1998 US Ice Hockey Team
Nagano Olympic stars pay a visit to White
April 29, 1998
WASHINGTON -- Once more, the U.S. women's hockey team outshone the men.
While the medal-less men's hockey team was not invited because several of its players trashed
some dorm rooms in Nagano, the women's team basked again in their gold medal glory with
America's other Winter Olympians and President Clinton on Wednesday.
"It was really cool," women's team captain Cammi Granato said after a brief ceremony on the
South Lawn of the White House. "It was kind of neat to walk in a say, 'Hey, we're in the White
House.' It kind of brought back the Olympic feel."
WHILE NO MENTION WAS MADE OF the men's hockey team, Clinton departed from the usual
congratulatory remarks and challenged the athletes present to become role models.
"If you choose, for the rest of your lives, because you were an Olympian, you can have a
profound, positive impact on all the people with whom you come in contact, but especially on
young people," Clinton said.
"The lessons of setting your sights high, working hard, being persistent, believing in
yourselves, playing by the rules, supporting your team -- those are lessons that every child in
America needs to learn, lessons that every child can see in your eyes and in the power of your
Women's figure skating silver medalist Michelle Kwan -- not gold medalist Tara Lipinski -- was
chosen to present Clinton with a U.S. team jacket, and Lipinki's mother wasn't happy.
"DON'T YOU THINK IT'S A terrible thing for them to do to poor Tara?" said Pat Lipinski, who
blamed the U.S. Olympic Committee for the perceived snub. "It's been like this for poor Tara.
It's a terrible thing."
USOC spokesman Mike Moran said skier Picabo Street was actually chosen to present the
jacket after a vote by the team, but Street is injured and was unable to make the trip. Moran
said Kwan was the second choice in the balloting, and there was no intended slight of
"(Traditionally), it hasn't been necessarily the star of the game," Moran said. "It's not Tara vs.