Dare to Make History: The Lamoureux twins and the fight for gender equity in hockey

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /

Dare to Make History: Chasing a Dream and Fighting for Equity is a new book detailing the Lamoureux twins and their achievements on and off the ice.

Dare to Make History: Chasing a Dream and Fighting for Equity written by twins and Olympic gold-medalists Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson is set to release on Feb. 23, 2021. That’s just one day after the three-year anniversary of the gold-medal game in PyeongChang and 38 years to the day of “Miracle on Ice.” The book tells the inspiring story of their rise to become gold medal-winning hockey players in the 2018 Olympics and their ongoing fight for gender equity within a male-dominated sport and society.

The Lamoureux twins grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota with four hockey-playing older brothers and an Olympic dream.

“When I am 17 years old, I want to be on the American or Canadian Olympic hockey team with my sister Monique,” said Lamoureux-Davidson when she was in third grade.

That was the very beginning of their journey. However, their path to the Olympics started on boys’ teams because there were no girl’s teams for them to play on until they got older, which made achieving those dreams much harder.

At 15-years-old, in order for the Lamoureux twins to be able to play on a competitive all-girls team, they had to move away to Shattuck-St. Mary’s boarding school, changing the trajectory of their hockey careers and personal growth as young women. Before that, they had led their boys’ hockey team to a state championship at the age of 12.

At the age of 19, the Lamoureux twins led their team to win three USA Hockey Girls National Championships. During their freshman year of college, they played hockey for the University of Minnesota before transferring back to the University of North Dakota to continue their play there.

At the age of 21, the Lamoureux twins made the roster for the 2010 U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team and they helped lead them to six world championships and two silver medals — at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

And the pinnacle of their on-ice achievements came at the last Winter Olympics.  In February of 2018, the U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team defeated Canada, 3-2, in a shootout with Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scoring the game-winning shootout goal. It was Team USA’s second gold medal since the inaugural women’s tournament in Nagano, Japan in 1998.

“Winning a gold medal, there’s nothing that compares to that type of platform,” said Lamoureux-Davidson in a recent interview with FanSided.

The achievements of the Lamoureux twins go far beyond the ice

Beyond their leadership on the ice, starting in 2014, the Lamoureux twins helped lead their national hockey team’s fight for fair and equitable treatment from the USA Hockey and the International Ice Hockey Federation off the ice.

In March of 2017, The Women’s National Hockey Team threatened to boycott the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships as a protest against USA Hockey, in hopes of coming to an agreement on fair wages and equitable support within women’s hockey.

After more than a year of negotiations and the announcement of their boycott plan, USA Hockey finalized a four-year deal that consisted of — paying players beyond the six-month Olympic period, receiving larger performance bonuses for winning medals, a pool of prize money to be split each year, business class travel, and insurance protection equal to their male counterparts.

Despite additional roadblocks and discrimination along the way, their fight for gender equity within USA Hockey has been at the forefront of their success and among the most important accomplishments of their career.

“Ultimately, when we think about what we’ve been able to accomplish, it’s being able to look at young girls and see that they have more opportunities than we had growing up and knowing that the two of us, and our team especially, had a part to play in that is really important to us,” said Lamoureux-Davidson.

Having already achieved many of their early aspirations and goals, the Lamoureux twins wanted to leave the game better than they entered it by creating opportunities and equity for generations to come.

“You have a platform as an Olympian and an Olympic medalist so when you win gold, it’s a whole different ball game as far as people you can impact and the opportunities that you have,” said Lamoureux-Davidson.

As Olympic gold-medalists, the Lamoureux twins have had the opportunity to advocate for the disadvantaged populations that are being left behind and have used their platform to run their annual hockey development camp across the region for girls.

As members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, the Lamoureux twins mission is to create more opportunities for young girls around the world and the future of women’s pro hockey with a viable women’s professional league in North America.

As player reps, they are also working on next steps for their contract with USA Hockey.

In 2018, Comcast NBCUniversal named Jocelyne and Monique ambassadors and spokespeople for their Internet Essentials Program in efforts to close the digital divide through partnerships with Boys and Girls Clubs.

Through this program, they have gotten the opportunity to work with young girls trying to get into the sport of hockey and promote internet access for low-income families.

“If our hockey careers were only about winning medals and winning games, it would be a lot of opportunity lost and we believe that we’ve been given a platform for a reason and that’s to make a difference in other people’s lives,” said Lamoureux-Davidson.

The Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux Foundation was founded in July of 2019, aiming to give back and make a difference in lives. Their foundation works with groups that support underprivileged youth and communities through education and extracurricular activities, primarily in their home state of North Dakota.

The Lamoureux twins want to give kids a level playing field in order to give kids the opportunity to reach their full potential beyond extracurricular activities because it’s not all about sports.

“Games and goals will fade from people’s memories but how you impact them, that’s what people will remember,” said Lamoureux-Davidson.

Their shared story is one of courage, ambition, and the shattering of social norms. And their book, Dare to Make History: Chasing a Dream and Fighting for Equity is not a hockey book. It’s not a girl’s book. It’s a book for everyone who wants a level playing field in sports, the workplace or life.

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