After competing together on two Olympic teams, sisters Julia and Katie Reinprecht are sticking together on the next step of their journeys as the two jointly announced their retirement from field hockey this week.
The two have been staples on the USA Field Hockey scene since 2009, when Katie was named to the U.S. Women’s National Team and Julia earned a spot on the development squad. She joined Katie on the national team in 2010 and their careers took off from there. Both earned four gold medals at international events: the 2015 and 2011 Pan American Games, the 2014 Champions Challenge and the 2013 FIH Hockey World League Round 2.
Julia and Katie achieved 154 and 166 caps (international appearances), respectively.
Both Reinprechts were members of the 2012 Olympic team, where Team USA finished 12th. They returned to the Games in 2016, determined to build on the years of international success in between. Team USA advanced out of pool play as the second seed, falling in the quarterfinals to finish an impressive fifth. It was the highest finish for the U.S. women since taking fifth at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.
What made their careers even more special was being able to experience everything together.
"She pushed me as a player, not in a competitive way, but more in that she set the bar for what an elite athlete is," Julia said of her sister to USA Field Hockey. "She also is my best friend. We didn't go to college together or live together in San Diego and Lancaster by chance. At times, we have been each other's nurses through injuries and sicknesses, and she was always there to provide me with some laughter when I needed it. The Olympic Games experience is another extraordinary moment that we were able to share. We stood next to each other in the anthem lineup, so we always got to give each other's hand an extra squeeze before we took the field. It was just a little bit a comfort knowing she had my back each and every game."
"Every time we took the field with USA across our chest, we knew we were representing something bigger than ourselves,” Katie told USA Field Hockey. “Now it’s my turn to change roles and be the support system behind the team and program. I’m very excited to watch and see what they can achieve."