Wherever she’s played hockey — in college, in international tournaments, in pro leagues or at the Olympics — Hilary Knight’s skills and agility have stood out. Through the years, though, her persistence and courage have stood out even more.

Young Hilary Picks Up a Stick

In 1989, Hilary was born near San Francisco. Her parents assumed she’d learn to ski among California’s majestic mountains. However, her father’s company made him relocate to the flat Chicago area. She took up hockey instead.

As a child, Hilary played the sport on boys’ peewee teams. Other players, resentful about playing with a girl, tried to hit her at times, but she always stood her ground. There were moments during her youth when she considered giving up hockey, but her passion for the game endured.

College Days and Going Pro

Before Hilary entered college, she and her family moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, where her parents still live. Hilary went on to become a star hockey player at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

In 2008, she scored five goals in a single game, setting a new record at the college. By the time she graduated in 2012, she’d earned several school hockey records, including the most goals overall.

After college, Hilary competed in two professional leagues. First, she joined the Boston Blades, which is part of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). She then played for the Boston Pride, which is in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). In 2018, Hilary returned to the CWHL as a member of Les Canadiennes de Montreal.

On the World Stage

Hilary is no stranger to global tournaments. When she was a teenager, she joined Team USA in its quest for the Four Nations Cup, and she’s competed in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Women’s Championship. She also won silver Olympic medals in 2010 and 2014 and a gold in 2018.

Through it all, Hilary has sought gender equality. Along with the rest of her team, she refused to play in the 2017 World Championship unless the women received the same pay as the men. Additionally, she’s advocating for women’s hockey leagues to increase their marketing budgetsto build up their fan bases.

Exciting clips of Hilary in action abound. Here’s her overtime goal in the IIHF Women’s World Championship, and here she is scoring during the Olympics. She shows off a few skills during this interview as well.

Thanks to her valiant efforts on and off the ice, Hilary Knight has inspired many girls to take up hockey and many people of all ages to insist on the respect they deserve.

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