Warroad, a town of fewer than 2,000 people that’s six miles south of the Canadian border, has the Midas touch. No U.S. men’s team has ever won a gold medal without having a Warroad player on its roster.
Oshie isn’t even the only Olympic hockey player from Warroad in Sochi. Gigi Marvin, queen to Oshie’s king in the Frosty Festival at the local high school in 2005, is a forward on the U.S. women’s team.
The town has produced six Olympic hockey players before Sochi and each had medaled. From the AP:
Warroad native Dave Christian was part of the Miracle on Ice team that topped Russia in 1980 for the gold medal, and is one of five from Warroad in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. His father, Bill Christian, and uncle, Roger Christian, won medals in 1960 and 1964 and are Hall of Famers. Another uncle, Gord Christian, took silver in 1956.
Henry Boucha, an Ojibwa Indian, won silver with the U.S. men’s team in 1972 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
And Marvin, the granddaughter of Hall of Famer and former national team coach Cal Marvin, won a silver medal with the U.S. women’s team in 2010.
The town appears wholeheartedly behind the duo, as reported in the New York Times:
Olympic posters of Oshie and Marvin decorate the windows of downtown businesses from the T-Shirt Barrel to the Main Street Bar and Grill. Locals can take photographs with cardboard likenesses of the players. Their first names are included among the 46 signs along Highway 11 that salute each man and woman on the United States hockey teams headed to Sochi.
“If they both brought home gold, we might have to build a statue for the Frosty King and Queen,” said Henry Boucha, who won a silver medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.
Oshie even referenced his tiny home town in the postgame interview after his game-winning goal against Russia.
(Gif from Tireball Sports)
In postgame interview, TJ Oshie pays tribute to Warroad, MN: ″Hockeytown, USA.”— Patrick Kessler (@PatKessler) February 15, 2014
Oshie grew up outside Seattle, but after having to drive 45 minutes away for hockey practice during his freshman year, Oshie moved halfway across the country. From the New York Times:
That summer of 2002, he attended a hockey camp in Warroad, and then moved there with his father. With Oshie’s enthusiasm and skill, the Warriors won state titles in 2003 and 2005.
“I fell in love with the town right away,” Oshie said. “In my three years there, I think me and my buddies took two days off from skating when they had ice. We even skated on Christmas. It’s like that for every kid. It really raises the level of competitiveness.”
In case you wanted to know more about Oshie and his background, Yahoo Sports breaks it down.