Gov. Doug Burgum announced the 45th and 46th recipients of the North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the state’s highest recognition for its citizens. The winners are lifelong North Dakota Residents and Olympic gold medalists, Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux. KX spoke with the pair to find out what they’ve been up to since taking home the gold.
“This is a huge honor for us and I think when we look at the other awards and recognition that we’ve gotten throughout our career. I think this one goes right up at the top with some of the other ones,” said Monique Lamoureux-Morando.
The famous twins from Grand Forks rose to fame during their time on UND’s Women’s Hockey Team.
And brought home the gold with the 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team. As two-time silver Olympic medalists, and a gold under their belt, they know how to win.
“No matter where you come from, your background, or whatever it is, you can truly make a difference in this world,” said Monique.
In addition to their hockey accolades, the Lamoureux twins are advocates for equity, diversity and inclusion, which meant fighting for extra funding for girls and women’s hockey players in the U.S.
“It ultimately came down to a threatened boycott prior to the 2017 World Championships and our team threatened to boycott the World Championships unless we felt significant progress was made,” said Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson.
This international dispute led to a historic four-year contract with USA Hockey as a player pool.
“That really opened our eyes to the struggle that so many women go through not just in sports but in everyday life,” said Jocelyne.
And since February, being at home and not traveling during the pandemic, they’ve used their time to invest more into the Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux Foundation working with groups to support disadvantaged children with education and extracurricular activities.
“It’s really become a passion of ours to create equality where we can and create awareness where issues are that maybe people don’t realize,” said Jocelyne.
They’ve loved the extra time at home with their families and it’s given them time to do things they enjoy like going to the lake and relaxing. But they are ready to get back to helping children reach their full potential because it’s not all about winning awards.
“In the big picture of life, it was a way to give us a platform to do more important things,” said Jocelyne.
The women haven’t decided yet if they’ll play in the 2022 Winter Olympics or retire. It’s safe to say their legacy will impact beyond the scoreboard.
Since the pandemic, both the twins are still training, spending time with their sons, and writing a book together.