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Three-Time Olympian Gigi Marvin Retires From U.S. Women’s Hockey Team

by Bob Reinert

Gigi Marvin celebrates after winning the women's gold-medal ice hockey match at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

 

In this case, 13 is a lucky number.
That’s how many years Gigi Marvin spent as a member of the U.S. women’s hockey team before announcing her retirement on Dec. 16. They are years she will never forget.
“I was blessed with competing against the absolute best players for 13 years in the entire country,” Marvin said. “What our team accomplished … the past, I don’t know, four, five, six, seven years, it’s just been incredible the run Team USA has been on. Very fortunate on many levels, both athletically and competition-wise but also personally with the relationships that we built.”
The three-time Olympian was part of the U.S. team that won the 2018 gold medal in PyeongChang, South Korea. Marvin also earned silver medals in 2014 and 2010.
Marvin helped the U.S. to five world championship gold medals and two silver medals. Over her career, she tallied 24 goals and added 50 assists for 74 points in 126 games. She played both defense and forward.
“Gigi was a cornerstone of the U.S. Women’s National Team program for a long time,” Katie Million, director of women’s national team programs for USA Hockey, said in a statement. “Not many athletes earn the opportunity to play in three Olympic Games, along with countless world championships. 
“She was obviously a terrific player and represented our country so well on the biggest stages. We thank her for not only being a big contributor to the success of our program, but for also for serving as a wonderful role model for aspiring young players throughout the country.”
After Warroad High School, Marvin skated for the University of Minnesota. She played more than eight seasons of professional hockey.
When the U.S. won the first Olympic gold medal in women’s ice hockey in Nagano, Japan, in 1998, then 9-year-old Marvin was watching. A dream was born that the 34-year-old has now realized.
“It’s hard to let go of something that you’ve been training for and dreaming of and just fixated on for decades,” Marvin said. “It’s not an easy transition, as all athletes mention when they move past their playing days into the next chapter of their life.

Gigi Marvin #19 of the United States celebrates scoring during the women's gold-medal ice hockey match at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea.

 

“So, it’s not easy, that’s for sure. But it’s time.”
As rewarding as her career was, Marvin pointed out that it had its ups and downs.
“Everyone understands how physically challenging being an Olympic athlete is, but I don’t think anyone understands the mental and emotional complexity of it and the drain,” Marvin said. “I’m definitely going to miss … witnessing my teammates push past not only physical limitations and boundaries and just bring themselves to a higher level but see them respond in the face of adversity to internal things, as well. It’s just the coolest thing to watch people overcome, and to do it together, it’s pretty special.”
First among her many memories is winning the gold medal in 2018 with family and friends in attendance.
“Not only were they at the game, but they actually somehow moved down right behind the Canada goalie for the shootout,” Marvin recalled. “It’s just incredible how that ended up working out.”
Marvin now works for Bally Sports North as a TV analyst doing color commentary for Minnesota Wild games and for pre- and post-game shows. She also has held a summer hockey camp for girls and boys for 14 years.
“I have really enjoyed being around the game, still,” Marvin said. “I love talking hockey. I love watching and just teaching. I enjoy helping others. I had so much support and help getting to where I got in my career, and so it’s pretty cool to be on the flip side and just get to invest in these kids’ lives. 
“I just love the game, and I’ll skate or play or hang out with kind of anyone, really. It’s (an) easy no-brainer. It’s pretty rare that I say no.”


Bob Reinert spent 17 years writing sports for The Boston Globe. He also served as a sports information director at Saint Anselm College and Phillips Exeter Academy. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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