Gretchen Silverman was here today presenting her journey to the Olympics in 1998 with the Womens' Hockey team in Nagano, Japan to win the gold. Our children sat rapt as they watched footage from the event which landed the USA a gold medal.
They saw her medal, her jersey with the number 22, pins and ID tags she wore while in the Olympic Village and photographs from her very first days on the ice at 6 years old up to her Olympic win.
Gretchen's enthusiasm was contagious. She spoke at length about the importance of the struggle. When we love something no matter the struggle we will just keep working harder to achieve our goals. She said to the children, your brain has to work hard too. You have to focus and tell yourself no matter what the distractions that "you can do it!" You learn to deal with disappointment and it makes you stronger. She talked about being cut from the team at one point a few years before the Olympic dream unfolded and how hard she had to work to be invited back, that it didn't come quickly. It was two years before the invitation came in the mail. But all that time she trained harder, skated more worked on improving. She couldn't give up because she loves the sport so much. Her message to the children was, find something you love to do and work hard at it and you will enjoy it for a lifetime.
Gretchen is mom to CJ and Jason Silverman at LMS and is a former Children' s House teacher here. She now coaches hockey at Taft...still doing what she loves!
Gretchen Silverman-Olympic Gold Medal