Gisele “Gigi” Marvin
is a forward who helped the USA Women’s Hockey team win an Olympic silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games and a silver in Sochi, Russia. She played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers from 2005 to 2009. And Marvin is a three-time member of the U.S. Women’s National Team for the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship (IIHF) who won her fourth International IIHF gold medal in 2013.
Recently, Roman Gabriel III interviewed Marvin about her experiences in Sochi, her love of the game as well as her passions off the rink and her faith.
Q: Gigi, tell us about your most recent Olympic experience in Sochi.
It’s truly a blessing to be able to compete with that group because everyone was able to witness that gold medal game. The hearts of my teammates and the coaching staff around us was amazing. We definitely poured everything out that game.
Q: Now that you look back on the last game in Sochi, do you wish you and the team could have done anything differently?
Gigi Marvin, #19 USA, was a defenseman during the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
I think hindsight is 20/20, and absolutely there may be some little things that could have gone our way. So, obviously as competitors we would have loved to have won the gold. Most important though is resting in the fact that we truly did play with absolutely everything on the line. We did everything in our power to use the gifts that God has given us.
Q: Tell me about some of the passions that you have off of the rink.
Well, I work with schools and hang out with a lot of kids. I love kids. My aunt and I own a hockey school for young kids that we have done every single summer for seven years now. And I have a huge passion for speaking about what God has done in my life.
Q: From a faith standpoint, what type of atmosphere surrounded Team USA?
God has done such an amazing job. And that was one of the prayers before we left [to go to Sochi]. My heart has grown stronger and I think that’s true for others as well. You know, the point of this life is to grow more like Christ every single day. So training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things so that was something very evident to us. It’s amazing to see growth in those people who’ve never known about Him and choose to follow Him. It has definitely encouraged my walk, and it has encouraged my teammates.
Q: Do you raise your money like everyone else in the Olympics through corporate and individual donations?
That is definitely one way. We also get a stipend from the United States Olympic Committee. However, you definitely need to go and be your own advocate and reach out to others and basically put yourself out there in order to finance and facilitate what you have been called to. That’s the path that I’ve been on. It is an interesting spot but I’m very thankful for what I have and what I’ve been blessed with.
Q: So, you grew up in Minnesota, you played for the Gophers in college. Obviously hockey is huge in your area, but how did you first get interested in it and how did you know that you wanted to start?
I started when I could walk, so before I was two. I grew up in a hockey town and in a hockey family so it would have been going on whether I liked it or not. Everyone talks about hockey and you pretty much live at the rink. I skate every day and just grow in the gift I’ve been given. I love that the family who first put the skates on me continues to celebrate my growth in it.
Q: Now your dad was the manager of the 1965 USA National Ice Hockey team. What kind of influence did your dad have in terms of you loving hockey?
He was the first guy that put the skates on me. He took me to the rink every single day, and he was there to share his experience, knowledge and love of the game. So, yes, it influenced me greatly. You see a lot of parents that see a dream in their child and they say, “Hey, you know what, I’m going to do everything to support you, encourage you and provide for you.” That was my dad.
Q: What is the biggest thing that you’ve taken from your experience on Team USA?
The biggest experience is the fact that the Team USA jersey is going to come off at some point, but the Team Jesus Christ will absolutely never come off. My physical training ultimately means nothing compared to my spiritual training if my heart is not right in Christ and truly seeking Him every day.
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