After scoring 13 points in a win at Tulane last Wednesday, Kia Nurse headed back to the Huskiesâ hotel with teammates Gabby Williams and Napheesa Collier to watch the United States and Canada womenâs hockey teams play for the Olympic gold medal.
Nurse had a rooting interest beyond country as her cousin, Sarah, was a first-time Olympian for Team Canada.
âWe got to the hotel a little bit late and started watching it in the lobby,â Kia Nurse said. âAll these people were talking to me about it and were thinking I was an American and going, âYeah, weâre going to win.â I was like, âYeah, Iâve got to leave.â I went to watch it with Phees and Gabby. They were good about it.
âI watched the whole game. The shootout, it was exciting. I was kind of, âIâm not sure that sheâs going to shoot so every time someone came out I was like, Oh God.â But she had an incredible run. To score a goal in the Olympics and play as well as she did ... A couple of times I was like, âPhees, Gabby, thatâs her.â â
Sarah Nurse scored what proved to be the winning goal in Canadaâs 2-1 victory over Team USA in preliminary-round play. But in the final, the Americans pulled out a 3-2 win in a shootout to end the Canadiansâ gold medal run at four.
Kia Nurse, who represented her country in the Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and hopes to be in Tokyo in 2020, reached out to her cousin in South Korea afterwards.
âI sent her a text that didnât go through, so I sent a Snapchat that went through,â she said. âObviously Iâm beyond proud of her. There are a number of billion people in this world who will never have an Olympic medal around their neck and she did it on her first try. I have no doubt that sheâll be back and bring home more. Itâs going to leave me with more footsteps to follow.â