Former women’s hockey rivals Caroline Ouellette, Julie Chu welcome baby girl.
Two beaming new moms stand on either side of their newborn: a little girl, seven pounds and three ounces, with her eyes shut tight but two fists still clenching each mama’s finger. Hardly the focal point in the photo is a Concordia Stingers hockey T-shirt worn by one of the baby’s moms.
Hockey has been an integral part of their story — Caroline Ouellette and Julie Chu were once the captains of opposing teams in women’s hockey’s most heated rivalry. Team Canada and Team U.S.A, respectively.
For nearly two decades, the two countries have fought bitterly on the Olympic ice.
When the couple faced each other in their first Olympics — in Salt Lake City in 2002, when Chu was just 19 and Ouellette was 23 — they stepped onto the ice sporting the same jersey number: 13. Ouellette skated away with a gold medal that day, and at every Winter Olympics since.
In between Olympics, Ouellette and Chu also faced each other at the world championships, where the U.S. has won four straight titles.
But, somewhere along the line, fiery rivalry gave way to warmed hearts. Ouellette and Chu — who have since become teammates in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League for Les Canadiennes de Montréal — fell in love.
“Julie and I welcomed to the world our beautiful daughter Liv,” Ouellette wrote Monday on Instagram. They named their daughter Liv Chu-Ouellette, who born Nov. 5 at 40 weeks and 2 days.