Willie O’Ree

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Virtual

Willie O’Ree is a  Canadian  former professional ice hockey player, best known for being the first black player in the National Hockey League. O’Ree played as a winger for the Boston Bruins. O’Ree is referred to as the “Jackie Robinson of ice hockey” for breaking the black color barrier in the sport. O’Ree played much of his professional career in the United States and settled in San Diego following his retirement.  He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 2018. Since 1997, O’Ree has been the NHL’s Diversity Ambassador, traveling across North America to schools and hockey programs to promote messages of inclusion, dedication, and confidence.

Blake Bolden

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Virtual

Blake Bolden has broken many barriers in achieving many firsts in the sport of women’s ice hockey. After graduating from Boston College, she joined the Boston Blades of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, winning the Clarkson cup in 2015. In 2016, she played for the Boston Pride of the National Women’s Hockey League winning the inaugural Isobel Cup. Dawned the Jackie Robinson of women’s hockey, she is the first black player drafted in the first round of the CWHL and the first ever to compete in the NWHL. Blake currently resides in San Diego, California during the off-season, working with girls all over the country specializing in mental skills, goal setting, and nutrition, using her Blake Bolden Athletics platform. She has now joined the Los Angeles Kings as their newest pro scout.

Anson Carter

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2021  –  Virtual

Anson Carter is a former professional hockey player, playing for eight different NHL teams over the course of his career. Since joining NBCSN in 2013, Carter has worked on NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the NHL regular season, Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final. In 2005, Carter founded Big Up Entertainment, a record label specializing in hip hop music. Carter is also a co-founder of the clothing line SOMB (Shirt Off My Back). Proceeds from sales go towards providing uniforms for underprivileged youth in Africa.

Hilary Knight

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Belarus

Hilary Knight is one of the most decorated players in the history of women’s ice hockey.

Hilary first stepped onto the ice at the age of five, when her family relocated from California to Chicago. When there were no girls’ teams, she played with the boys. By high school, she was a standout star and had her pick of colleges. She chose the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she earned First Team All-American honours and Player of the Year in her sophomore year – and helped her team capture two National Championship titles. She took a year off from college to train for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where, at age 20 and the youngest on the team, she helped Team USA earn the silver medal. She returned to the Olympics in 2014 in Sochi to claim another silver. In her rookie season playing for the Boston Blades in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, she became the first American-born player to win MVP. In 2015, she joined the National Women’s Hockey League to play for the Boston Pride. In 2017 she won her seventh IHF World Women’s Championships gold medal. “When I step on the ice, it’s like I’m entering a different world,” Hilary says. “It’s like a sanctuary. All my worries and stress shed from my shoulders.”

Julie Chu

Ice Hockey

Served as envoy

  • 2014  –  Belarus
  • 2014  –  Kazakhstan

Julie Chu has had a tremendous career coming from an unlikely
background that would lead her to 14 years playing on the US
National Team, collegiately at Harvard, 4 Olympic Games, 5 World
Championships, 3 Clarkson Cup Championships and off the ice
coaching at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Union College.
A native of Fairfield, CT, Julie’s life on the ice didn’t begin in the faceoff circle but with toe picks and figure skates. Julie’s brother Richard played hockey and with the blessing of her parents (Wah and
Miriam), Julie made the move from figure skating to hockey.
What a move it ended up becoming. Julie was able to make huge
strides locally in Connecticut first playing co-ed and then on to playing
with girls. She was able to win US National Championships with the
Connecticut Polar Bears, played prep hockey at Choate Rosemary
Hall and was recruited to play at Harvard. Prior to playing at
Harvard, she deferred enrollment for the opportunity to play on the
US National Team ahead of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games.
Since then, Julie went from being one of the youngest players to now
being the oldest having participated in Salt Lake, Torino, Vancouver
and Sochi for Team USA. On the ice, she has always been the
ultimate professional doing whatever the team has needed from her
including making a position switch from forward to defense if that was
what the team needed to try and win. Her unselfish play has been a
guiding light for younger players to see and know that they are only
as good as the team around them doing whatever it takes to try and
get a W.

While at Harvard, Julie was outstanding and during her career there
she set the All-Time NCAA Scoring & Assist record, led her team to
multiple Frozen Fours and won the Patty Kazmaier Award as the best
collegiate hockey player. During her international career, Julie has won the most World Championships for a US player, she is tied with the second most amount of US Winter Olympic medals and at the conclusion of theSochi 2014 Winter Olympics was elected by the members of the entire US Olympic Team to carry the flag during Closing Ceremonies.

Professionally, Julie has won 3 Clarkson Cups (pro women’s hockey)
with Minnesota and Montreal which is the most for a US player and is
still playing today for Montreal in the CWHL.