Saturday, August 17, 2019

At Trinity and Around the World: Olympic athlete comes to Trinity


It’s not everyday you find yourself talking to an Olympic athlete. You’re more likely to find yourself cheering them on in a large crowd at a stadium or on TV. Yet, at the start of the semester I was surprised to find Jenny Potter, Trinity’s new Women’s Ice Hockey Coach and 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist.

Being part of Team USA, Potter brings an extensive amount of experience to Trinity’s ice rink. Potter states, “Trinity has a great academic base and you won’t be making millions playing women’s hockey so I like that [girls] can play a sport they love at a place with a [strong] academic background,” Potter comments on her decision to coach at Trinity.

Potter became involved with hockey at a young age. The speed and skill of the sport, as well as the hockey-based culture in Minnesota, led her to pursue the sport. Her passion, dedication, and commitment to hockey were rewarded when she managed to bring home a gold medal from the 1998 Winter Olympics.

“[I was] so young that it’s hard to answer in words. It’s all you dream of and when it’s actually happening it takes a while to sink in,” she comments on her experience. Her triumphs in hockey did not stop there. She went on to win two silver medals in the 2002 and 2010 Olympics and a bronze medal in the 2006 Olympics. In 2010, she became team captain of Team USA and also served as Athletic Director. Outside of the Olympic realm Potter has earned four gold medals and six silver medals at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championships.

Having so much success in the sport at a professional level one can’t help but wonder why she would turn to coaching so soon. Potter admits that while the NHL brought much passion and many rewards, “you’re not making fame and fortune so you need a career.” Therefore, when an opportunity came up for her to coach she took it. Taking the opportunity and being so experienced has helped Potter develop her own training program, Potter Pure Hockey.

As assistant director of the program, she has helped coach many young kids and high school students.

However, with Trinity Potter has decided to make another bold career move and is now challenging herself to coach a different group of players. “It’s a different hat for sure, as a player you can make an affect on a game…now I have years of experience to share with the girls,” Potter notes on taking a different role in the hockey realm. She’s excited to know the girls on the team and wants them to know that she “will give them the tools and knowledge of the game…but it goes back to dedication, hard work, and commitment.”

Currently, Trinity stands at a 15-7-3 record. “I want to make sure they have fun but I want hard work because I can get them to the point of winning a national championship, but it’s all on how far they’re willing to take it,” as Potter says about her coaching goals this season. With the determination, dedication, and now an experienced coach we anticipate a successful season for our Women’s Ice Hockey players here at Trinity.

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