(RNS) — Gearing up with pads and helmets at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, Team USA hockey player Gigi Marvin girded herself with her favorite Bible verse, too.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” Proverbs 3 reads. “(I)n all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
With two Olympic silver medals, Marvin hopes her pucks will go straight, too — straight into the goal for a team gold medal.
Gigi — her real name is Gisele Marie — comes from an ice hockey family. Her grandfather, Cal Marvin, coached the U.S. Men’s National Ice Hockey Team in 1958 and managed that team in 1965. She grew up playing hockey in Warroad, Minn., where the town’s nickname is “Hockeytown, USA.”
Marvin, who is 30, remembers watching the USA women’s ice hockey team at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and dreaming about making the team.
“My parents also helped me understand at a young age that God had given me this amazing talent to play hockey,” she told FCA magazine, published by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. “It was so natural for me, and it was evident it was a gift from Him.”
Marvin played hockey for the University of Minnesota and went to both the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi games, where the Team USA women took hockey silvers. She plays forward for the team in Pyeongchang.
“After the 2014 Games, I took a year off and enrolled in a discipleship training school,” she said, referring to a kind of Christian immersion program for laypeople. “My experience there transformed my life once again, opening my heart up for who God is, who His people are, and what He’s called me specifically to do.”
At Pyeongchang, Team USA women are going strong. They won their first two matches against Finland and Russia, and meet Canada — a team that has defeated them for the gold twice — on Wednesday (Feb. 14).
Marvin is ready for them.
“I’m back on the ice, proudly wearing the ‘USA’ across my sweater and representing my country,” she said. “But my mission is more than winning another medal or championship. It’s about sharing Christ and leading others to Him.”