It’s not unheard of for athletes to meet the President of the United States in acknowledgement of achievement in their respective sports, nor is it unique for members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team to be involved in this type of experience. Eleven players had this honor in 2010 following the team’s silver medal victory and this will be the fourth visit for Julie Chu.
What is a bit unusual, though, is meeting him for the second time in about three weeks. For Megan Bozek, and Lee Stecklein, this will be the second visit to the White House within that span.
The 2012-13 University of Minnesota women’s hockey team visited on March 10 to celebrate its NCAA Division I national championship.
When reminded of the Forrest Gump saga and his famous line, "So I went to the Whitehouse--AGAIN--and met the President--AGAIN" (in a very ho-hum voice) and asked if they felt a little like the title charachter who repeatedly met the President for various reasons, there were several humorous responses, joking around and chirping from teammates. But in all seriousness, both players were very humble and gracious for the opportunity to once “again” meet the President.
In addition to their teammates, fellow Olympians and Paralympians, these two players appreciate the honor of representing their country and hope to do so in future years and be back in this situation once again.
Both players also noted that they hope their example inspires other young girls to work hard and strive to reach their dreams.
The day will begin with a tour of the White House before meeting the President and First Lady and the excitement of Bozek and Stecklein is indicative of the entire group as they look forward to a very special day.