NESN and Berkshire Bank celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month — honoring the impact, influence, and achievements of the Asian community in sports.
Julie Chu has quite an impressive résumé.
The Fairfield, Conn. native is a four-time Olympic hockey player who’s won a bronze medal (2006) and three silver medals (2002, 2010, 2014) as a member of the Team USA women’s hockey team.
Chu graduated from Harvard in 2007 and played 129 games for the Crimson during her college-hockey career, amassing 88 goals and 196 assists, which is the school record. Her 284 points also is second in NCAA history, and she is a three-time All-American making the First Team in 2007 and Second Team in 2003 and 2005.
Hockey always has been a part of Chu’s life and after playing for Minnesota Whitecaps in the Western Women’s Hockey League between 2007 and 2010, helping Minnesota to the title in 2010 after being named MVP. She finished her professional playing career winning back-to-back championships as a member of the Montreal Stars.
Chu’s journey through the world of hockey didn’t stop there, though. She was as an assistant coach for Minnesota-Duluth’s women’s hockey team in 2007, the head coach for Union College’s women’s team between 2010 and 2013 and currently serves as the head coach of the Concordia Stingers’ women’s hockey team in Montreal.
In September Chu was invited by the Tampa Bay Lightning to assist in their prospect camp as a special instructor. She returned to Montreal to resume her head coaching duties for the 2021-22 season.
Concordia went 11-9-2 this season and went 9-1-0 in its final 10 games.
As impressive as Chu’s journey is in hockey, she also helped pave the way for Asian American women in the sport. She was born to a Chinese immigrant family and, at 20 years old, competed in the 2002 Olympics after deferring going to Harvard.
This excerpt from the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum truly highlights how important she is not only to the women’s hockey community, but the Asian American community.
Chu became the first Asian American woman to play for the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team and medaled with the team every year she competed, collecting an impressive three silver medals and one bronze. She was also the first Asian American to win an Olympic Winter medal in a sport other than figure skating. She is tied as the second most-decorated American female athlete in Olympics Winter Games history and was elected the closing ceremony flag bearer at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Chu has helped make the sport more visible to minorities and is a role model to young women who want to play hockey. And while she was the first Asian American woman to play for the U.S. Olympic hockey team, she certainly won’t be the last.