Julie Chu

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Olympic hockey legends, former rivals welcome baby

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Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette, who combined for eight Olympic hockey medals on opposite sides of a heated rivalry, welcomed a baby on Sunday.

Ouellette’s coach during her college career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Shannon Miller, tweeted an image Thursday of Chu and Ouellette with Liv Chu-Ouellette.

Its authenticity was confirmed Friday.

Chu and Ouellette were headline players on one of the most contentious national-team rivalries over the last two decades.

The U.S. and Canada have met in all 18 world championship finals and four of the five Olympic finals.

Chu, 35, is one of five U.S. hockey players to appear in four Olympics, along with Jenny PotterAngela RuggieroChris Chelios and Keith Tkachuk.

She won silver medals in 2002, 2010 and 2014 and bronze in 2006. Chu, a player-coach in Canada in recent years, has not played for the national team since the Sochi Winter Games.

Ouellette, 38, is the only Winter Olympian to enter at least four events and win them all. Not only that, she won all 20 games in her Olympic career en route to golds in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

She retired from the national team in 2015.

NBC Olympics researcher Alex Azzi contributed to this report.

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Julie Chu named U.S. Closing Ceremony flag bearer

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On Thursday, U.S. women’s hockey player Julie Chu dealt with the anguish of coming up just short of finally beating Canada, instead settling for silver. Her trip to Sochi won’t end on a down note, however, as the 31-year-old will be the United States flag bearer for the Closing Ceremony.

Chu is a four-time Olympian with three silvers (including 2014) and one bronze. While losing that overtime gold game to Canada clearly stings, she’s still proud of what she accomplished alongside her teammates.

Her hard work and dedication to the U.S. women’s hockey team and Team USA in general clearly hasn’t been ignored.

IIHF prez: End of Olympic women’s hockey “will never happen”

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Tomorrow will see the Olympic women’s hockey gold medal settled between Canada and the United States for the fourth time in five tournaments. And the gap between those two squads and the rest of the world is a noticeable one.

In recent years, there’s been talk of the sport needing to improve the depth of competition if it is to continue on into the future as part of the Olympics.

But if the leader of the International Ice Hockey Federation has anything to do with it, we won’t need to worry about a potential drop for women’s hockey from the Olympic program.

“I can guarantee that will never happen,” IIHF president Rene Fasel has said according to the Associated Press.

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Additionally, the IOC has said that it’s been pleased with the women’s hockey action so far in Sochi.

Nonetheless, the sport could definitely use other powerhouses outside of North America.

Following the Americans’ 6-1 semifinal win over Sweden, U.S. star Julie Chu talked of her hope to eventually see an Olympic women’s hockey field where everyone stands a puncher’s chance.

Suffering a few more upsets beats the alternative from Chu’s perspective.

“The reality is if women’s hockey ever got pulled out of the Olympics, the trickle effect is going to be huge,” she said to Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post on Monday.

“Not just on the Olympic level, not just on the international level, but we’re going to feel it at our NCAA level in the States, and we’re going to feel it in the growth of our girls.”