Meghan Duggan, following a trailblazer’s path, plans post-pregnancy return to U.S. hockey team
Meghan Duggan, captain of the Olympic champion U.S. hockey team, is working out through her pregnancy with a plan to return to the national team.
Duggan, due Feb. 26 with her first child, said she is following training regimens used by Olympic teammates and new moms Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando during their pregnancies.
Lamoureux-Morando’s husband, a professional strength coach who has studied working with pregnant athletes, tailored a program for Duggan.
The 32-year-old also noted the U.S. women’s national team’s new contract -- struck in 2017 as the entire roster was ready to boycott the world championship -- which includes maternity protection.
Duggan, who didn’t play last year and last suited up for Team USA at the PyeongChang Olympics, declined to detail specifics of how the maternity protection applies to her.
“But I think that the plan that we have in place with USA Hockey is a really great one for players on pregnancy leave,” she said by phone Thursday ahead of being honored by the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at the 34th Great Sports Legends Dinner in New York on Monday.
Duggan and the Lamoureux twins, who returned on ice to national team activity in August, would not be the first moms on a U.S. Olympic hockey team.
Duggan remembers her first worlds, in 2007, when Jenny Potter competed less than three months after having son Cullen.
“I admire her still, to this day, for doing that,” said Duggan, whose due date is one day after the 10th anniversary of the Olympic final that she and Potter played together in Vancouver. “I don’t think back then, as a 19-year-old kid, I was in the mind frame of thinking ahead of being in this position, but I do certainly remember Jenny being an absolute trailblazer in that respect.”
Potter actually played at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympics as a mom. Her daughter, Madison, is a freshman swimmer at Notre Dame.
For Duggan to similarly return for an April worlds after a winter pregnancy might be too tight of a turnaround attempt. “But we’ll see,” she said.
Duggan is already older than any previous U.S. Olympic female hockey player. If she comes back to make the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, she would tie the record for U.S. Olympic hockey appearances that Potter shares with others.
In September 2018, Duggan married fellow Olympic champion Gillian Apps, who earned gold for Canada in 2006, 2010 and 2014, beating Duggan’s U.S. teams in the latter two finals.
Together, they own four Olympic gold medals and 10 world titles. They have not decided if their child, sex not yet known, would represent the U.S. or Canada down the road.
“It’ll be a heated debate,” Duggan said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
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