those things made me reprioritize what I wanted to give my time to. Being a mom is the most important thing I’ll ever do. Whether I played in three or four Olympics at the end of the day doesn’t really matter. Medals don’t go to the grave with you. I feel like what we can do moving forward is more important than just playing more hockey games.
Monique: It just kind of put everything in perspective. Having that experience and realizing we lost out on time with family during a loss, it didn’t really sit well with us.
We also missed our dad’s reunion for the UND 1980 National Championship team. We were in Philadelphia playing and that was one of the first times I really felt like I was missing out because of hockey. Our perspective has really shifted in the last year as far as what’s important to us.
Are you at peace with it?
Monique: Yes, for the past four years we’ve trained by ourselves. We skate by ourselves four to five times a week. Most of the time we don’t have a goalie. It’s monotonous hard work. Day-to-day it’s not much fun. We enjoy training. We enjoy the process of getting better, but COVID really took away those things that you look forward to during training. Camps were postponed and games were cancelled. All of a sudden, those things to look forward to are taken away.
What lessons have you learned through athletics that you think will help you going forward in the professional world?
Jocelyne: I don’t know if there’s any profession where you don’t have to work with people. Even if you work at a desk, you still have people to answer to. You have to collaborate with people. The biggest lessons that will propel Monique and I forward are teamwork, accountability, leadership and work ethic. We’ve prided ourselves on those things as hockey players and people. We try to do that every day to be as best as possible.
What do you want the next chapter of your life to look like?
Monique: I think it’s yet to be written. Hopefully there are opportunities that come with the book coming out. We’re really passionate about our foundation. I think winning a gold medal gives you a platform to make a positive difference. We’re really passionate about giving back to underprivileged youth in the State of North Dakota. With COVID, our schedules have really opened up and allowed us to really shift our focus towards what we want to do.
What is your dream for the foundation?
Jocelyne: I think we’re in the middle of figuring out what our long term goals are but I think if we can keep continuing to make a positive impact on youth in North Dakota for kids who need more equal resources we can make a difference. We want to continue making more impacts like that.
Was working with a nonprofit always something that was a goal of yours or is this something you’ve realized more recently you wanted to do?
Monique: After we won gold, we were talking to a meteor of ours, David Cohen, and he was asking us what was on our list of what we wanted to do next. We had our foundation on that list, but that was originally more a part of our five-year plan. He helped us realize that we don’t need millions of dollars to make an impact. That gave us the push to get it started even though we didn’t really know all the ropes and would be learning as we went.
Jocelyne: Through our work with Comcast we got to know Jackie Joyner-Kersee and we’ve gotten to see how the work she has done in St. Louis has impacted thousands of kids. We knew we wanted to make an impact after seeing that.
What has the experience with the Emerging Prairie Cohort been like?
Monique: The experience has been awesome. It’s really gotten us out of our comfort zones and made us get more direction with our foundation. It’s really helped us as far as getting a to-do list going with things we want to accomplish in both the short term and long term. Going into it, we were really flying by the seat of our pants when it came to our foundation. Now we have more of that focus. It’s really cool to be part of a group where everyone is trying to make a positive impact.
What’s something from your book that will benefit those who read it?
Monique: The assumption is going to be that the book is a hockey book. We don’t see it as a hockey book. We see it as a book that can inspire people to make a difference. We hope our story inspires others to put their best foot forward in whatever they do.