They have battled three times for Olympic gold, racing across the ice as part of women’s hockey’s most heated rivalry.
On Monday, the former rivals – who have captained national hockey teams for Canada and the US – announced the birth of their daughter.
Liv Chu-Ouellette, seven pounds and three ounces, was born earlier this month to parents Caroline Ouellette, the captain of Canada’s team at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi and, Julie Chu, who led the American team from 2011 to 2013.
“I feel truly blessed to experience this incredible adventure with my love and best friend Julie,” Ouellette wrote on Instagram. “Cheers to the sleepless nights to come!”
The couple – who last season were team-mates on Les Canadiennes de Montréal in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League – first battled for Olympic gold in 2002, stepping on to the ice in the same jersey number: 13.
The Canadians won gold in those games. Chu and Ouellette again faced off for Olympic gold in 2010 and 2014, with the Canadians winning both times.
The decades-long rivalry continued between Olympic games, with Chu and Ouellette playing against each other for more than half a dozen world championship titles. In the 2007-2008 season, the pair worked together as assistant coaches for the University of Minnesota Duluth women’s hockey team.
On Monday, Ouellette and Chu – who between them have eight Olympic medals – described their daughter as their most incredible blessing to date. “We have already been blessed with so many things in our life: Amazing friends and family, Love, Representing our countries, and doing things we are passionate about each day,” Chu wrote on Instagram.
Their posts sparked an outpouring of reaction online. “What Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette have proved is that you too can live the life of an inspirational sports movie with a compelling relationship arc,” wrote one person on Twitter. Another remarked: “I can’t believe Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette just ended the USA-Canada rivalry forever.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010