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Local Olympian Coyne returns to her roots

Kendall Coyne Olympic Silver Medalist hockey waves crowd students who greeted her her old school Palos South Middle School 3/17/14.

Kendall Coyne, Olympic Silver Medalist in hockey, waves to the crowd of students who greeted her at her old school, Palos South Middle School, on 3/17/14. | John Booz/for the Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 18, 2014 10:10PM



Olympian Kendall Coyne brought along her silver medal while paying a visit to her old Palos Park middle school Monday afternoon.

The 21-year-old hockey player spoke to the students at Palos South Middle School about her times at the Sochi Winter Games and about bringing home the silver medal as a member of the U.S. Women’s Hockey Team.

Coyne, whose family lives in nearby Palos Heights, hopes that the middle school students find a passion in life, even if it is not sports.

“It’s just really special to think I was here eight years ago, in their shoes,” Coyne said.

Coyne made a short speech to the school, stuck around signing autographs and answered questions from students. At least one student asked if she was nervous competing at the Olympics.

“The first practice, it hits you that you’re on Olympic ice,” Coyne said.

Palos South is the first stop for Coyne as she visits more schools and hospitals.

Rhonda Kruse, who works in Palos South Middle School, said it was an honor to host an Olympian.

As part of the event, $1,200 that was raised will go to the For Julie Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money to fight leukemia and other blood cancer. It is named for Julie Doody, an Orland Park girl who died after a 3-month battle with acute myelogenous leukemia.

The women’s hockey team grabbed silver medals after narrowly losing to Canada 3-2 in overtime. Coyne scored two goals and made four assists during the February Olympic games.

As a member of the national team, Coyne has played in three International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship and four Four Nations Cups.

Coyne was accompanied by her mother, Ahlise, and her sister Bailey. Ahlise Coyne said she is proud of all her children and was thrilled to see all of the children at Palos South Middle School looking up to Kendall Coyne.



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