Sophomore considers career as ice hockey player

Traveling to distant ice hockey rinks to relieve her stress, Sue Lee (10) plays competitively in an amateur ice hockey team. Having trained for at least four hours a day during the summer, Sue hopes to further her passion for ice hockey and possibly pursue a career in the sport.

Sue first began playing ice hockey in Canada four years ago because of her cousin and uncle’s interest in the sport. However, due to her late start and relative lack of experience, Sue initially felt like she was holding back the team.

“I first started playing hockey with boys who started playing in first grade,” Sue said. “I was a weak member of the team and was intimidated. I had only started skating, so I had to leave the team when it was tournament season. Although there were so many moments when I wanted to quit because of the difference in strength and size, I persevered and am truly glad that I did.”

When Sue returned to Korea, her confidence rose as she practiced with amateur girls hockey players, among whom she became one of the top players. In middle school, her team, the Dragons, won the tournament five years in a row. Later, she joined the team Monoplane, and they won first place in the Girls League.

“As a former national synchronized skating team member, I really respect Sue’s passion for ice hockey,” Bethany Ko (11) said. “I know how physically and mentally difficult it is to be a student athlete. The training requires so much energy and time, which really stressed me out.”

Sue’s ultimate goal as an athlete is to become a member of the Korean female ice hockey team and play in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. To pursue this goal, Sue goes to the ice-skating rink at least three times a week. Though she is unsure about pursuing professional ice hockey, her passion and love for the sport is definite.

“I have this quote on the wall that says, ‘Sometimes you’ve got to fall before you fly,’” Sue said. “For a demanding sport like ice hockey, it is extremely common [that what I want to do does] not work out. Despite the discouragement I sometimes felt in Canada, I learned that I [could not] just throw away my goals because eventually I will get there. Now that I have adapted to the sport in Korea, I believe that these experiences will ultimately help me achieve my goal.”