As the United States is swept up in the excitement of the Olympics, two Hamline hockey players have direct connections to medal-winning U.S. hockey teams dating back decades.
Dave Christian played defense on the 1980 Olympic team which won the gold medal in Lake Placid, New York and became known as the “Miracle on Ice.” His son Beau Christian and niece Billye Nelson both play for the Hamline Pipers' hockey teams.
Beau, a sophomore Business major, is goalie for the Pipers’ men’s team. Billye, a sophomore Psychology and Music Performance major, is following in her uncle’s skates and plays defense for the Pipers’ women’s team.
The family’s Olympic tradition goes back even further than 1980. Dave Christian’s father Bill Christian and uncle Roger Christian played on the 1960 Olympic hockey team which won gold in Squaw Valley, California. Before that, another of Dave Christian’s uncles, Gordon Christian, was a member of the 1956 silver-medal winning U.S Olympic hockey team.
However, winning an Olympic medal isn’t necessarily the best memory of going to the Olympic Games.
“I have great, great memories of the Olympic village, my teammates, and the camaraderie we had,” said Dave Christian. “We were a tight-knit team, and we’ve remained close.”
“Hockey is life in our family,” said Beau, who chose to come to Hamline because it combined two things he was passionate about: hockey and learning. “I was looking for a place with great academics and a great competitive team.”
The men’s hockey team will compete in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinals on February 27.
Watch the video below to hear more from this hockey family and see them in action: