Friday, November 23, 2012

Karyn Bye-Dietz

Described as a "big hearted" alternate captain of Team USA's gold medal winning 1998 Olympics squad, Karyn Bye was one of the first women inducted into the IIHF Hockey Hall of Fame.

The IIHF honoured her career in 2011. And what a career it was.

Karyn was born on May 18, 1971 in River Falls, Wisconsin, USA. She grew up playing on boy's teams until she was 18 years old. Often her parents were register as K.L. Bye so that people did not realize a girl was on the team. By the time everyone found out, few complained because she was so good.

She went on to be a dominant collegiate player, scoring 164 points in 87 games at the University of New Hampshire. She graduated in 1993 with a bachelor's degree in physical education, and later earned a master's degree while playing two more years at Concordia University in Montreal.

But it was on the international scene that she became a legend. She led Team USA to six International Ice Hockey Federation World Women’s Championship silver medals, as well as gold and silver medals at the Olympic Winter Games.

As an alternate captain for the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, Bye led the team with five goals in helping to capture the first-ever gold medal awarded in the sport at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. She subsequently was a member of the 2002 U.S. Olympic Team that won the silver in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she tallied three goals and three assists in five games.

In total Karyn Bye-Dietz played in 175 games for Team USA, scoring 110 goals and 119 assists for 229 points. She retired as the fifth highest scoring American women in international competition.

Twice she was named USA Hockey’s Women’s Player of the Year and was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

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