Silver salute for Grand Forks hockey players
Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux aren't sure if they'll ever experience a month like the last one.
They played five games on national television, hung out with Apolo Anton Ohno and Shaun White, did an interview Tom Brokaw, received a call from a U.S. senator, made every major newspaper in the country and became Grand Forks' first female Olympic medalists.
Monique had the only hat trick of the medal round and had a story in USA Today. Jocelyne's between-the-legs goal against China was named one of the top 10 Olympic plays by a Canadian television station.
"It was the top moment (of my career)," Jocelyne said before pausing and adding: "But I'd trade it for a gold medal."
The twins arrived back in Grand Forks late Monday night carrying their silver medals in their backpacks (it's a good thing because their bags were lost until Tuesday night). They proudly show their medals and point out that each of them have unique designs.
They haven't decided what they're going to do with the medals, only saying they want them in a place where they can see them daily without getting stolen.
But while celebrating their achievement, the twins make no bones about their competitiveness and talked about the mixed feelings they had after losing the championship to the host Canadians 2-0.
"You work so hard for years, and for the last year we've been training for one game," Jocelyne said. "Obviously, it didn't end the way we wanted. Once you kind of step away from the rink and put it all in perspective, it's pretty cool, though. It's awesome having people come up and say, 'Congrats on your silver.'"
Monique added: "Our team got a lot of flak for being disappointed when we got our medals, but people who say that don't understand that you're competing for a gold medal. You have a silver and that's awesome, but it could have been gold. If it would have been the other way around, and we would have won, everybody in the stands would have been crying.
"I see it as a good thing if you're not satisfied with a silver. The girls coming back will have motivation to win gold."
The twins were stone-faced when receiving their medals during the game and admit they were holding back tears when the 18,000-plus in Hockey Canada Place started chanting "U-S-A."
"That was pretty emotional," Monique said. "A lot of us were fighting back tears. You are in a pro-Canadian crowd and for them to do that is pretty moving."
Because of the high volume of interview requests, the twins aren't surprised to hear that reporters from across North America were writing stories on them. But they've only read a USA Today piece so far.
They were plenty busy in Vancouver, B.C., with other things -- like practice, games, hanging out, shopping and homework. Yes, the twins did homework while at the Olympics. In order to be eligible to play for UND next season after transferring from Minnesota, the twins need a year of school under their belts.
"I think our teammates felt bad for us," Monique said.
The twins are convinced that they'll never again play in an atmosphere like last Thursday's gold-medal game. The 2014 Olympics are in Russia, where women's hockey has not caught on yet.
"(Last Thursday) will be the most energetic crowd we'll ever play in front of," Jocelyne said.
But that doesn't mean they aren't already looking forward to the 2014 Sochi Games.
They say they can't wait to put on a Sioux jersey for the next three years and then make a run at gold again.
"We have a silver medal from the Olympics," Jocelyne said. "Not a lot of people can say that.
"But we'll use it as motivation for 2014."