As we get closer to June, more and more attention is turning to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. But there's a different kind of World Cup kicking off this weekend in Europe. The Rabobank Hockey World Cup begins May 31 in The Hague, Netherlands, and concludes June 15.
Rabobank hockey is another name for field hockey, and it's crazy popular across the Atlantic. The sport has hundreds of thousands of fans on social media, and it's expected that some 250,000 people will attend this year's World Cup games. And if the tournament sells out, the International Hockey Federation will make sure as many people outside the competition's two stadiums can still get in on the action.
"I was talking to someone who's over there, and they said they're setting up massive screens in the center of the city for people who don't have tickets so they can watch the games," US star (and STX athlete) Katie O'Donnell says.
The 25-year-old striker joined Team USA when she was only 16. She was the youngest person to ever be named to the national team, and made a name for herself competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. In college, she played for Maryland and was a three-time First Team All-American and two-time National Offensive MVP. She's holds the ACC and Maryland records for assists (74), is the NCAA Tournament assists leader (13), and Maryland's career points leader (208). And in 2010, she was named the National Sportswoman of the Year (Team Sport) by the Women's Sports Foundation. Previous winners? Mia Hamm and Serena and Venus Williams.
O'Donnell is the most decorated field hockey player in the United States, and she has here sights set on bringing home a World Cup championship. But before she left for The Hague, she took SI Kids' 10 Questions personality quiz!
What time is your alarm set for?
On average, probably, like, 7:15 a.m.
What's your favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip. Turkey Hill.
What was your childhood nickname?
I didn't really have one. People on the team now call me Odie because my last name is O'Donnell. But I guess growing up my nickname was Katie O. I played sports and there were always a million Katies and we always just said "Katie" and their last initial.
If you weren't an athlete, what would you want to do?
Be a teacher. First graders. The sticky, smelly ones!
Do you have any pre-game superstitions?
I try to warm up in the same way every game. For certain drills, I'll start in the same position or I'll warm up on the same place in the field. Or the warm-up run, I'll be the last person in line.
What is your favorite city to compete in?
My favorite city I've ever competed in, so far, has been Mooloolaba, Australia. The atmosphere was really cool, and we got to stay on a beach. It was our first really fun, vacation-y kind of tour. And we did well, so that always helps.
What do you do on days off?
I go hiking with my puppy and my boyfriend a lot. I like hiking the Lancaster City Trail. It has an awesome river and some wildlife you get to see here and there.
Who is the greatest athlete of all time?
Female athlete, I would have to say Mia Hamm.
In the movie about your life, who would play you?
That's a tough one... Someone really funny! No, I'm just kidding. I'm not funny at all. I would want to say Cameron Diaz because she could probably do a good job. She's a good actress.
Who is your best friend in sports?
I hate that question! Everyone's, like, "I thought we were best friends!" I have so many best friends, I seriously couldn't even pick one.
Check out the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup website for times and dates of games. And learn more about the sport on the International Hockey Federation website!
Photo courtesy STX