Wesley Fry walked into his family’s living room Christmas Eve night dressed as Santa Claus. His sister, Lyndsey, who pretended to be the elf passing out gifts, followed him. The annual family skit was going as usual, but then came the deviation. Lyndsey decided to use the skit to surprise her family with big news.
From Santa’s bag, she pulled out a scroll with the words “Team Fry” across it.
“[Lyndsey] was like, ‘Wait! I’m not Team Fry. My family is Team Fry. I don’t think this is for me.’ And then she turned it around and said, ‘We did it. We’re going to Sochi!’ and started playing the Olympic theme song,” Lynne Fry, Lyndsey’s mother, said.
Lyndsey Fry is now representing Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games as No. 18 on the women’s hockey team.
“Oh God! We were screaming and bawling and crying. It was fun,” Lyndsey’s grandmother, Marilyn Fry, said.
Christmas Eve skits are a family tradition for the Fry’s, but they had never experienced one this dramatic.
Lyndsey, a first-time Olympian, is also the first native-born Olympic hockey player to come out of Arizona—male or female. Because of that, her family said she has been able to make a huge impact on the community and is a fixture on news across the state.
Team Fry is now in Sochi: Lyndsey’s mother, Lynne; father Doug; 18-year-old brother, Wesley; and friends Laura Ross, Bob Lambert and Erin Wente. But all are still waiting to spend time with Lyndsey in Russia.
“We don’t get to see her. We won’t see her until after Wednesday’s game. Then we get to see her for the first time,” Lynne said. “We’ve talked to her. They just want her to stay really, really focused.”
Lynne said they are trying to enjoy the Olympic experience without affecting any of her concentration. Apparently, concentration has been a perpetual struggle for Lyndsey.
Lynne described Lyndsey as “the girl who wants to do everything.” Wesley said his sister can juggle, solve a Rubik’s Cube, ride a unicycle, play guitar, sing, write songs—and these hobbies and skills are all self-taught.
“She wants to do everything. That girl, I tell you, she gets bored with one thing, so she’ll feel like she’s mastered or done enough of that, and then she’ll move on. And then she’s going to do that, and then she’ll move on,” Lynne said.
She is currently enrolled at Harvard University studying history of science. Like most college-aged Olympic athletes, she is taking this year off. Lynne said, her daughter never fatigues when it comes to schoolwork and Olympic competition.
“She’s going back to have a great last collegiate hockey year. And then, after that, it just depends. You know, we don’t really talk too much about it because she wants to enjoy this moment,” Lynne said.
But Lyndsey may already be taking steps forward. She is getting certified in strength and conditioning training. Her father remembered the last he heard, Lyndsey and her friend Erin planned to open a training center for young hockey players in Arizona, an idea her mom believes stems from an emerging passion for kids.
Wesley said it would be a dream come true to make it to the Olympic Games like his sister. He currently plays for Junior Coyotes youth hockey league in Scottsdale, Ariz. But, he said, “We only can worry about what’s happening now.”
For him, “now” meant cruising around Sochi and Adler on the family’s “Frycycles” (also Lyndsey’s Twitter handle). They have bought tickets to other events such as figure skating.
“Her experience is so much different than ours. She’s going through so many more emotions,” Doug said. “And we’re just trying to enjoy this without affecting any of her concentration, so it’s really been a neat blend of doing our own thing but keeping her focused on what she needs to do and making her not worry about us. Because it’s easy to worry about your family when you’re locked in the Village.”
Already looking ahead to the next Olympic Games, Lynne said their family would be “all for it” if they got a repeat skit this Christmas.
BSU at the Games is a freelance news agency operated by 41 student journalists reporting from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games through an immersive-learning program at Ball State University.