Gov. Doug Burgum today presented North Dakota’s highest citizen honor to the state’s first Olympic gold medal winners, officially inducting twin sisters and hockey stars Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson into the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Hall of Fame.
Burgum presented the award and helped unveil the official portrait that will hang in the Hall of Fame at the Capitol in Bismarck during a public ceremony attended by over 150 family members, friends, state and local officials, and supporters at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, where the twins played for the University of North Dakota women’s hockey team.
Burgum noted that Lamoureux-Morando and Lamoureux-Davidson are the first siblings inducted into the Hall of Fame and, at 32 years old, are also the second- and third-youngest individuals to receive the Rough Rider Award – only Roger Maris was younger.
“Throughout their careers, they have demonstrated the power of values that many North Dakotans hold dear – an incredible work ethic, a love of family and community, a dedication to continuous improvement and a focus on success,” Burgum said during the ceremony. “When they took their hard-won and well-deserved place on top of the podium at the 2018 Winter Olympics, the eyes of the world were fixed upon them, and all of North Dakota stood in awe of their accomplishment. Two athletes from North Dakota, from Grand Forks, from right here, realizing the dream they had been working so hard to achieve since childhood.
“They turned that dream into a platform for sharing their guiding principle, which is ‘cheering for the one behind.’ And they’ve used that platform in an increasingly impactful way, advocating for equity for all – in both sports and life.”
Burgum announced the Lamoureux twins as the 45th and 46th recipients of the Rough Rider Award on June 11, 2020. A formal presentation of the award in 2020 was postponed because of obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lamoureux-Morando and Lamoureux-Davidson rose to national and international prominence as members of the gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team. Each contributed game-changing moments in the gold medal game, with Lamoureux-Morando tying the game near the end of regulation and Lamoureux-Davidson scoring the game-winning goal in the shootout. Lamoureux-Morando and Lamoureux-Davidson have further used their platform as gold medalists to promote gender equity and increased access for disadvantaged youth, forming the Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux Foundation in July 2019.
Lamoureux-Morando said the sisters have always appreciated the support they have received from Grand Forks and the state of North Dakota.
“We have always understood that one day our hockey careers would be over and we would have to move on to other things,” she said. “While always being singularly focused during our hockey careers, we never lost sight of the bigger picture. Being good at hockey and winning gold medals and championships is great, but it’s how you treat others along that journey that truly matters.”
“If there is one thing that I have learned throughout our career, it is that there is no way to accomplish the things we have alone,” Lamoureux-Davidson said. “We have coaches, teachers, trainers, teammates, family and friends here today along with community members who have supported us throughout the years. We have traveled the world, accomplished sports’ most coveted prize, achieved our childhood dreams and, after all of it – the wins and losses, the plane and bus rides – we have always come back home to North Dakota.”
Guest speakers praised Lamoureux-Morando and Lamoureux-Davidson for their work ethic, commitment to excellence and passion for ensuring equity for all.
“Whether it’s on the ice as athletes leading hockey teams to victory at the very highest levels of competition, in the classroom excelling as students, or championing the cause of gender equity in sports and in society, their example has enabled girls and women to pursue their dreams,” UND President Andrew Armacost said.
Other speakers included Coach Gordon Stafford, director of girls’ hockey and head coach at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn., where the Lamoureux twins played high school hockey; Dr. Colleen Hacker, mental skills coach for USA Hockey during the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, in which the Lamoureux twins played; and David Cohen, senior advisor to the CEO at Comcast, who has worked closely with the Lamoureux twins in their advocacy efforts.
North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger and State Historical Society Director Bill Peterson, who concurred with the selection of the Rough Rider Award recipients, assisted in unveiling the official portrait of the Lamoureux twins. The portrait was painted by Minot-based artist Vern Skaug, who since 1970 has painted many of the portraits hanging in the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Hall of Fame at the North Dakota Capitol.
The Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award recognizes present and former North Dakotans who have been influenced by the state in achieving national recognition in their fields of endeavor, thereby reflecting credit and honor upon North Dakota and its citizens.
Video of today’s ceremony can be viewed on the governor’s Facebook page.