On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
One of the earliest memories Hilary Knight has of watching the Olympics was when the U.S. Women’s team defeated Canada during their 1998 match in Nagano, Japan to win the first gold medal for women’s ice hockey at an Olympic Winter Games. “Watching USA bring home gold in 1998, jumping on the couch cheering early morning,” Knight recalled in an interview. “I wanted to be just like Cammi and Angela.”
Though born in Palo Alto, California, Knight’s family moved to Illinois when she was five, which was where she discovered her talent for ice skating. “I earned little pins or buttons that would fasten to my skate laces every time I was able to skate across the ice and back, or learn a new skating technique,” she told Forbes.
Knight’s love for skating led to her discovering ice hockey. “I saw the older kids entering the rink carrying hockey sticks and bags and I was fascinated by the equipment,” she remembered. “Once I started skating faster, I was attracted to the speed and dynamics of hockey. I never looked back!”
From that moment on, Knight’s name became a staple in the women’s ice hockey world. She played an important role in multiple wins as part of the Wisconsin Badgers — the women’s ice hockey team that represents the University of Wisconsin — and became the youngest player for Team USA at 17 years old. As part of the U.S. Olympic team, she won a gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics when they defeated Canada. Knight was the player to score their team’s first goal in the final game.
But for all her incredible achievements in the sport of ice hockey, the biggest challenge she has been battling has been off the ice rink — one she’s been facing her whole life. Over the past few years, the Olympian has led the fight against pay inequities between male and female hockey players. In 2017, the U.S. team threatened the World Championship, until a compromise was reached with USA Hockey offering them a four-year contract that guarantees a raise and benefits equalling the men’s team.
The onus is now on us to keep them accountable and to keep the dialogue open and continue to make strides. The goal is to really better women’s hockey as a whole. A lot of these impacts we’re having are not something we’re going to see right away. But hopefully generations to come can capitalize off the things we are fighting for now.13 questions for Olympic hockey player Hilary Knight, who grew up in Lake Forest | The Chicago Tribune
Hilary Knight’s daily training routine & diet
On a typical training day, Hilary Knight is up between 5-5.15am (after 7-8 hours of sleep) and at the rink by 6.30am for her on-ice training sessions. During the team’s offseason in the summertime, their training routines are adapted to optimise a majority of their gains.
“Our training program is split into different phases through the summer, usually comprised of upper and lower body as well as conditioning, plyometrics, and core work everyday,” she told ESPN. “For us, anything with core strength or legs is huge.”
In a sport like ice hockey which requires strength, explosiveness, speed as well as cardio, Knight works hard on training her body for the various facets of the game. Her two favourite exercises include the goblet squat and a sprint workout on the Assault Bike, which she usually does after a full-body strength training session.
When it comes to her diet, Knight described an example daily meal plan in a 2015 interview with ESPN.
For breakfast I’ll have oatmeal and maple syrup with fruit. Then I’ll workout and have a protein shake afterward. I’ll have a pre-lunch about two hours later, and that’s usually a smoothie. My favorite is strawberry, banana, spinach and flax. Sometimes I’ll add yogurt to it, thicken it up. And I absolutely love Chobani yogurt! If not in a smoothie, I often have that as its own separate snack. Easy to eat on the go, and it’s super healthy. I really like raspberry flavor. For lunch I usually have a burrito or burrito-style bowl with rice, beans, a little cheese, avocado and tomato. Or I’ll switch it up and have a tuna sandwich — you’ve got protein and the oils from the fish, and the carbs, pretty much everything you need. A couple hours after lunch, I’ll have another protein shake. That leads me to dinner where I’ll have some meat for protein and — I’m an Idaho girl — so I love potatoes. I also like asparagus, spinach on the side. A few hours after dinner, I might have a snack of a toasted English muffin with almond butter. I love when it melts in there.Hilary Knight On Strength And Femininity, And The Power Of Mantras | ESPN
After her intense training schedule, Knight makes sure she gets enough rest and recovery in order to prevent injuries. She also believes doing strength training can help with preventing the rate of injuries on the ice-rink. “If you’re in good shape and your muscles are loose and fueled and ready to fire at the right moment, then you’re going to decrease your risk of injury,” she explained.
At the end of her day, Knight begins her nighttime, which usually involves taking her two bulldogs — Bane and Baloo — for a walk. “You get that fresh air and your body is in a nice state when you come back in,” she told Self.
By 9pm, she’ll turn her phone on do-not-disturb mode, and set an alarm for 10pm. “I could scroll mindlessly on TikTok for hours, but I try to stop when that alarm goes off,” she explained. “I put the phone down and just take some me time.”
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