Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wisconsinite Karyn Bye part of 1998 Team inducted into US HHOF

The US Hockey Hall of Fame has announced that the 1998 Women's Olympic Team is one of this year's inductees. That team, of course, won the first-ever gold medal in Women's Ice Hockey.

Looking at the roster, I noticed that it included a player from River Falls, WI. I hadn't realized that before, and I feel a little bit like a schmuck for not doing so.

Saying that the roster "included" Karyn Bye hardly does her justice. Bye led the team in goals (5) and was tied in total points (8) with three other players. Bye was also a member of the 2002 silver medal team.

I tried to find a bit more information on Bye, but google apparently isn't my friend today. I did, however, find a couple of fun excerpts.
  • Karen Bye (USA): Bye was the prototype power forward in women’s hockey. She led all goal-scorers in the 1998 Olympics and played collegiately both at the University of New Hampshire and Concordia University. [THN]
  • Karyn Bye, 26, grew up playing hockey on boys teams, with her initials on the back of her uniform so she could skate undetected as a girl.

    "When she was 12 years old, she said she was going to the Olympics," said her father, Chuck, after today's victory. "She even wrote to the Olympic Committee to ask them about it, and they wrote her back and said, 'We don't have women's hockey.' And now there she is out there. That's how far we've come." [Washington Post]

Like Cammi Granato (also a member of the 1998 team), I'd like to think that Bye would've been a Badger if Wisconsin had a women's program when she played collegiately.