Get a weekly dose of MANDATORY by signing up for our newsletter.
Hilary Knight began skating when she was around five years old, earning little buttons to put on her skate laces as she developed her skills. However, along with the motivation to earn the most buttons, and hence, be the best skater in the rink, Hilary also derived much of her motivation from trying to be better at hockey than her three younger brothers. By the time she was six, she was already playing hockey, and by high school, she had even taught her parents the sport, which they also took a shine to.
Continuing to hone and develop her hockey skills, once college came around, Hilary had her choice of basically any school she wanted to attend due to nearly all of them wanting to recruit the budding young superstar to their teams. Knowing she wanted to play for a great team with a great coach, Hilary ultimately decided to join the Wisconsin Badgers, which worked out very well for them. In fact, the team wound up in the NCAA National Championship Final all four years that Hilary was a member.
Of course, all of this was done with one main goal in mind: to eventually develop her skills enough to be able to join the United States women's national hockey team. This, of course, happened before she even finished college. Hilary went on to play in three world championships with the team, first in 2007, where the team took the silver medal, then the following two years, where the team was granted the gold medal both times. Hilary was even named one of the team's top-three players in 2009. But even all that was small potatoes compared to her first ever appearance in the Winter Olympic Games in 2010, where her U.S. team walked away with the silver medal, itching to get back on the ice in 2014's games in Sochi.