Lucy Kiernat Heads to Universiade Games


Lucy Kiernat and her team huddle up before a game.

Caroline Hardy, Managing Editor

From March 1 through 9, Lucy Kiernat ‘19 will represent the United States in bandy at the 29th Universiade games in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. The second most popular winter sport worldwide, bandy is similar to hockey. Eleven players roam on a rink four times larger than a traditional hockey rink with the goal of sinking a ball into a net. Kiernat has played bandy since she was 10 when she attended bandy camp and started playing with her father. From then on, she has played continually and subbed for the USA Women’s National Team since her freshman year. Drawing on endurance and skill, Kiernat enjoys the combination of athletic ability that bandy relies on. “I really like to skate, but I’m also a long distance runner, so it combines the two…. I think it’s really beautiful and fun to play,” she explains. The Universiade Games are similar to the Olympics, except with an age range of 18 to 25 years old. Kiernat is one of three high school seniors on the team, with most players in their freshman or sophomore years of college. This is the first time that bandy is included in the Universiade Games, a historical first. Kiernat explains, “Obviously bandy is not super popular here, but it’s awesome that I get to represent my country for the first time. They are hoping to put bandy in the next real Olympics, so it’s cool to be a stepping stone for that.”Enormously popular in Scandinavia, Kiernat hopes that increasing attention for bandy will continue to accumulate. Kiernat plans to continue playing, hopefully even qualifying for the Olympics in future years. In the meantime, she hopes to increase awareness for the sport in the United States. She explains, “It’s not necessarily about proving the popularity of it worldwide, but more like, gaining popularity in the U.S., just because it’s such a cool sport… I honestly think more people should be playing.”