Mleczko said she would work this summer on her dad's charter fishing boat out of Nantucket and then head back to Harvard for her senior year. Tueting was waffling on her pre-Games plan to quit hockey and concentrate on her premed studies and her cello playing at Dartmouth. Ruggiero groaned, "Do you believe after all this, I've got to go back to high school?"
Before returning to reality, though, the U.S. players planned to stop off for a bit of sunbathing in Maui as a reward for having endured the hard work and technicolor bruises that were part of the bargain. Of that long march to the gold, forward Cammi Granato said, "These last five months have been the best time of my life."
Mleczko agreed. Stealing a glance at her teammates at the victory party, she added, "It's going to be so hard when we finally have to tell each other goodbye."