Force coach, brother of Lamoureux twins, shares Olympic moment with his sisters moments after their golden performance
FARGO—When the Fargo Force score a goal, associate head coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux always does a fist pump. It's quiet and subtle.
On a couch at his home in Fargo, Lamoureux did the same quiet fist pump when his sister, Monique Lamoureux-Morando, scored late for the U.S. women's hockey team to tie Canada in the Olympic final that ended early Thursday morning local time. He did the same when his sister and Monique's twin, Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, did a move she calls "Oops, I did it again" in a shootout that proved to be the game-winner to capture the gold medal for the U.S.
Lamoureux had seen his sister do that shootout move many times skating with her in the summer.
He was in Vancouver in 2010 when his sisters lost in the gold medal game to Canada. He watched from the couch when Canada scored two goals in the final minutes and another in overtime to beat the U.S. in Sochi in 2014. This time, his sister pulled out the "Oops, I did it again," and Maddie Rooney of Minnesota-Duluth stopped the shot of Canada's Meghan Agosta and the U.S. women's hockey was celebrating its first gold medal since 1998.
Lamoureux fell back on his couch. He noticed a player holding her phone on the ice, so he figured why not? He used FaceTime to call his sisters, who are both from Grand Forks and played at the University of North Dakota.
To his surprise, Monique answered. Behind her, draped in an American flag, was Jocelyne.
"We did it," they screamed into the phone.
It hit Lamoureux when he hung up the phone what had just occurred.
"They win the gold and you're seeing the celebration and NBC cuts to a commercial, so you feel like you're left out," Lamoureux said. "You realize they're halfway around the world. You want to be there with them to celebrate. To have that brief moment on the phone with both of them was really special. They were halfway around the world and I could share that with them."
Lamoureux had options to watch the game with friends, but he wanted to watch it alone with his wife, Randi. His brothers, Mario and Jean-Philippe, were up at 4 a.m. in Austria watching the game, while his other brother, Jacques, was watching in Ohio.
"I did not want to watch it with anyone," Lamoureux said. "It was too stressful of a situation. I wanted to watch the game. I wanted to focus on it. With other friends people want to have small talk. I wanted to take it all in, even in Fargo."
Lamoureux didn't want to comment on the critiques of how his sisters were not used on power plays, or used enough in overtime or why either wasn't shooting the fifth shot in the shootout. But he did say there was a lesson there for young athletes.
"They made the most of what they were given," Lamoureux said. "It's something we talk about all the time. Whatever role you're asked to play, make the most of it. When the time comes and the opportunity presents itself you'll be given more. They were great teammates and they made the most of what they were given. That's what makes me feel extremely proud for both Monique and Jocelyne. That's their character. That's what they're made of. Not going to whine. Whatever is best for the team."
He lived the ups and downs just like anyone who stayed up until Thursday morning.
"I witnessed the eight years of extreme disappointment," Lamoureux said. "Those memories were creeping up from the previous two times as the game was going. That was the hardest thing to think about. I'm sure the girls on that bench were feeling the same thing. That's the hardest thing for athletes. I was trying as hard as I could not to think about what it felt like."
The night finished with his sisters being the first born-and-raised North Dakotans to win gold medals. Lamoureux didn't drink during the game, but opened up a bottle of wine after it was over. He went to bed at 4:30 a.m. and was at Scheels Arena at 7:30 a.m.
After the Force's 10 a.m. practice, at 11:30 a.m., he was on a bus headed to Lincoln, Neb., for Friday's United States Hockey League game against the Stars.
He said he would eventually hit a wall, but not yet.
"In reality this is a life-changing event for both Monique and Jocelyne and they've earned it," Lamoureux said. "They're not just gold medal champions, but gold medal champions because of their play. I know they'll be extremely humble. They're an overnight sensation, rock stars right now. It's exciting.
"There's so many people in Grand Forks and Fargo that have helped support them. I think that's extremely exciting. North Dakota is a very tight-knit community. Just the fact everyone is so supportive is special. I know they appreciate that."