USA Hockey announced New Year's Day that Josephine Pucci of Pearl River made the 21-member Team USA in the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The 23-year-old defenseman is currently working out with the team near Boston, MA, but her parents, Victor and Ursula, and sister Victoria received a certificate from the town in her place at the meeting Tuesday. Video of Victor Pucci's remarks can be found here.
"The town of Orangetown has been tremendous," Victor Pucci said. "I encourage all you youngsters out there ....follow your dream. Find your passion and go for it. There are a lot of coaches in this rom. They are sitting up on the board. They are in the audience. It takes a village. You are all responsible for the success in this town of our children, our grandchildren and everyone else. Dreams do come true.
"My daughter had an opportunity to play sports at a young age. Got a great education at St. Margaret’s. She got a great opportunity in this wonderful town. We moved up here in 1990 and it’s the best thing we ever did and I thank you all for that opportunity. It’s a great town we live in."
Pucci attended the St. Margaret School in Pearl River through eighth grade, then went on to Choate Rosemary Hall Prep School in Wallingfort, CT. She is taking this year off from Harvard University to focus on the Olympic Games. She grew up playing soccer and softball as well as hockey and said during a phone interview Thursday night that her support system back home is very important to her success.
"I owe so much to Pearl River," Josephine Pucci said. " I feel an attachment. My parents are still there. I go home every weekend. I feel so grateful for everything at St. Margaret’s. It’s just such a close-knit community in that school. After it was announced publicly, all the support I got from those kids in school was amazing."
Editor's note: Check back with Patch for more on Josephine Pucci's journey to making the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team.