Three-time Olympic medalist and professional hockey player Meghan Duggan delivered the first Convocation of 2020 on Tuesday. An accomplished athlete, Duggan is a 2018 Olympic Gold Medalist, seven-time World Champion, and team captain for the the US Women's National Hockey Team. Duggan spoke to students about the importance of having goals, setting intentions, and being a good teammate.
Duggan cites holding Gretchen Ulion’s 1998 Olympic gold medal as an eleven-year-old girl as the moment that changed her life and when she set a major goal for herself: to win an Olympic gold medal.
Duggan described being captivated by the women’s hockey team competing in the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. The team went on to win gold and make history. Duggan had the opportunity to meet Gretchen Ulion and wear her gold medal around her neck. From that point on, Duggan says she told every person she met that she was going to compete in the Olympics, captain team USA, and win a gold medal. A few years later, Duggan decided to attend Cushing Academy as a boarding student, in hopes of developing into a Division I athlete, a step along the way to becoming an Olympian. Duggan then attended the University of Wisconsin, where her team won three NCAA Division I national championships and she graduated with honors.
In 2006, she was invited to attend her first US National Team training camp. Duggan said she felt like she had a foot in the door and nothing was going to stop her dream. From December 2006 through the 2018 Olympic games, she represented team USA at every training camp, World Championship, Nations Cup, and Olympic games in that time frame.
Director of Afternoon Programs & Athletics and Head Varsity Girls Hockey Coach Claudia Asano Barcomb was thrilled to have Duggan on campus, saying “It is great to have an Olympian come to campus and share her knowledge of goal setting and how important it is. Meghan talked about the successes and failures she has had and how important it is to learn from mistakes and reset goals. There is a buzz around campus about her and how great she was.”
Maura ‘22 echoed Barcomb’s statement, sharing, “I really enjoyed listening to Meghan Duggan speak about her experience and the steps she took to succeed. Her presentation about setting and reaching goals was very inspiring.”
Duggan advised students to focus on themselves, their teammates, classmates and peers. “Find what works for you and take care of yourself the best you can. How you take care of yourself and what you put your energy into will dictate so much of your experience here,” Duggan told students.
She encouraged students to be good teammates, classmates, friends, and community members to create a culture that will set them up for success. “Surround yourselves with people who love and support you, but who challenge you in many ways,” Duggan told students.
She shared with students that despite bumps along the road in pursuit of their goals, getting back on track by knowing that they are in control and committing to doing whatever it takes to achieve their goal is the most important thing. She encouraged students to set short and long term goals by writing them down and committing to seeing them through.
Describing Duggan as a celebrity to the girls hockey team at Govs, Dani ‘21 said, “It was pretty cool to have her come to our school and sit at a lunch table. It was just unreal to all the girl athletes at Govs; we were all so excited to hear her presentation and I’m just really thrilled that the male students and non athletes also enjoyed it as well. It was inspiring to me learning about her path to the Olympics and honestly blew my mind how dedicated she is to her career since she still is training at seven months pregnant.”
Following her speech, Duggan met members of the girls varsity hockey team and continued the conversation over lunch where players asked her a range of questions.
“As a female hockey player myself, I was extremely fascinated by (Duggan’s) story of achieving her dream. It was inspiring to hear about her journey of becoming a professional women's athlete while fighting for equal rights. Not only the girls hockey team, but the Govs community is beyond thankful for being able to listen to a strong role model” said Kelly ‘22.