Julie Chu

Three-time Olympic medalist, U.S. women's hockey

Julie’s American dream began with the move of her grandmother as a single mother with three children from Hong Kong to the United States. She and her siblings are the family’s first generation born here. Ice hockey was not a sport with a legacy in her family prior to her brother Richard playing the game. As an 8 year old, Julie had been introduced to figure skating and while fond of the ice, this was not for her and she wanted to play what her brother was doing. Her parents gave in to the wishes of their daughter and her hockey career began in Bridgeport, CT.

Quickly, Julie established herself as one of the most promising stars and by the time she left Choate Rosemary Hall (CT) in high school and club hockey (Connecticut Polar Bears), she had four USA Hockey Girls National Championships and one regional prep championship under her belt. The US National Team came calling on her and during her senior year, she had to make a hard decision to defer it (including being the student body President) and she became a full-time member of the Team during the 2000-01 season.

Since her journey with the US National Team began, Julie has become an integral part of the next generation of the program and has gone from being one of the rising stars to elder stateswoman that today’s younger players can look up to, get guidance from and see what it takes to be a major factor for the squad’s international success today. Julie has competed in every major competition for the
past nine years. During this time, Julie went on to Harvard University and established herself as the preeminent player at the college level from leadership as a two-time Captain of the squad, to three-NCAA Frozen Four appearances, to setting the all-time NCAA Women’s Hockey scoring mark with 276 points during her career, to being a three-time All-American & Patty Kazmaier Award (the female hockey equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) her senior year at Harvard and the USA Hockey Female Athlete of the Year award in 2007.

While she had an amazing run at Harvard, Julie has had an accomplished run on the US National Team, since her journey began on it during her last year of high school, she has competed for the US National Team at the 2002 & 2006 Winter Olympics (Silver/Bronze) and on five World Championship teams (2 Gold/3 Silver).  From being one of the youngest to her gradual progression as one of the oldest members, you grow as an individual from your life experiences and this level of responsibility is something that leaders want to become a part of; Julie was named as an Assistant Captain for Team USA at the 2007 Worlds in Canada. 

While the US did not win this time around, the groundwork was laid for brighter things to come at the 2008 World Championships in her grandmother’s homeland and for Julie this was to be the time to be front and center for her greatest triumph to date and come full circle for her family.

While the US was not favored to win and suffered a humbling defeat for the first time to Finland, Julie was able to convince her young teammates that the US could not only defeat Canada not once, but twice in the next three days to win Gold and secure the United States’ second World Championship.  Julie in those two games, played multiple positions to help make up for injuries and to stabilize the team.  In those final games, she had 2 assists in the semi-final and 1 assist in the final.  At the conclusion on the ’08 World Championships, Julie led the tournament in Defensive scoring, while also playing as a forward.

At the ’09 Worlds, Julie was back playing her natural position upfront and led the tournament in scoring (tied with teammate Natalie Darwitz). The US won its third World Championship and Julie was named by the international media’s to the All Tournament Team. Julie was named to her 3rd Olympic Team in December 2009 & named Assistant Captain at the Olympics for the 1st time in January 2010. While her journey has just about every accolade available, Team USA fell short of their goal and lost the Olympic gold medal game to host Canada in Vancouver. Julie earned her second Silver Medal.

Prior to the 2008 World Championships, Julie was an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota-Duluth and helped guide the team to the 2007-08 NCAA Women’s Hockey championship. From 2010-13, she went on to Union College in Albany, NY where she could balance being a coach and play for the Montreal Stars in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League so that she could play in the highest level of women’s hockey to remain sharp in her quest to make the 2014 US Olympic Team. Julie’s commute from Albany to Montreal is 2 hours+ each way.

Off the ice, Julie has been a featured athlete as part of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s stay clean campaign during the 2006 & 2010 Winter Olympics and she coaches/mentors girls’ hockey camps around the globe. She is additionally has been a blogger for espnW and TeamUSA.org & is part of an ongoing diversity campaign in hockey with the NHL, NHLPA, USA Hockey & Hockey Canada.

From 2013-15, as part of her Easton hockey endorsement, Julie will be donating $15k of hockey products per year to various organizations to leave a legacy in the sport for the next generation of players.