Crash Course: Julie Chu is a forward preparing to play in her fourth Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. She has been on three medal-winning Olympic hockey teams (two silvers and one bronze) and is considered a near-lock to once again make the team. A team captain in the past, Chu is known for investing in the success of her teammates.
Athletic Profile: Chu is a deft passer with a quick and accurate shot. She scored 88 goals and had 196 assists during her 129-game college career at Harvard, where she majored in psychology. She has played 25 games with the U.S. national team since 2010, tallying five goals and 10 assists. She has coached the women's team at Union (N.Y.) College the past two years.
Backstory: Chu, 31, began playing hockey at age eight after an uninspired attempt at figure skating. She saw her brother play hockey and begged her mother to let her play. Much to Chu's surprise, she was given the OK because her mother saw a "spark in her eyes" that was non-existent when she was figure skating.
Social Profile: She appeared in ESPN the Magazine's annual body issue in 2011, saying she's "proud of [her] abs." When she's not playing or coaching hockey, Chu likes to play golf, cook and read. You can follow the Harvard grad on Twitter @JulieChu13 and Facebook, where she boasts over 3,000 fans.
Making the Team: The U.S. Olympic Women's hockey team will be named Jan. 1. Chu saw Hall of Famer Cammi Granato cut from the team in 2006, so she knows she has to earn her spot this time around.
Quote: “I don’t believe in favoritism. You earn your spot. That’s one of the things about the Olympics that is special. It’s one of those things that has to be earned. It’s not given to anyone." —Julie Chu
Update: During an intermission of the NHL Winter Classic, Julie Chu was one of 11 forwards named to the U.S. Olympic squad.