Henry Boucha was a Native American former professional ice hockey player who became one of the most outstanding U.S. Olympic hockey players ever. A standout football and baseball player in high school, Boucha played hockey at Warroad for five years and led his prep squad to the 1969 State Tournament.
While serving in the U.S. Army, Boucha joined the U.S. national hockey team and competed for the U.S. from 1970 to 1972. He became a breakout star, winning a silver medal with the 1972 U.S. men’s Olympic team.
Henry was drafted 16th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 1971. Several years later, he was traded back to his home state and the Minnesota North Stars. But in January 1975, Boucha’s career was cut short when he was struck in the eye by an opponent’s stick mid-game. Boucha attempted a comeback with the Minnesota Fighting Saints and later Kansas City Scouts, but he ultimately retired in 1976.
Boucha will be forever known as one of the most electrifying hockey players in Minnesota history.
Herb Brooks was an American ice hockey player, Olympic champion and arguably one of the best U.S. men’s hockey coaches in history. Born in St. Paul in 1937, Brooks played college hockey at the University of Minnesota, where he led the team to three national championships from 1958 to 1960. After college, he played for several teams in the United States Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, including the Rochester Americans and the Minnesota Rangers.
Brooks went on to coach at the University of Minnesota, where he won three national championships in 1974, 1976 and 1979. His success with the Gophers earned Brooks the head coaching position for the U.S. men's hockey team. Under his leadership, the Americans defeated the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports – now famously dubbed the “Miracle on Ice.” The game received worldwide attention, and the team went on to win the gold medal.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Brooks coached NHL teams, including stints with the New York Rangers, Minnesota North Stars and New Jersey Devils. Herb was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990 and the IIHF Hall of Fame in 1999.
Brooks tragically passed away on August 11, 2003, at the age of 66 in a car accident near Forest Lake. Herb’s legacy lives on in the world of ice hockey with his coaching philosophy influencing today’s generation. He is remembered as a visionary coach who instilled discipline, determination, and teamwork in his players, leaving an indelible mark on the sport's history.
Swimming, Basketball & Powerlifting
Swimming, Basketball & Powerlifting
Abby Hirsch is a remarkable Special Olympics Athlete. Born with Down Syndrome, Abby has been involved in the Special Olympics for more than 20 years. She competes in numerous sports, including basketball, bocce ball, bowling, downhill skiing, poly hockey, powerlifting, swimming and track and field. Her top 3 favorite sports are Swimming, Basketball & Powerlifting. In 2014 Abby represented Team MN at the Special Olympics USA Games in Princeton NJ in the women’s swimming competition where she medaled in all 4 of her events.
Hirsch’s love for sports was inspired by her family. Her older brother played hockey which motivated her at a young age to learn how to skate. Her parents enrolled her in Special Olympics Figure Skating which ignited her passion for sports & fitness.
Abby is a Wayzata High School graduate. She is a Global Messenger for Special Olympics MN participating in numerous public speaking events including speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. She participates in the Special Olympic Leadership Programs offered, and proudly serves on the Special Olympics MN Board of Directors. In addition, she is an active volunteer, coach, and a Health & Wellness Ambassador who shares the message of acceptance and inclusion in sports and in life for everyone.
Sunisa Lee, also known as Suni, is a Hmong American artistic gymnast and the reigning all-around Olympic Gold Medalist. Born in St. Paul in 2003, Suni began her training at Midwest Gymnastics Center in Little Canada under the guidance of coach Jess Graba and quickly found a passion for the sport.
Lee went on to dominate at the junior level, winning several national and international competitions, and on the collegiate level at Auburn University. In 2019, Suni made her mark on the national stage in the U.S. Gymnastics Championships by finishing second in the all-around competition, as well as winning a gold medal on uneven bars.
Lee's breakout moment came at the rescheduled 2020 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo in 2021. Suni was a vital member of the U.S. women's gymnastics team, helping them secure a silver medal in the team competition. Individually, she won a gold medal in the women's all-around competition, becoming the fifth consecutive American woman to claim that title at the Olympics.
Lee is the first Hmong-American Olympian and received numerous honors and awards following her performance in Tokyo. She was named Female Athlete of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2021, and she was included in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Suni is now preparing for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Gymnastics, which will be held at Target Center next June.
Born in 1989, Maya Moore grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri, where her love for sports blossomed. Maya attended Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia, and led her team to three state championships. During her prep days, she joined Candace Parker as just the second player to be named the Naismith Prep Player of the Year following both her junior and senior seasons.
Moore's basketball journey continued at the University of Connecticut, where she became one of the most decorated and successful college basketball players in history. She helped lead the Huskies to two NCAA championships in 2009 and 2010 and amassed a collegiate record of 150-4. She was twice named the national collegiate player of the year and left UConn with her name etched into numerous lists in the Huskies’ record books.
In the 2011 WNBA Draft, Maya Moore was selected with the first overall pick by the Minnesota Lynx. She quickly became a star and guided the Lynx to four WNBA championships in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. With her scoring prowess and versatility, Moore was named WNBA MVP in 2014 and WNBA Finals MVP in 2013. Maya also won two gold medals with the U.S. at the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016. Maya Moore is one of just 11 females to earn an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA Championship, a Fiba World cup gold and a WNBA Championship.
In 2019, Moore announced that she would be taking a break from professional basketball to focus on social activism and criminal justice reform. She had become personally involved in the case of Jonathan Irons, who was wrongfully convicted and serving a 50-year prison sentence.
Moore's advocacy efforts helped bring attention to Irons' case and eventually led to his exoneration and release from prison in July 2020. Maya and Jonathan got married later in 2020 and now have one son, Jonathan Irons, Jr. Today, Maya continues to be a hero in our community, and she has shared her story of sacrifice and perseverance in her book, "Love and Justice."
Lou Nanne is a former professional ice hockey player, coach, broadcaster and executive. Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, in 1941, Nanne is widely known for his contributions to the sport of ice hockey, the NHL and most notably, the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team.
Nanne played college hockey at the University of Minnesota and was a standout All-American defenseman. After his run with the 1968 United States Olympic hockey team, he transitioned to the NHL, playing for the Minnesota North Stars from 1968 to 1978. He was considered one of the top defensemen of his time and was known for his leadership on and off the ice.
Following his playing career, Nanne continued his involvement in hockey in various capacities. He served as the general manager of the Minnesota North Stars from 1978 to 1988. He was also involved in international hockey and supported the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team, which was immortalized in the movie "Miracle on Ice.”
Later in his career, Nanne became a commentator and analyst for NHL games on various networks. Today, Lou is an Executive Vice President for Voyageur Asset Management in Minneapolis. The Minnesota hockey legend continues his philanthropic efforts and community work supporting various charitable causes to make a positive impact beyond the ice.
The 2023 season marks Cheryl Reeve’s 14th season as Lynx Head Coach and first as President of Basketball Operations. Reeve previously served as both Head Coach and General Manager for the past five seasons. In 2019, Reeve was named the WNBA Basketball Executive of the Year. Additionally, at the conclusion of the 2020 WNBA regular season, Reeve was named Coach of the Year for the third time in her career, tying Van Chancellor and Mike Thibault for most all-time. Reeve joined the organization as head coach on Dec. 2009, taking over for former head coach Jennifer Gillom. On November 3, 2022, Reeve signed her fourth multi-year contract extension as head coach and was promoted to president of basketball operations.
Reeve has guided the Lynx to four WNBA championships since joining the organization. The first championship in franchise history came in 2011, with Reeve being named the WNBA Coach of the Year. Reeve has gone on to lead the Lynx to additional WNBA championships in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Reeve also won two championships with the former Detroit Shock in 2006 and 2008 as an assistant coach.
On Dec. 8, 2021, Reeve was named the USA Basketball Women’s National Team Head Coach through 2024. Reeve led the USA at the 2022 FIBA World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Washington, D.C. to a 2- 0 victory earning a spot to the 2022 FIBA World Cup in Sydney, Australia. In Australia, Reeve led USA Basketball to a perfect 15-0 record, earning a gold medal and securing a spot in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.
As an assistant coach with USA Basketball, Reeve helped the U.S. claim gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games and 2014 and 2018 FIBA World Cups and helped the USA claim the 2019 FIBA AmeriCup. During the 2019-20 USA National Team’s expanded training, Reeve stepped in for then-USA head coach Dawn Staley, who was unable to coach due to her collegiate coaching commitments and acted as the team’s lead coach during the 2019-20 college tour (4-1), 2019 FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament (3-0) and 2020 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (3-0).
As a player at La Salle, Reeve led the nationally ranked Explorers to a 25-5 record in 1987-1988. She was named All-Metro Atlantic Conference and was an All-Big 5 selection as a senior. Reeve holds the school record for most games started (110) and ranks fourth on La Salle’s career assist leader board (420).
Reeve excelled athletically and academically at La Salle, graduating with a degree in computer science/management information systems. A Rhodes Scholar nominee, Reeve received both a MAAC Scholar-Athlete Post Graduate Award and a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship in 1988. She went on to earn her master’s degree in business administration from her alma mater while also serving two years as an assistant coach for the Explorers.
Born in Minneapolis in 1969, John Roethlisberger is a former American gymnast and the first male three-time gymnastics Olympian. Born into a gymnastics family, John’s father Fred served as gymnastics coach at the University of Minnesota for 33 years. John started his gymnastics journey at a young age and eventually joined his father competing for the Golden Gophers at the U.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Roethlisberger established himself as one of the top gymnasts in the U.S. He won the NCAA all-around title three times and the Big Ten all-around title four times. John competed in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.
After retiring from competitive gymnastics, Roethlisberger remained involved in the gymnastics community. He pursued a career in coaching and sports commentary and worked as a commentator for NCAA and Olympic events. Additionally, John is a motivational speaker and has shared his experiences and insights with various audiences. Roethlisberger will always be a Minnesotan treasure for the hearts he touched with his incredible talent and wonderful personality.
John Shuster is an American curler born in Chisholm in 1982. He was introduced to curling at a young age by his father and quickly developed a passion for the game. John went on to compete in various junior and amateur curling events. As he honed his skills, he gained a reputation for his strategic thinking, precise shot-making and leadership abilities.
John's dedication to the sport eventually led him to become the skip (captain) of his curling team. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Shuster led the American team to its first-ever gold medal in curling, defeating Sweden in the final. Shuster has now competed in five straight Winter Olympics, dating back to 2006.
Apart from the Olympics, he has competed in numerous other curling competitions and championships, contributing significantly to the sport's growth and popularity in the United States. Throughout his career, John has remained a beloved and respected figure within the curling community.
Gable Steveson is an American amateur wrestler who starred at the University of Minnesota. Steveson quickly made a name for himself as a standout wrestler at Apple Valley High School. He won four state championships during his prep career and by 2018 was regarded as one of the top high school wrestling prospects in the country, with a prep record of 210-3. This made him a top contender for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Wrestling in the heavyweight division as a Golden Gopher, Gable won three Big Ten titles and was a two-time NCAA Champion. He holds the best winning percentage in Gopher wrestling history with a career record of 85-2. His dominant wrestling style, athleticism and charisma made him a fan favorite.
Gable also shined on the international stage. He represented the United States in various freestyle wrestling competitions. Steveson won a gold medal at the (postponed) 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the men's freestyle 125 kg (heavyweight) category, a victory that solidified his status as one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the world.
Steveson retired from traditional wrestling following the 2022 season to pursue a career in the WWE. He became only the second gold medalist to sign a contract with WWE, after Kurt Angle.
Paralympian swimmer Mallory Weggemann is best known for her remarkable achievements in the pool and for her work on dry land as a passionate advocate for disability representation and inclusion.
After falling in love with swimming as a child and competing throughout high school, in 2008, at the age of 18, Mallory underwent a routine medical procedure to treat chronic nerve pain. She walked into the doctor’s office as an active 18-year-old ready to take on the world and, ultimately, never walked out again.
Mallory quickly demonstrated her immense resilience as she returned to the pool mere months after her injury, finding comfort, hope and a new future in the water. Since then, Mallory has competed in three Paralympic games (London 2012, Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020), won a total of five Paralympic medals for Team USA (three gold, one silver, and one bronze), is a 15-time World Champion, a multi-World and American record holder, won an ESPY for “Best Female with a Disability”, and is currently training for a fourth Paralympic Games (Paris 2024).
As a highly sought after motivational speaker, Mallory regularly empowers and inspires thousands of people each year addressing Fortune 500 companies like Delta Air Lines, Morgan Stanley, Comcast, and more. She also released her memoir, Limitless, in 2021, and continues to be a leader and advocate for disability representation and inclusion wherever and whenever she can. More recently, after a long IVF journey with her husband, Jay, the couple have become a voice for anyone going through an IVF journey, especially male factor infertility.
In addition to all of this, Mallory worked as on-camera talent for NBC during the 2018 and 2022 Paralympic Games; is co-CEO of TFA Group and is Executive Producer, co-Director, and Writer on their upcoming documentary, WATERSHED; serves on the Advisory Board of Disability for Delta Air Lines; is an ambassador for EVEREVE, and so much more.
Mallory and Jay welcomed their daughter, Charlotte, to the world in March 2023 and currently reside in Eagan with their fur-baby, Sam.