It's not unusual for two siblings to develop a passion for the same sport, but Hannah and Marissa Brandt are taking that sibling scenario a step further: representing two different countries at the 2018 Winter Games.
The sisters will both play ice hockey in Pyeongchang, but Hannah is playing for Team USA while Marissa is playing for Team Korea, the united North/South Korean women's ice hockey team.
We know Olympic siblings aren't that unusual. In fact, Team USA is loaded with siblings, like Sadie and Erik Bjornsen, who are both skiing for the U.S. cross-country ski team. Alex and Maia Shibutani are the "Shib Sibs" who took second in the team event short dance this weekend and helped Team USA win bronze medal position in the figure skating team event. Meanwhile, brother/sister team Matt and Becca Hamilton participated in the mixed doubles curling and will both participate in the men's and women's team events. The Lamoureux sisters, Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson are using their wonder twin powers to skate for the U.S. women's hockey team.
Growing up in Minnesota, the Brandt sisters did everything together, from ballet to gymnastics to playing on the ice. For Marissa, who is South Korean by birth and was adopted by parents Greg and Robin Brandt at 4 months old, that meant figure skating; Hannah, who is 11 months younger than her sister, was drawn to ice hockey.
In high school, the Brandt sisters joined forces on the ice hockey team and both continued to play when they went to college. But while Hannah hoped to win a spot on Team USA for Pyeongchang, Marissa thought her ice hockey days were over after college. That is until she got a call from Sarah Murray, the Canadian coach of South Korea's (and now Team Korea's) women's ice hockey team, asking if she would be interested in representing her birth country at the Games.
In Pyeongchang, Hannah will play as a forward on the U.S team while Marissa will play defense for Team Korea using her birth name of Park Yoon-Jung. It's unlikely the teams will compete against each other as Team USA is a strong candidate for the gold while Team Korea is ranked eighth. But if we've learned anything about the Olympics, it's that anything's possible. Either way, you can bet that parents Greg and Robin will be cheering on both daughters in Pyeongchang.