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Published May 07 2010

Lamoureux twins show off silver shine

There aren’t many things more intimidating than playing against Canada for a gold medal in hockey on the Canadians’ home turf.

Dealing with a room full of bubbly elementary school students loaded with energy and questions? Now that’s daunting.

Sporting their silver medals around their necks, twins Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux spoke to the students at Fargo’s Washington Elementary School on Thursday – and they were just as wowed as the kids.

“We love doing this,” Jocelyne said. “We’ve done this for a lot of schools, and some other places, but schools are always the most fun. They’re the most rewarding, too.”

After bursting in and doling out a bunch of high fives, the Lamoureux’s spoke of the hard work and dedication that earned them spots on Team USA‘s women’s hockey team for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“It’s fun to interact with the kids and you hope they take something from your story,” Monique said. “We’re happy to do it. It’s part of the experience.

“To even be asked to come and speak to a group of kids? It’s great. It’s humbling.”

The twins also answered questions that ranged in topics from playing multiple sports (they both played about a dozen), to where they store their medals (the kitchen table, for now).

They also showed a slide show of photos from their Olympic experience.

The Lamoureux twins, who hail from Grand Forks, N.D., played their prep hockey for Shattuck St. Mary’s in Faribault, MN (south of the Twin Cities), and then went to the University of Minnesota for one season.

Then they decided to transfer back home to play their college hockey for the University of North Dakota.

That was a risky move. When they had to declare their transfer, their spots on the Olympic team weren’t guaranteed. And they would have to remain full-time students.

It worked out just fine, as evidenced by their Olympic medals.

“We knew it was going to be a risk, but we knew what we wanted to do,” Jocelyne said. “When you feel something’s right for you, you have to jump with both feet in – jump in 100 percent.

“We’re excited about it.”

Both of the Lamoureux sisters said the challenge of helping to build up a program from the ground up was a definite draw for them.

“Part of the reason we transferred was because we knew if we went to UND, it was the opportunity to put a program on the map,” Monique said. “Minnesota is one of the top teams in the country, and (UND) is still building.

“But our expectations are the same. We want to bring them a championship.”

The Fighting Sioux are moving in the right direction. Along with getting the Lamoureux twins, UND will also have Michelle Karvinen – who led bronze medalist Finland in scoring at the 2010 Games – on the roster next season.

“We like what they’re doing,” Jocelyne said. “But we’re going to keep playing and working the way we always have – just like we did for the Olympics.

“That’s the goal no matter what jersey you’re putting on.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548