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Meet the Athletes: Brianna Decker

Meet the Athletes: Brianna Decker
Posted at 11:06 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-03 10:42:15-05

Brianna Decker is already set to appear in her third Olympics at 30 years old, and after playing a key role in the United States' run for gold in PyeongChang, she's eager to help her home country defend its hockey title in 2022.

Decker is one of the most decorated U.S. hockey players in recent history. Not only does she have a pair of Olympic medals under her belt, but she's also won six other golds at the World Championship. In 2012, she was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given to the top women's college hockey player in the United States. As the third-oldest player on the U.S. women's Olympic roster behind Hilary Knight and Megan Bozek, Decker brings a ton of experience to the table as she looks to add to her Olympic resume.

As part of our preparation for the 2022 Winter Games, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to numerous athletes to learn more about their lives both inside and outside of sports. Here’s what we found out about Decker:

Do you have any pets?

Border Collie mix named Missy. She’s my life, don’t know what I’d do with out her. She keeps me active and always on my toes.

Earliest memory of playing hockey?

I remember going to the rink and watching my brothers play. It’s what I wanted to do. Wanted to do what they did. I enjoy the competitiveness of it and the team aspect.

Typical training day?

Wake up at 5:30, walk my dog about 2-3 miles, work out out of my garage (home gym) for a couple hours, then drive to Madison, which is about a one-hour drive to skate and train with my skills coach there. After skate I drive back and play with my pup in the afternoon and then cook dinner, walk my pup again (shorter one) and then watch a show or sports. Repeat.

How much do you train? How much do you sleep?

Training without travel, four hours. Training with travel, six hours. I get about eight-plus hours of sleep a night, legit in bed by 9 every night.

What's your favorite workout?

I have come to love riding the Assault Airdyne bike.

Nutrition plan?

Smaller breakfast before training, then Big breakfast, recovery shakes, meat and veggies for dinner. Obviously end with ice cream sometimes.

Earliest memory of watching the Olympics?

Watching the 1998 women’s hockey team win. I was only 7 but I remember everyone talking about it! I wanted to be like Cammi Granato!

Biggest rival?

Canada. For sure not friendly on the ice.

Any pre-competition rituals?

Same routine every game day, from the moment I go to sleep the night before to the moment I step on the ice.

Do you have any fears?

Not a huge fan of flying.

Advice you'd give a younger player?

Have fun, work hard, compete.