Meet the Minnesota Olympians

  • Updated: February 1, 2014 - 9:51 PM

Meet the 27 Olympians who’ll figuratively keep Minnesota’s flame burning bright in Sochi.

LEE STECKLEIN

Roseville/Gophers • women’s hockey

Age: 19

Height/weight: 6-0, 170

Position: Defenseman

Olympic experience: First

Twitter handle: @LeeSteck2

Bio: A freshman on last season’s undefeated national championship team, Stecklein chose to take a leave from the Gophers this season to play with the U.S. national team. She was rewarded with a place on the Olympic roster. The youngest player on the team — and a Class 2A champion with Roseville in 2010 — Stecklein is a classic stay-at-home defenseman who combines size and mobility.

DAVID BACKES

Blaine/Minnesota State Mankato • men’s hockey

Age: 29

Height/weight: 6-3, 221

Position: Forward

Olympic experience: Second (2010)

Twitter handle: @dbackes42

Bio: The St. Louis Blues captain could well become the captain of the Olympic team, too, thanks to his leadership skills and stout all-around game. Backes was considered a lock to make the team since last summer, when he was among five players appointed to the leadership group of the American player pool. A star at Spring Lake Park High School, he once aspired to be a patent attorney; he now has a pilot’s license and founded an animal rescue group. Backes has played in four world championships and gives the U.S. team grit, determination and versatility.

ZACH PARISE

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