Hamline News

Olympic Legacy on the Hockey Rink

As the United States is swept up in the excitement of the Olympics, the Hamline hockey teams look back on Olympic connections on the ice. Women's hockey coach Natalie Darwitz is one of the best known names in women's hockey with three Olympic medals. Two Hamline hockey alumni also have direct connections to one of the most significant Olympic hockey games in history.

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 played for the Hamline Pipers' hockey teams. Beau '12 was goalie for the Pipers’ men’s team. Billye '12 followed in her uncle’s skates and played 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.

Under the coaching of Olympian Natalie Darwitz, the women's hockey team had its best season in eight years. There is only two months until the hockey season starts. The men and women's hockey teams both have their first game on October 28.

Watch the video below to hear more from this hockey family and see them in action: