Warroad: The original Hockeytown USA hopes for Olympic glory

Author:
Updated:
Original:

No U.S. men's hockey team has ever won Olympic gold without a player from Warroad, Minnesota, on the roster.

The small town of 1,781, six miles from the Canadian border, has sent seven hockey players to the Olympics since 1956, according to the New York Times. All seven have won an Olympic medal. This year the town is sending two more.

A pair of 2005 Warroad High School graduates are on this year's Olympic hockey teams. 26-year-old Gigi Marvin will suit up for the women's team, while St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie, 27, will take the ice for the men.

From King and Queen of the 2005 Frosty Festival, to the podium of Olympic glory, the hope around Warroad is the one-time community royalty can capture a pair of gold medals.

Oshie, who moved to Warroad from Washington state when he was 15, led the Warriors to two state championships. He told ESPN, "everyone kind of bleeds hockey there."

Marvin is a defenseman and is making her second Olympic appearance. She won a silver medal with the United States women in 2010, and comes from a long line of hockey players in the family.

Warroad's hockey tradition is too rich to make up.

Dave Christian won a gold medal with the "Miracle on Ice" team at the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. His father Bill and uncle Roger also brought home gold in 1960 in Squaw Valley, California. Dan McKinnon and another uncle, Gordon Christian were on the 1956 team that brought the silver medal home from Cortina, Italy. Henry Boucha was on the 1972 team that returned with a silver medal from the Winter Olympics in Sappro, Japan.

There could be more on the way. The New York Times said Dave Christian's nephew Brock Nelson, of the Islanders, could be the next Olympic candidate from Warroad in 2018.

So how does one small town have so much Olympic success?

According to the Times, there are nearly 200 children that belong to the youth hockey association in Warroad, with some coming from Manitoba.

The rinks stay busy. With the adjacent Gardens and Olympic rinks, practices and games run seven days a week. Practices start as early as 6:15 a.m. and go until 9:15 p.m.

The high school boys hockey team has won four state titles, the girls have won two. Dozens of players have moved on to receive scholarships for college hockey and even some to the pro's.

"Come early, stay late, skate everyday. The ice is free, the door is open, come on in and play," writes Marvin on the Warroad Youth Hockey page.

It's round-the-clock hockey in Warroad, and from the smallest rink in a tiny Minnesota town, to the world watching on the game's biggest stage, Marvin, Oshie and their teammates will try to keep Warroad's perfect medal record in tact.

Next Up

daunte wright funeral - siblings

Mourners remember Daunte Wright, plead for justice

Wright was killed by a now-former Brooklyn Center police officer on April 11.

covid

HealthPartners: COVID hospitalizations driven by unvaccinated, middle aged adults

The health provider says the average age of its hospitalized patients is trending downwards.

Andrew Thomas booking photo

Man suspected of shooting at National Guard in Minneapolis faces more charges

He has now been charged in Hennepin County District Court with more serious crimes.

wetlands

Investigation finds EPA mishandled oversight for PolyMet mine permits

A new report found the EPA didn't follow its own procedures when it submitted comments on the proposed project.

baseball

MDH's new COVID guidance urges weekly testing for those involved in sports

Those not involved in school sports are still advised to get tested every two weeks.

Trey Lance

With loaded QB draft class, now is the time for Vikings to act

With a strong class, this year might be the time to select Kirk Cousins' successor.

Kellen Mond

Coller: Is a 'developmental' quarterback worth it?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

highland bridge

St. Paul announces names of parks at Highland Bridge development

Construction on the parks will begin later this year.

State Capitol

MN House passes omnibus public safety bill with police reform measures

The Senate previously passed its omnibus public safety bill without police accountability legislation.

Screen Shot 2021-04-22 at 8.37.25 AM

'That's not me,' divorce lawyer with same name as Chauvin attorney clarifies

Nelson is a pretty dang common name in Minnesota, dontcha know.

Related