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Gov. Burgum presents Rough Rider Award to Lamoureux twins at Ralph Engelstad Arena ceremony

After a year-long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Doug Burgum honored the Lamoureux twins in a ceremony at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

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Olympic Gold Medalists Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson react as their Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award portrait is unveiled Wednesday, July 14, 2021 by ND. Gov. Doug Burgum, State Historical Society Director Bill Peterson and Secretary of State Al Jaeger at a ceremony at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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Since Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux decided to retire from their playing careers in February, the Grand Forks natives and Olympic hockey stars haven't had a lot of time in the public spotlight.

"Monique had another baby, and I'm due any day now, so that's kept us busy," Jocelyne said. "My husband's already talked about building a rink for the kids in the backyard, so I'm sure I'll be getting more time on the ice next winter."

"I don't think you'll see me on a Wednesday night league anytime soon," Monique said.

On this Wednesday, though, the Lamoureux twins were back at the ice level of Ralph Engelstad Arena, honored by Gov. Doug Burgum as the 45th and 46th recipients of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, the highest honor for citizens of the state.

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Highlighting the Lamoureux reputation for competitiveness, the two argued over which twin was No. 45 and which was No. 46.

With a stage at ice level and the massive REA video board lowered above them, the Lamoureux twins became the first sibling Rough Rider Award winners and the second-youngest selections behind former Major League Baseball player Roger Maris.

The speakers at the event included Burgum, UND President Andrew Armacost, Shattuck-St. Mary's coach Gordie Stafford, USA Hockey mental skills coach Dr. Colleen Hacker and Comcast senior advisor to the CEO David Cohen, who has worked closely with the Lamoureux twins in their advocacy efforts.

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Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award winners Monique Lamoureux-Morando, left, and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson react to congratulatory video messages from former Olympic Gold Medal hockey teammates during a ceremony honoring the twins Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

"What a tremendous and well-deserved honor," Armacost said. "During their time here at UND, Monique and Jocelyn epitomized the ideal student-athlete -- not only as outstanding hockey players but also their stellar academic achievements, both earning bachelor's and master's degrees from UND."

The crowd of more than 100 in attendance included Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski, former UND women's hockey coach Brian Idalski and new Seattle Kraken head coach Dave Hakstol. The twins also thanked the numerous Grand Forks youth hockey coaches in attendance.

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The Lamoureux twins have won three Olympic medals in women's hockey -- silver at the 2010 Vancouver Games, silver at the 2014 Sochi Games and gold at the 2018 PyeongChang Games.

The Lamoureuxs thanked their parents, Linda and Pierre, for instilling a work ethic and drive to be great. They said their four brothers -- Phil, Jacques, Pierre-Paul and Mario -- contributed a piece of their personalities to help form the twins' total package as players.

Monique thanked her husband Anthony Morando for helping to train the twins in lead up to the PyeongChang Games. Jocelyne choked up as she mentioned her good fortune in meeting her husband -- former UND men's player Brent Davidson -- when the twins decided to transfer from the University of Minnesota to UND.

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Olympic Gold Medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando share a laugh during remarks at the Ralph Engelstad Arena after receiving the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award Wednesday, July 14, 2021 by ND. Gov. Doug Burgum. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The Lamoureux twins played key roles in bringing the U.S. its first gold medal in women's hockey in 20 years in PyeongChang. Monique scored the game-tying goal late in the third period against rival Canada and Jocelyne scored the game-winner in the sudden-death shootout.

"North Dakotans swelled with pride knowing the first-ever twins to play on an Olympic hockey team were two young women from Grand Forks, representing the United States and North Dakota on a world stage," Burgum said.

In doing so, they became the first born-and-raised North Dakotans to ever win an Olympic gold medal. They also are the first North Dakotans to win three Olympic medals.

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The 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.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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