Hockey player Josephine Pucci hopes to beat Canada, take gold

josephine pucci
Josephine Pucci wants to take gold with Team U.S.A.
Credit: U.S.A. Hockey

A concussion left Josephine Pucci, 23, unable to attend school or play hockey for Harvard during the 2012-2013 season. Pucci could barely exercise, let alone play a game, after her injury in August 2012, but she didn’t let that stop her from gearing up for Olympic tryouts in June.

“When I was finally able to exercise fully and read and mentally exert myself, I got back into shape and played my first game at the tryouts,” she told Metro. “I went in without playing the whole year.”

After making the cut, the Pearl River, N.Y. native has spent all of her time working out and practicing. “Every single day is so mentally and physically challenging,” she said. “We’re being pushed to the limits almost every day and the expectations and demand are so high.”

But she said the hard work paid off when she found out she was joining the U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team. “It’s an indescribable feeling,” she said. “I can’t explain it. It’s so surreal.”

Now, Pucci gets to play with mentors like captain Meghan Duggan and three-time Olympian Julie Chu, as well as head coach Katey Stone, who also coaches Pucci at Harvard.

“Coach Stone is a great leader and coach and the entire team respects her,” she said. “Meghan Duggan – she’s someone who leads by example. She works her butt off every single shift and every practice. And Julie Chu – this will be her fourth time at the Olympics and she went to Harvard, too, so I knew a lot about her and it’s been great to get to know her. She’s so positive and full of energy.”

Pucci has been waiting for this moment at least since she was in the eighth grade. “In my yearbook, one of the questions was, ‘What is your goal in life?’ and I put down, ‘To play in the Olympics.’” She started skating when she was five years old and always had a passion for watching the Olympics.

Pucci credits her family for her success. “It’s all because when I was younger, my dad coached me and my family taught me commitment,” she said. “My parents were my backbone and strength and support system. Whenever there was a new challenge, they believed in me and it gave me more confidence to move forward.”

She added that she has also felt overwhelming support come from the people of Pearl River. “It brings back so many memories from over the years playing youth hockey and basketball and soccer – all these sports that helped me become a complete athlete,” she said. “It’s so great to hear from all of my old coaches. I always thank them because they played a role in this.”

That support has allowed Pucci to grow with her team, and she said they have their eye on the gold and aim to beat Canada. “In the early games against Canada, they beat us three times but we came right back and practiced and watched videos and beat them four times in a row,” she said. “We continue to work hard and grow as a team. We just need to go and execute.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Local

NYPD: Suspect dead after two U.S. Marshals, cop…

A suspected sex offender died after a shooting at a West Village smoke shop that wounded two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective on Monday, officials said.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

Entertainment

'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' game easter eggs and cheats

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. Here are its best easter eggs as well as some tips and tricks to speed your way to the top.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.

Food

Zagat releases '30 Under 30' list

Zagat releases a list of the people changing the food and drink industry across the country.