Gretchen Ulion-Silverman joined the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1993 and represented Team USA for several years, including the sport's debut at the Olympic Winter Games in 1998. The U.S. Olympic Team would go on to win the first gold medal in women's hockey by defeating Canada 3-1, a game in which she scored a goal.
It was at that time that Olympic aspirations were inspired in many young girls around the nation, including current USWNT member Meghan Duggan who credits Ulion-Silverman as a driving force in her desire to chase her Olympic dreams.
“I met Gretchen when I was younger and it made such a lasting impression on me and really helped fuel my desire to be an Olympian," said Duggan.
Fast forward to this week in Lake Placid where Ulion-Silverman is serving as a coach for Team USA, primarily working as an instructor with the under-18 team, and even those who were too young to watch the Olympics understand and appreciate what that group of women accomplished and what it has meant.
“Most of the younger girls were too young to have watched those Olympics but they have seen highlights and been told about what it has meant for helping women’s hockey become what it is today, which allows uthem to do what we love and provides them an opportunity they might not have had otherwise,” said Joel Johnson, head coach of the U.S. Women's Under-18 Select Team.
As a player, Ulion-Silverman earned many accolades and remains Dartmouth’s all-time leading scorer with 189 goals and 312 points.
Today, Ulion-Silverman continues to impact the lives of young hockey payers as the head women’s hockey coach at The Taft School.
Ulion-Silverman, who was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame along with the entire 1998 team, continues to leave a lasting impact on women’s hockey across the United States.
“I feel very fortunate to have been part of such an amazing group in 1998 at a very special time for women’s hockey in the U.S.,” said Ulion-Silverman. “I remain passionate about the sport that has given so much to me and I truly enjoy working events like this, sharing my experience and honoring my roots with USA Hockey.”