Women's Hockey Team USA Visits Oakley
Five members of the silver medal-winning US Women’s Hockey Team visited Oakley on Wednesday, March 10, to tour the facilities, shop the retail store, show off their silver medals and game jerseys, answer some audience questions and sign autographs for Oakley employees.
Natalie Darwitz (three-time Olympian and Team Captain), Molly Schaus (Goalie), Jessie Vetter (Goalie), Kerry Weiland (Defense) and Gigi Marvin (forward) visited Oakley Headquarters in Foothill Ranch after making an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in Los Angeles.
The women answered questions and gave employees some behind-the-scenes insight to the Vancouver experience.
More than Torino, Salt Lake City…hockey was at the forefront in Vancouver,” said Captain Natalie Darwitz. “Fans are ridiculously crazy about hockey. We had never seen anything like it.”
The women played for more than 18,000 screaming fans in the gold medal game against Canada, and though they fell short of gold, it wasn’t for lack of effort. When women’s hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998, Team USA Since took gold and has since followed with a bronze and two silvers.
Oakley’s Greg Welch presented the women with custom eyewear, which they will put to use on a well-deserved team holiday to the Caribbean.
Read below for athlete bios:
Natalie Darwitz has been the Captain of the US Women’s National Team since the start of the 2007-08 season. In Vancouver, she set an American record for most points in a single Olympics. She has won three World Championships since 2005 and has an Olympic Silver and two Bronze medals in Women’s Ice Hockey for the US.
Although Molly Schaus, a goaltender, didn’t play in the championship game, she did make a major contribution to the team’s success. As a junior with Boston College in 2008-09, Schaus was second in the nation with 10 shutouts. Looking ahead, Schaus — who took the year off from college to compete in the Olympics — plans to return to Boston College as a senior in the fall, for both academics and hockey.
Jessie Vetter was back-up goalie in Vancouver and recorded two consecutive shutouts. She was a member of the 2008–09 Wisconsin Badgers women’s ice hockey team, which won an NCAA title. When she was a mere sophomore, Vetter broke the NCAA single-season goals-against average record with a mark of 0.83. In the process, Vetter recorded a shutout streak that reached 448 minutes and 32 seconds – the longest not only in NCAA women’s hockey history but also in men’s history.
After growing up in Palmer, Alaska, Kerry Weiland (Defense) attended the University of Wisconsin on a full athletic scholarship. She was Wisconsin’s first women’s hockey first-team All-American, first team All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association, with many other all-star honours. Kerry was a member of the 2008 Gold Medal World Championship Team.
Forward Gigi Marvin played four seasons at the University of Minnesota, where she was twice in the top 10 for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. She finished her amateur career sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 195 points. Gigi hails from the same small town as 1960 gold medalists Bill and Roger Christian and 1980 gold medalist Dave Christian. She learned to skate at age 2 and has been playing hockey ever since.