Alev Kelter, a multisport athlete and two-time member (2008 and 2009) of the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team, will be making her Olympic debut in rugby today. She had never played rugby when she joined the national team in 2014 and has become one of the stalwarts for the Americans in a short period of time.
Kelter, the former captain of the U18 hockey team, is one of 12 players who will represent Team USA when women’s rugby is played for the first time ever at the Olympics beginning with a pair of U.S. matches against Fiji at noon ET and Colombia at 5 p.m. ET.
At the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's Under-18 World Championship, Kelter led the U.S. hockey team to a gold medal. Her teammates in 2008 and 2009 included world champions Megan Bozek, Kendall Coyne, Brianna Decker, Amanda Kessel, Amanda Pelkey, Alex Rigsby and Anne Schleper.
On the eve of the USA Hockey Women’s National Festival, some of Kelter’s U18 teammates are not surprised that she has excelled in rugby and every facet surrounding the sport.
“She was a gifted athlete and a tenacious competitor and we're just extremely excited for her," said Bozek.
With the media spotlight on the Olympics, Kelter has become a very public figure for Team USA and has seen multiple articles detailing her rise in the sport and hopes for the Olympic games.
As fellow Olympians, the players appreciate everything Kelter is going through and Schleper noted "It's been fun to see all the coverage she has been getting and all of the stories she's been featured in, including the recent Players Tribune article she wrote."
During her high school career in Eagle River, Alaska at Chugiak High School, Kelter played soccer, flag football and boys hockey for the Mustangs. She went on to play hockey at the University of Wisconsin where she was teammates with national team members Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Rigsby during her four-year career from 2009-13. She also played soccer for the Badgers.
"It’s exciting to see someone you know make such an impact on a sport and even though we’ll all be at our national festival, we’ll be following along as best we can and cheering her on throughout her journey and hopefully to a gold medal result,” said Decker.
|Name||Position||Years on U18WWC Together||Result|
|Bozek, Megan||D||2009||Gold Medal|
|Coyne, Kendall||F||2008 & 2009||Gold Medal (Two)|
|Decker, Brianna||F||2008 & 2009||Gold Medal (Two)|
|Kessel, Amanda||F||2008 & 2009||Gold Medal (Two)|
|Pelkey, Amanda||F||2009||Gold Medal|
|Rigsby, Alex||G||2009||Gold Medal|
|Schleper, Anne||D||2009||Gold Medal|