Katie and Julia Reinprecht are sisters on the U.S. women’s national field hockey team. They have made it to the pinnacle of their sport and have done so together.
“We’ve always been super supportive of one another,” said Katie, who is a year and a half older than Julia.
The sisters have played together since they were young. Growing up in Perkasie, Bucks County, Pennsylvania they learned to play field hockey from their mother, Tina, who runs Mystx Field Hockey club. Their oldest sister, Sarah, also played the sport.
Katie and Julia went on to play at Princeton University, where they were teammates for three years, and made their debuts on the U.S. national team in 2010.
While the sisters have played together for most of their lives, they’ve managed to keep the competition between opposing teams and not each other.
“She’s a defender, I’m a midfielder so we sort of have different styles of playing which maybe naturally don’t breed as much competitive nature,” Katie said. “I mean we are going to be competitive and stuff, but in terms of being selected or making teams it’s always been looking out for one another and respecting each other.”
In 2011, the sisters took a year off from school to train with the national team in the hopes of making the 2012 Olympic team.
“It was our first Olympics for both of us so there is always a bit of anxiety for selection and you don’t know how it is going to go,” Julia said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen if one of you makes it and the other doesn’t, how you’ll react. I think we pretty much knew that no matter what happened we would obviously be going whether that’s to support one another or to be playing together.”
It’s an illustration of the backing Katie and Julia give one another as sisters, a valuable and unique advantage in the competitive world of sports.
“Our family has always taught us, first and foremost, to be supportive,” Katie said.
Ultimately, both sisters were selected to the 2012 team and made their Olympic debuts at the London Games. They are now set to appear in their second Olympics in Rio and are excited to share more memories together.
“It’s always nice having your sister there to enjoy all those moments, share those moments,” Julia said. “You can relive them together and you’ll share some same memories so it’s really nice having her there through it all. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”