Kendall Coyne has been named to the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey team that will be going for gold in PyeongChang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Games.
“I’m looking forward to getting there,” said 25-year-old Coyne. “It’s been four years.”
Coyne, of Palos Heights, was a part of the women’s team that lost in devastating fashion in the gold medal game to Team Canada during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
“I was on the ice and I was receiving this silver medal and I was crying. And obviously, it was tough, we talked about the heartbreak,” Coyne said.
But Coyne said returning home and meeting young fans put it all in perspective.
“All of these kids are so excited to see it, to see my medal and hear about my experience and they could care less if my medal was gold, silver or bronze or if I didn’t have one,” Coyne said.
In the four years since the Sochi loss, the U.S. Women’s National Team has several gold medal world championships under its belt. Off-the-ice, the team also waged and won an equitable support battle with USA Hockey last spring, advocating for increased wages and support for women.
“The ultimate win was for the future generations of this game and for women’s sports and women’s equality in general,” Coyne said.
Coyne had big personal accomplishments as well.
She graduated with a master’s degree from Northeastern University. She also got engaged to boyfriend Michael Schofield, an NFL offensive lineman from Orland Park.
“I think you can ask any one of our teammates. He’s our biggest fan,” Coyne said.
Schofield and Coyne both graduated from Sandberg High School, but did not meet until after the Sochi Games at a local gym. Schofield popped the question last January at Plush Horse Ice Cream Shop in Palos Park.
“It’s been pretty busy to get save the dates and wedding invitations,” Coyne said. “It’s also a nice balance to look at something but hockey ever once in a while.”
Coyne said the wedding plans are on hold until after the Olympic Games. Her family, including Schofield, plan to meet her in South Korea.
This time around, Coyne said wearing the U.S. colors will be more meaningful. Her younger brother, Jake, was recently commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Army.
“It’s something I definitely don’t take for granted anymore,” Coyne said.
For their parents, pride doesn’t even begin to cover it.
“It’s such an amazing feeling to see your child represent your country and they both do in two different ways,” said mom Ahlise Coyne. “It’s pretty overwhelming.”