Gems of the Week: Grand Forks' Golden Girls
GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--Grand Forks is where it all started for the Jocelyn and Monique Lamoureux.
And it was home to a lot of success - including here at the Ralph.
That success has made these sisters idols to so many future hockey players - especially girls - making them our Gems of the Week.
It's one final practice for the Grand Forks 12U Wild. As they prepare for a state tournament this weekend.
These girls hope to follow in the footsteps of their idols -
“They taught us never give up and to always work hard,” said Taylor Kilgore, of the Grand Forks 12U Wild.
Jocelyn and Monique Lamoureux.
“Their legacy is something these kids want and want to be part of,” said Coach Hilary Kujawa.
The twin sisters were born and raised here in Grand Forks meaning hockey is in their blood.
“They've inspired people to dream and to have pride in grand forks and the state of North Dakota,” said former UND Women’s Hockey Coach, Brian Idalski.
And despite being two of the best female hockey players in the world - they never forget where it all started.
“They just do a tremendous job of being role models, just helping grow that next generation,” said Idalski.
By holding camps and visiting youth hockey practices - especially female hockey players.
“It's really special because they have given up their time to be with us and gives us a little edge up on other people,” said Kaylee Baker, of the GF 12U Wild.
“They are gifted but that gift is the ability to do the work that is necessary, it's their preparation, their ability to do work, work on things that didn't come easy or naturally for them, but doing that for them, a little bit each day for years and years of work,” said Idalski.
Their former coach at UND says by the sisters winning the gold in South Korea - this will likely create a surge of kids getting involved in hockey not just here - but across the country - similar to the boom after the 1980 Miracle on Ice.
“Women's hockey was at the forefront and one of the bigger events covered throughout the whole Olympic cycle,” said Idalski.
With more kids likely to get involved - these girls are hard at work - preparing for the big games this weekend and for their future careers.
“They are always working hard, they never quit,” said Kujawa.
Knowing it could be a dream come true for them too - to stand on the podium at the Olympics - with the national anthem playing.
“They've had the exact same experiences we had, and we know it's possible if we work hard and show grit we could possibly win a gold medal ourselves,” said Baker.