PARK CITY, Utah -- Two-time Olympic ice hockey silver medalist Meghan Duggan was so busy at her first pre-Olympic Team USA Media Summit that she didn’t even have time to post on social media until it was over. That’s not to say she doesn’t have the photos to fill it.
In the short 24 hours since her whirlwind trip started early Monday afternoon from Tampa, Florida — where the national team is training and living ahead of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 — the team’s captain had been photographed so many times “I lost count,” she said from atop her seat strategically placed in front of three video cameras pointed in her direction.
After traveling for eight hours, the forward arrived in Park City a little after 5 p.m. with an hour to eat before she was expected to meet with Sports Illustrated. There she posed for photos and answered questions alongside teammate and goalie Alex Rigsby and men’s hockey forward Jordan Greenway.
Twenty minutes later she was on her way to the Park City Ice Arena where she joined the other five women from the national team who were in town for the media summit: Brianna Decker, Amanda Kessel, Hilary Knight, Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Rigsby. The group spent the next hour demonstrating drills and on-ice techniques and allowing members of the media to take shots on goal.
While she admitted she tries to get to bed at a decent hour, this night, however, she wasn’t back to the hotel until 11, which was 1 a.m. Tampa-time.
Day 2 was set to be a full one. Hair and makeup were due to arrive at 7 a.m., but first Duggan had a nice long walk to enjoy the mountain views with Decker.
“It was certainly a temperature change,” Duggan said, “from 90-degree Florida to 30-degree Park City. But I love the fresh air and being outside, so that was really nice.”
Duggan also loves food. The self-described foodie whose favorite thing to cook is “Indian food” started her day off with “an egg white scramble with spinach, onions and mushrooms, some fruit and a bowl of oatmeal,” followed with “a couple cups of coffee throughout the day and lots of bottles of water.”
The coffee was going to come in handy for the hectic schedule that was about to follow.
Luckily everything took place in separate rooms around the hotel, so the hardest part was keeping to the tight schedule and fitting everything into the short time frames she was given. With each outlet, Duggan had roughly 5-10 minutes to pose for pictures, answer questions and do anything else that was asked of her.
US Weekly was the women’s first stop of the day for a group photo shoot followed by an on-camera interview with People magazine. There they were asked everything from their celebrity crushes (Duggan’s were Ryan Gosling and Tom Brady) to which Team USA athlete they would want on a deserted island with them (“Michael Phelps,” she said. “I could hop on his back and he could swim us off the island.”)
After only a couple minutes, it was clear that this was not Duggan’s first time in the spotlight.
“What’s the vibe of the interview?” she asked at the group’s second stop. “And are we looking at you or the camera?”
After lunch and a team press conference, the women parted ways to do one-on-one promo shoots and TV interviews.
Team USA had a social media lounge set up where the athletes posed for fun Instagram Boomerangs and played around with newly released apparel made for the PyeongChang Games, like the Team USA mittens and scarf.
Duggan threw confetti and made reaction faces for GIFs before moving over to the SyFy network where she was asked questions like, Harry Potter or “Lord of the Rings”? She then met with an NBC researcher whose job it was to get the backstory on Duggan’s life in order to prepare for the hockey broadcasts during the Games. Answering questions without her teammates by her side was something the 30-year-old was not used to. “Playing team sports for so long,” she said, “I think we are more comfortable alongside one another.”
The Massachusetts native has been skating since she was 3. And it’s been a dream of hers since she was 10 to win a gold medal — something that eluded the team for the past two Games. That desire “dictates every decision I make on a daily basis,” she said. “There are a lot of things I want to do after I’m done playing hockey. But right now I’m focused on winning a gold medal, and there’s no room for anything else.”
In ESPN’s room, Duggan sat down for an interview with Olympic soccer gold medalist Julie Foudy, where she confessed, “I’m certainly proud of those silvers, but you don’t do all that work for second place.”
TIME magazine wanted to know who she would put on her Mount Rushmore of greatest athletes. “Tom Brady, Billie Jean King, Serena Williams and Michael Phelps,” Dugan decided.
And “Extra” talked tattoos (she has three) and how the three-time defending world champion team used their platform to demand increased pay from the sport’s governing body, USA Hockey, earlier this year. That victory was something that Duggan said she is proud to leave as a legacy.
Magazine and TV interviews went until 8:30 p.m., leaving her with just enough time to get back to her room to watch the Season 2 premiere of one of her favorite shows, “This Is Us.”
“It’s just so real,” Duggan gushed.
When she gets back to Florida the team has agreed to a standing Tuesday night date to all watch the show together. Since their training schedule only allows time off around Thanksgiving and Christmas, the team has become a family, doing everything together from playing golf at their hotel’s course to painting pottery.
And even though no two days are ever alike for the forward, she said, “they are all towards the same end goal.”
At 5:30 a.m., Duggan departed for the airport to fly back to Tampa, where her plan was to hit the ground running. “We’ll probably get a training session in and then yeah, it’s back to business as usual.”
The business of winning medals, that is.