By TERESA M. WALKER, AP Sports Writer
GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Supporting one daughter playing women’s hockey in the Olympics isn’t exactly easy. Especially when the other daughter, a fellow Olympian, wants no yelling.
So Greg and Robin Brandt sat as quietly as possible Wednesday watching Marissa play for Korea with Hannah, a forward for the United States, sitting beside them.
Hannah’s schedule was a bit tight, so she could only watch the first period before leaving. That freed her parents to join the boisterous crowd at the Kwandong Hockey Centre cheering for the first combined Korean team ever to play in an Olympics.
“She says, ‘You don’t yell at my games like that do you?” Robin Brandt said of Hannah. “I’m like, ‘No. I’m worse.’ I don’t know.
It’s more exciting here. I really don’t yell at the U.S. games because it’s not as appropriate. But here … everyone’s yelling. You have to yell.”
The sisters Brandt have given their family more than enough reason to cheer, sing or simply beam with pride.
Marissa, who was born in South Korea, is one of six North Americans imported for the country’s first women’s hockey team in the Olympics. With the surprise addition of 12 North Koreans less than three weeks ago, the team has drawn intense scrutiny and dignitaries attended their opening game (and North Korea’s famous cheerleader group has been at all three). Hannah, meanwhile, is trying to help the United States end a 20-year drought without a gold medal in women’s hockey.
Together, the sisters have brought the Brandts and Marissa’s husband, Brett Ylonen , all the way from Minnesota to this coastal town in South Korea for an Olympic experience with double the teams — and games. They sit in the stands wearing Korea blue jerseys and switch things up when the Americans play. They stay busy with a daughter playing every other day.
“This is for women and girls and anyone dreaming this is where you want to be,” Greg Brandt said. “And to have both Marissa and Hannah to be able to do this, it’s an absolute dream…