“You kind of reflect on all the years of hard work and making the team, then the gold-medal game and then they are Olympic champions.”
From their very first strides on the North Dakota ice all the way to the world’s biggest stage, Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson fiercely chased after their dreams of winning an Olympic gold. Though the road was full of ups and downs, and wins and losses, one constant remained: their mother and biggest fan, Linda Lamoureux.
Linda has seen it all and supported her daughters’ dreams throughout their entire career from youth hockey to two Olympic Winter Games that resulted in silver medals. But, 2018 was different. This time, her daughters — the youngest of six hockey-playing siblings — put a cherry on top as Monique Lamoureux-Morando scored the tying goal with 6 minutes, 21 seconds left in regulation, and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson put away the decisive goal in the shootout to beat Canada, 3-2, in February in PyeongChang, South Korea.
It unleashed a flurry of emotions and memories, including those from the days of trudging the kids to practice, numerous trips to the grocery store and endless loads of laundry in their hometown of Grand Forks, North Dakota.
“I still can’t believe how it played out,” Linda said. “I think it was just their day to win. It’s such a proud moment. You can find a lot of proud moments in your kids.”
To get to that point, Linda’s life as a hockey mom, although rewarding, wasn’t easy.
Within a span of five years, Linda and husband Jean-Pierre had six kids: Jean-Philippe, Jacques, Pierre-Paul, Mario and the twins, Monique and Jocelyne. As the kids grew up, Linda — who prefers not to use the tag of hockey mom — exposed the brood to a number of activities to see which, if any, interested them.
Swimming, soccer, taekwondo and hockey were for all six, while the boys were also involved in wrestling, throwing events in track and the girls had dancing, gymnastics and cross-country. But not surprisingly, they all took to hockey. After all, dad is one of the great goaltenders in University of North Dakota history.
“I think it kind of helps because you learn how to compete in other sports, whether it is in team sports or individual sports,” Linda said of the wealth of sports the kids were involved in. “You see where your strengths and weaknesses are. And you appreciate what it takes to play different sports and what it takes to be good at it.”
It also takes a supportive parent. Linda says discipline, time management and being a role model for the kids are important traits to developing a successful child. One other key is taking time for yourself. Linda was a marathon runner and often began her day waking up at 5:21 a.m. and going out for a run before returning to the house by 7:30 to get the kids ready for school. Then, she would pick the kids up after school at 3 p.m. to take them to practice.
“I think the reason why I did that back then was it was a good stress reliever,” Linda said of her running, which included five Boston Marathons. “I could start something I could finish. If I wanted to push myself hard, I would push myself hard. It was just something I had to do because I was being pulled by all these kids and with kids, you are always interrupted.”
Now all adults, the Lamoureux children are finding out what mom means.
Linda is already a grandmother to Henri, Leah and Ora, while Monique and Jocelyne have recently announced they are expecting in December and January, respectively. Another grandkid is expected in September.
As any humble mom would do, Linda said she had plenty of help in raising her kids to be the people they are today. In addition to grandparents Maurice and Henriette Lamoureux and Edith Soli, she pointed out hockey coaches Brandon Lunak, Kelly Kilgore, Peter Elander, Brian Idalski and Gordie Stafford, as well as dance teacher Nancy Pasley and their pastor, Father Phil Ackerman.
Still, it was Linda who slept in her car as the cold winds of a Midwestern winter were whipping outside, a moment to catch up on rest before a game started in an arena hundreds of miles from home and just one stop on the weekend.
So seeing her twin daughters play such vital roles in the U.S. capturing its first gold medal since 1998 was extremely special.
“You kind of reflect on all the years of hard work and making the team, then the gold-medal game and then they are Olympic champions,” Linda said. “I never thought back when they were going to Purpur Arena that they would be Olympic champions.”