Did you know that a Waukesha County Badger’s story and strong determination inspire others to achieve their goals?
When the going gets tough, former Badger women’s hockey goalie Alex Rigsby ’15 isn’t one to back down.
When she was cut from the 2014 Winter Olympic team heading to Sochi, for example, she used it as motivation. Even when she was no longer playing college hockey, she made it her top priority to train for the next Olympics — hard work that paid off when she not only made Team USA for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, but also was part of a team that brought home U.S. women’s hockey gold for the first time since 1998.
Rigsby also had hip surgery during her senior year of high school in Hartland, Wisconsin. Her doctor said that if she went through with the surgery, she would never again compete at an elite level. But Rigsby — who had already committed to play for the Badgers — found a new doctor and went ahead with the operation. A second hip surgery followed the next year, after the Badger women’s hockey team had won the national championship game. Despite long recoveries, Rigsby didn’t give up on her lifelong dream of making it to the Olympics.
“I was going to prove to them that I could continue to play college hockey, and have no problems, and make the national team — and I just wasn’t going to let that stop me.”
“I was going to prove to them that I could continue to play college hockey, and have no problems, and make the national team — and I just wasn’t going to let that stop me,” she says.
Today Rigsby uses her story to teach others about goal setting and perseverance as an athlete mentor for Classroom Champions, an organization with a mission to connect underserved students with world-class mentors. Throughout the 2017–18 school year, she has mentored classes in Virginia and Oregon, interacting with the students each month.
“It’s fun to see their progress throughout the year and [the] different goals that they set for themselves,” Rigsby says. “I’m a huge believer that sports teach you so many different life lessons … I think [sharing my story] goes a long way.”