Whizzing around an ice rink with hockey stick in hand, junior Kelsey Farson loves the thrill of ice hockey. It all started when she was 10 years old, playing in-line hockey in her neighborhood cul-de-sac. It wasn’t long after that Kelsey’s father realized his daughter’s potential and took her to the local rink. Since then, Kelsey has played on multiple hockey teams — many times being the only girl — including the men’s club team at UNC-CH.
HC: What’s the best thing about ice hockey? The worst?
Kelsey: I love the speed, power and energy of hockey. Most people don’t think of a hockey as a beautiful sport, but if you watch the pros skating, passing and shooting the puck, it really is a beautiful sport. The worst thing about hockey, and I firmly believe this, is that it brings out the worst in people. I’m not sure if it’s because of the physical contact and checking that is involved in hockey, but people change out on the ice.
HC: Do you have any proud accomplishments from playing?
Kelsey: I have a couple great memories. In 2005 my dad and I made a trip out West for me to try out for the USA Women’s 18&U team. I made the team that year and received MVP of the team. In 2007 I made Team America which is a title given to the top 10 in-line female skaters in the country. This past year I tried out for the US Women’s National Team, while I didn’t make the team, it was still a phenomenal opportunity. While the awards and national tournaments are great, the best memories for me are playing at home with my dad and little brother now. Whenever I go home on break, I still play with them. I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to play at UNC. I played on the men’s club hockey team my first year at Carolina and am pretty happy with the three intramural street hockey shirts my teams have won!
HC: What about any embarrassing incidents on the ice that you care to share?
Kelsey: Several years ago I was playing in a tournament down in Atlanta. It was a TORHS tournament in which full checking is allowed. While down there I got completely decked by a guy during the game. I literally crawled back to the bench almost in tears. One of my teammates, trying to come to my rescue, asked me who it was that did it. At that point, I was in too much pain to really think straight, so I just pointed to the first guy that happened to skate by. Immediately my teammate jumped off the bench (even though it wasn’t his shift) and pummeled this guy. It turned into a bench-clearing brawl on both sides. I just sat on the bench in awe of what I had just caused (and feeling a little sorry for the guy that I wrongly accused). The refs called the game early because of the fighting that broke out. Little embarrassed by that one.
HC: Do you have a motto or a personal mantra?
Kelsey: Well, it sounds really corny, but when I was little I would always say: “Life is a beauty and beauty is a joy.” Not really sure what that means or what I wanted it to mean, but it’s something that I have always remembered. I have always tried to live my life to fullest, and I think that is something that I wanted to get across with that quote. Life is meant to be celebrated and joy-filled!
HC: What are your other interests and passions besides hockey?
Kelsey: I am really interested in studying the developing relationship between NATO and the EU, it’s something that I’ve focused a lot of my undergraduate education on. But aside from that, I always love any game that makes you think (word jumbles, crosswords, puzzles). I love learning new things and trying new hobbies.
HC: Do you play any other sports besides hockey, like during off-season?
Kelsey: I just enjoy staying active in general. I have done a couple triathlons, but I love playing Ultimate Frisbee and doing yoga.
HC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Kelsey: I’d love to be working in Washington D.C. in 10 years, either for a non-profit or for the government.