Sunrise Beach couple reflects on granddaughter's Olympic gold medal

Bob and Charlotte O'Bryan stand next to their television at their home in Sunrise Beach. This is where they watched their granddaughter, Brianna Decker, play on Team U.S.A. for women's hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Megan Sanchez/KRCG 13)

Bob and Charlotte O'Bryan said their granddaughter Brianna Decker was always determined to keep up with her three brothers.

In their eyes, hockey was a boys' sport, but Brianna did not care.

"When the boys started hockey, she got into it," Charlotte said. "After going and watching them, she wanted to try it. There was no girls' teams around so she played with the boys."

Fast-forward to February 2018 - the little girl who once played hockey on boys' teams now plays for the U.S.A. Women's Olympic Hockey Team. And now she has a gold medal.

"I didn't expect it to go all the way up to where she'd be in the Olympics," Bob said. "That was really a surprise. I thought she was good, but I didn't know she was that good."

Bob and Charlotte had their eyes glued on the television Wednesday. Halfway around the world, their 26-year-old granddaughter was competing for the gold medal in a game against Canada. Her second Olympic run, the O'Bryans said they aren't sure how much more hockey Decker's body can handle. A win was something they knew she really wanted.

And for a moment, the O'Bryans said they thought, it wasn't going to happen.

"I really [was] thinking as we watched the score, I thought we're not going to make this," Charlotte said. "We're just not going to do it, you know, it's going to be another 2014 again."

The O'Bryans are in their 80s. They said they don't stay up too late these days, but they watched Wednesday turn into Thursday, staying awake to watch the win and call family on the phone to celebrate the excitement.

"I watch hockey all the time, but quite often I fall asleep," Bob said. "When she's playing I don't."

Decker is the daughter of Marilyn and John Decker. Marilyn is Bob and Charlotte's youngest child.

Decker plays for the Boston Pride in the National Women's Hockey League.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off