Since learning to skate a the age of 3, Meghan Duggan told family, friends and everyone in her hometown of Danvers, Mass., that she would be an Olympian. This year her dream is about to come true.
Duggan found her way to the ice like many other hockey players, through family. Her older brother Bryan played hockey and she wanted to be just like him.
“From the time that I could walk I put on skates and was pushing around those egg crates in the instructional program,” Duggan said. “I [eventually] worked my way up from there in the youth program in my town.”
She made it her mission to follow hockey though high school and college to reach the Olympic level. Duggan enrolled at the hockey powerhouse Cushing Academy in Massachusetts but didn’t limit herself to just hockey. She became a multi-sport athlete, playing soccer, softball and lacrosse as well.
“I think from when I was a little kid, hockey was always my dream. It was always my top priority; my number one sport and I loved it,” Duggan said. “I did a lot of those other sports because I loved athletics. I loved being competitive.”
Meghan Duggan | #10
However, Duggan was determined to be more than just a “jock,” but rather someone involved in all facets of school life. She balanced her academics and athletics by serving as class president for four years, giving back to a school that she loved.
“I think that I was just brought up to be able to do a lot of things and be well rounded,” Duggan said. “I loved that school. That’s one of the best decisions I made, going there, and I wanted to give back to how much it had given me.”
After Cushing, Duggan headed west and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to play hockey while pursing a degree in biology.
Thus far, Duggan has completed three years with the Badgers and captured two NCAA National Championships (2007 and 2009) and been named a three-time All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association honoree.
Wisconsin and U.S. National Team coach Mark Johnson credits Duggan’s work ethic for her successes on and off the ice.
“Her ability and her work habits, the consistency of those two things on a regular basis … has elevated her play from when she first came in, being a good player, to becoming a real dominant type player,” Johnson said.
As a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team since 2007, Duggan has played in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship three times, winning the gold in 2008 and 2009, and in three Four Nations Cups, taking the championship in 2008.
“It’s like a dream come true,” said Duggan, who is one of the leading scorers on the Qwest Tour. “When I was in high school I never imagined that four years from then I’d be here playing for the National Team and winning national championships in college.
“I’ve been blessed to be apart of great teams and it’s a great feeling, and I look forward to being apart of more of it in the future.”
Duggan has enjoyed her time with the National Team, and the opportunity to travel the world experiencing different cultures, something she has always wanted to do.
“I’ve had opportunities to go places and see places that I never thought I’d see,” she said. “At times it’s challenging when they don’t speak your language, but you kind of take a step back and learn to appreciate that you’re in another country and they’re taking you in.”
After the Olympic torch is extinguished in Vancouver, Duggan plans to return to Wisconsin and finish her last year of eligibility with the Badgers hockey team and finish her remaining two years of school. While eventually she would like to pursue a career in pediatrics, Duggan has no plans to hang up her skates any time soon.
“I’m planning on playing hockey definitely for the next Olympics and maybe even longer after that,” Duggan said. “It’s an amazing job. It’s a great life and something I’ve worked for my entire life.”