Alumni compete in 2014 Winter Olympics

12 former and current UND athletes head to Sochi to represent their home countries.

The University of North Dakota is well represented in Sochi, Russia this year at the 2014 Winter Olympics with 12 UND students and alumni competing or serving in the Olympic games.

Students and alumni will be representing four countries in the games — five for Team USA, two for Team Canada, three for Team Finland and two for Team Germany.

“It is a source of great pride for UND and North Dakota Athletics to be so well represented at the Olympic Games,” UND Athletic Director Brian Faison said. “And for the athletes competing, it speaks to the quality of student athletes that we recruit at UND and the great job our coaches and support staff do in helping develop those student athletes.”

Nine of the twelve at the Olympics are current or former UND women’s and men’s hockey players.

T.J. Oshie and Zach Parise will be playing for Team USA men’s hockey. Both men also compete in the NHL; Oshie plays for the St. Louis Blues and Parise, who is team captain for Team USA, plays for the Minnesota Wild. Team USA’s men’s hockey team will begin play on Feb. 13 at 6:30 a.m. versus Slovakia.

Monique and Jocelyne Lamoreux — natives of Grand Forks, North Dakota — will be playing for Team USA’s women’s hockey.  The Lamoreux twins competed in the 2010 Olympics and took home a silver medal after losing to Team Canada. Team USA’s women’s hockey began with a 3 – 1 win against Finland.  Team USA will play again Feb. 10 at 4:00 a.m. versus Switzerland and Feb. 12 at 6:30 a.m. versus Canada.

The fifth UND alumni serving in the Games for Team USA is Jason Switzer, a 2007 UND graduate with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. He will serve on the USA Snowboarding staff as a physical therapist.

For Team Canada, Jonathan Toews will be competing in men’s hockey, and Brad Pascall, former UND defenseman, is the vice president of hockey operations for Hockey Canada and serves on Canada’s Olympic management team.

UND students Michelle Karvienen and Susana Tapani will be competing in women’s hockey for Team Finland.  Current UND women’s hockey video coordinator, Max Markowitz will be serving as a video coordinator for Team Finland.

For Team Germany, former UND student Susanne Fellner and current UND student Tanja Eisenschid will be competing in womens hockey.

Prior to competition, UND student athletes competing in the Olympic games worked with Athletics Academic Service and Compliance staff to maintain NCAA eligibility.  Students also will have to miss about a month of school and had to arrange with professors to maintain their schoolwork while they are away, by taking online courses or doing the work online.

Although it is not known whether or not this is the most UND students and alumni competing or serving in the Olympics ever but it is the most representation in recent years.

“It will be fun, and a bit emotional, to watch our student-athletes competing at the highest level of international competition,” Faison said. “I can’t wait — my viewing schedule is already mapped out for the games.”

Ashley Marquis is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].