Katie King in action during the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, last month.
Many Memories to Treasure for BC Olympian
By Reid Oslin
Katie King, the assistant coach of the Boston College women's hockey team, has a trophy collection matched by few athletes in the world.
King was a member of the United States women's ice hockey team that won the bronze medal in the recent Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. She will add the coveted bauble to her impressive collection of a silver medal from the 2002 Winter Games at Salt Lake City and a gold medal won by the USA in the first women's hockey Olympic competition held in Sapporo, Japan, in 1998. She is one of four Team USA members to have participated in the three Olympiads.
King played an integral part in Team USA's recent success, scoring a three-goal "hat trick" in the Americans' 4-0 victory over Finland in the teams' final medal round game.
The scoring binge against the Finns was King's second Olympic hat trick. She also scored three goals in a Team USA victory over Japan eight years ago. Overall, she is the leading scorer in the history of Team USA with 146 goals and 117 assists in nine years of international competition.
King says the greatest reward for any Olympic athlete is representing their home nation in international competition. "One of the best parts of the Olympics is when you walk into the stadium during the opening ceremonies. That's when it really hits you," she said.
"Before the ceremony begins, you are waiting in the building with athletes from all of the different sports and all of the different countries. Then you get to walk out into the stadium," she said. "You wave at the crowd and wave at all of the television cameras, just hoping that the folks back home will get to see you. It's really exciting."
But even as she was competing in Turin, King says, her thoughts were often back with the Boston College team in Chestnut Hill. "One day, I walked into the trainer's room at the Olympic Village and there was an two-day old copy of the Boston Globe sitting on the table. It had a picture of the BC team winning the women's Beanpot tournament," she said. "I started yelling to everybody 'Look, there are my girls!'"
King said she received e-mails and phone calls of encouragement from team members and fellow coaches during her year-long term with the US National Team. "I sent a postcard [from Turin] back to the team, to let them know I was watching how they were doing during the season."
A native of Salem, NH, King played on boys' hockey teams as a youngster. She had an all-star career at Brown and has represented the United States in numerous international competitions since graduation in 1997. She joined Tom Mutch's coaching staff at Boston College three years ago.
The bronze medal game against Finland in Turin was likely her final game as a player, she says. "I knew this was probably it," she said of the last game. "But I didn't think of it during the game - well, maybe I did a little bit. It's really been an amazing time."