Pin it Julie Chu
"What we emphasize is a 'team first' mentality. How are we going to do whatever we can do to make sure our team is successful?"

Career highlights

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2002

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Chu and Team Win Silver

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2006

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Chu Wins Bronze Medal at Winter Olympics in Turin

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2009

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Chu Honored as Leading Scorer
Complete Timeline
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Julie Chu

Career highlights

Title

2002

Subtitle

Chu and Team Win Silver
Although women's hockey officially became an Olympic sport in 1998 and Team USA took home the gold, Canada gained the upper hand in the next Olympics cycle, taking home the gold in 2002 and beating the U.S. on its home turf in Salt Lake City. Chu and her teammates still made the podium and took home the silver medal.

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2006

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Chu Wins Bronze Medal at Winter Olympics in Turin
The Canadian women once again take home gold, with Sweden snagging the silver medal. The U.S. women make their second Olympic podium finish with the bronze.

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2009

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Chu Honored as Leading Scorer
With five goals and five assists under her belt, Chu is named the leading scorer at the 2009 Women's World Ice Hockey Championships tournament.

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2010

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Chu and Team Win Silver in Vancouver
For a third time, the U.S. women take home the silver, with Canada beating them out. Now, in Russia, Chu, a veteran of the team (having appeared in every Olympics game since 2002), is going for gold.

In terms of locker room pump-up songs, ballads by Celine Dion may not be the first to come to mind. Yet for U.S. women's hockey forward Julie Chu and teammates, the songstress gets the job done. "We all start singing along," Chu says. "It's a lot of fun, and it's one of the things I love about being a part of this team."

When SHAPE sat down with Chu to hear how she's prepping for the upcoming Winter Games, the bubbly three-time Olympic medalist spoke in rapid-fire sentences, her enthusiasm for her sport and teammates clearly visible. "I think our team is full of incredibly strong, passionate women," Chu says. "What we emphasize is a 'team first' mentality. How are we going to do whatever we can do to make sure we are successful?"

Having Chu on the ice is one factor that will help the team find success in Sochi. The 31-year-old began her decorated hockey career in her hometown of Fairfield, CT, then played at Harvard University from 2002 to 2007. She took a break to compete in the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, where she and the U.S. women's team won the silver medal. In the 2006 Games, they nabbed bronze, and in 2010, Chu helped the team score silver. As for 2014? Chu's going for the gold. "The reality is, we haven't won a gold medal in three Olympic cycles," she says. "So that's what we're hoping for."

Since 2010, Chu's stayed busy, working as the assistant women's ice hockey coach at Union College in Albany, NY, and then playing on the Canadian Women's Hockey League's (CWHL) Montreal Stars on weekends. And she certainly isn't slowing down as the Winter Games approach. She also skates with her Olympic team six days a week. "On top of that we'll also lift three days a week, and do high intensity interval training. We've learned that the off-ice training really helps us on-ice," Chu says. "We've got a great strength coach, Mike Boyle, who has really pushed us the last three and half years. We're physically more fit, we're stronger."

Chu's work ethic doesn't stop in the weight room. With the help of the team's nutritionist, Chu "periodizes" her diet, meaning she eats more calories and lean protein during intense training phases, but when her workouts let up, she fills her plate with more fruits and vegetables. "I pretty much love and eat everything, including a burger and fries every so often!" Chu says. "But I know if I eat that everyday, I'll feel slow and sluggish."

Even though she spends most of her days on ice, it's hard for Chu to chill out. "I'm a pretty high-energy person," she says. In her rare downtime, she channels her energy in the kitchen. "I wouldn't say I'm a Top Chef, but I do enjoy cooking a lot and I'll cook a lot of team meals," Chu says. "I also like hanging out at home with friends—the more the merrier—and doing crosswords, especially when I travel."  —Locke Hughes

Featured video

U.S. Hockey Player Julie Chu Gives a Shooting Clinic
Can you shoot goals like a three-time Olympian? Julie Chu shows you how

Trivia

Trailblazer
Chu was the first Asian-American to play for the U.S. Olympic ice hockey team
Secret hobby
Crocheting
Fave song
"Roar" by Katy Perry
Skin savior
Olay Regenerist lotion