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Q&A with Bret Hedican

02/23/2018, 7:15am MST
By The USA Hockey Foundation

Olympian discusses hockey and his family

How exactly did you and Kristi meet?

We met at the Olympics in 1992. She doesn’t remember meeting me, but I remember meeting her. A few years after the opening ceremony, I was in Vancouver playing for the Vancouver Canucks and she was in town to skate. She was down below in the hallway by the locker room. I saw her and introduced myself to her and I said, ‘Hey, I met you at the Olympic games in 1992. I was on the American team, and I just wanted to say hi.’ That night, after she performed, she came over and we had a conversation. I said I was coming down to San Jose to play the Sharks that next week, and she was in San Jose. I asked if she wanted to come to the game. She went home that next day and looked at her photos from the opening ceremony, and there I was on one of her photos, so she knows I wasn’t pulling her leg. She got a hold of me after that. We went out for ice cream at the Fairmont Hotel. We had ice cream before the game, and that’s how it all started.

As former Olympians, are you constantly watching the Olympics in your home?


What’s your favorite Olympic sport to watch?

I don’t know if I have a favorite. We love the Olympic spirit. Kristi’s in Stamford, Connecticut, working with NBC right now, so it’s just me and the girls—our two daughters. We have it on at night. We watch and it doesn’t matter which sport. You’re seeing performance at a high level from every athlete that’s there, and they’re giving it everything they have. It’s the culmination of a dream. For me, that dream started when I was 10 years old. Here you are, representing your country in this moment in time. You’re among the best athletes in the world and you’re competing to do your thing. I love all sports and watching them all compete. Obviously, the hockey and figure skating are favorites.

Is there a lot of competition in your home—being married to another elite athlete?

We’re both competitive, obviously, so I think everything we do, whether that be putt-putt golf or whatever, I think were both highly competitive. We’re always trying to win. It’s in our blood.

Who’s the better skater?

Wow. Her.

Who would you say your two daughters take after?

My younger one has said she wants to be an Olympian. They’re going to find their path. My younger one figure skates, and my older one does not. There are things she’s interested in as well. She does competitive hula, which is Hawaiian hula. She’s really good at it, so it’s fun to watch her and her team and how competitive they are. They have that choreography gene that Kristi has. When they do go out there to perform, they can raise that level. Whatever the case may be, they focus. I’m proud of that.

Between you and Kristi, who is more organized?


Who is more stubborn?


Who makes the better breakfast?


Who is the pickier eater?

I think probably me, originally. She might be more or less picky.

Who does the dishes?

She’d say her. We have a thing in our house where if you cook, that means you don’t do the dishes. I say it depends who cooked.

Do either of you have any hidden talents?

She can take a cherry stem and tie it with her tongue. I can juggle.

Dream travel destination?

We were married on Hawaii in Kona on the big island. Going back to the original story of when I met her when I was in Vancouver and said I’m an Olympian—we had ice cream in San Jose. That year, we kept crossing paths. I was in Long Island a month later to play the Islanders. Kristi was there, so I said hello. A month after that, were we in Colorado and she was out there. After that, she came to Seattle with her tour, and she drove up to Vancouver to see our team play. After that moment, we’d never crossed paths again. It was something where we kept bumping into each other. At the end of that season, we lost to Colorado in the playoffs. Then her tour ended, and she asked me to go to Hawaii with her family and friends. We were kind of just friends at the time. That’s how Hawaii started. I went to Hawaii with her family and it was a great vacation. Since then, we’ve had this connection to Hawaii. I think her great grandfather came from Japan through Hawaii to California. So there was kind of an original tie to Hawaii, even though he didn’t live there. It’s a destination our family has always gone.

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