Hudson Valley Hockey Olympians Compete in 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
The Valley cheers for its local Olympians, Kevin Shattenkirk of New Rochelle and Josephine Pucci of Pearl River
Josephine Pucci #24 of United States fights for the puck against Michelle Karvinen #21 of Finland during the Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A Game on day 1 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 8, 2014 in Sochi, Russia
Photograph by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images Europe
Representatives from over 80 countries are in Sochi, Russia these next two weeks to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Competing in a dozen events are 25 New Yorkers — several of whom call the Hudson Valley home, including hockey players Kevin Shattenkirk of New Rochelle and Josephine Pucci of Pearl River.
Shattenkirk recently rose to stardom as a premier defenceman on the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. The Blues are currently in second place in the Central Division and one of the strongest teams in the league. Shattenkirk has 36 total points for the Blues this season, who hold a record of 37-12-6.
Pucci herself is no stranger to the limelight, winning a gold medal in the 2011 World’s Women Hockey Championship in Switzerland, as well as a silver medal in the same event in 2012. She has been a major contributor to the Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey team since her freshman year in 2009-2010. A defender as well, Pucci looks to bring redemption to the U.S. team, who fell to Canada in the finals of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and haven’t won the gold since 1998.
Pucci makes her Olympic debut February 8th when the United States faces Finland. Shattenkirk hits the ice on February 13th against Slovakia.
As a tribute to New York’s past and present Winter Olympic athletes, the Empire State Plaza in Albany displays special Olympic memorabilia. A plaque naming all New York Winter Olympians will be mounted in the Capitol and later moved to the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, where many live during the offseason.