What are the odds that two sisters who grew up playing hockey on a pond across the street would someday share the same Olympic ice? And what are the chances a sister and brother would last 10 years together as an ice dance team without killing each other?
Whether because of nurture or nature, Team USA usually sends a handful of athletes to the Olympics who share a last name. The Sochi Olympics look to be no different.
Among the potential Sochi Siblings: Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux (hockey); Amanda and Phil Kessel (hockey); Bryan and Taylor Fletcher (Nordic combined skiing); and perhaps Joe and Matt Mortensen (luge).
If the Kessels both make their respective Olympic squads, they would be the first brother-sister combo to compete in the same Winter Games for Team USA in ice hockey. Phil, a forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs, was part of the U.S. team that earned a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Amanda, who led Minnesota to an undefeated season and the NCAA title in 2013, will likely make her Olympic debut in Sochi.
The Lamoureux twins likely will make their second trip to the Games with the aim of winning gold after finishing with silver in Vancouver.
In separate interviews, the sisters tend to share sentiments, saying the journey has been more about "we" than "me."
"Competing against each other every day our entire lives, pushing each other, it's pushed us to where we are today. It really has been 24/7 built-in accountability with everything we do with hockey," Jocelyne said.
Said Monique, "Having it be the two of us has definitely pushed us to be the best athletes. To grow up and play and train with your best friend, it wouldn't be quite as special if it was just myself."
This Thanksgiving was the first Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux were apart. As masterfully planned.
As the team took a break, the twins flew home to Grand Forks, N.D., or so they led their Twitter followers to believe. Instead, Jocelyne boarded a flight to Italy to surprise her fiancé, Brent Davidson, who plays hockey in Italy's top division. (Both he and the twins played for the University of North Dakota.) Conspiring with one of his teammates, Jocelyne was at a favorite bistro when Davidson walked in.
As Davidson greeted everyone, he stopped mid-sentence. "He looked like he just saw a ghost," Jocelyne said with a laugh.
The sisters always have been there for each other in times of pranks, world championships and fisticuffs.
In an exhibition against rival Canada in October, Monique, a forward, collided with Canadian goalie Shannon Szabados. Defenseman Courtney Birchard charged Lamoureux and threw her to the ice. The first teammate to come to Lamoureux's aid was her sister, then others on the ice paired off. Since women wear full face shields on their helmets, it would hardly rank as an NHL-level brawl. After some pushing and punches, the fight quickly dissolved.
"It's hockey," Monique said. "Stuff like that could happen. Nobody is mad about it. Though people weren't surprised Jocelyne and I were involved."
After all, the sisters grew up being checked by four older brothers who played hockey at an elite level.
In the run-up to Sochi, Monique Lamoureux decided to chronicle her team's journey, filming skits and uploading them on YouTube (#weareusa). "I think it gives us more of identity just beyond the ice and just being hockey players," she said.
In figure skating, the sister-and-brother team of Maia and Alex Shibutani, known as the "ShibSibs," are also their team's videographers. They post on their ShibSibs YouTube channel. The video spoofs are usually storyboarded and filmed at the spur of the moment. "It's usually a big rush and then me editing, with Maia looking over my shoulder," Alex said.
The USA's most consistent Nordic combined skiers last season were the Fletcher brothers. Bryan, 27, was the team's standout in ski jumping. Taylor, 23, excels in the cross country part of the competition. If only the two brothers could be combined.
"We want to come away with more medals, cement our sport in history and continue the momentum," Taylor said in an earlier interview.
Added Bryan, "We would love to repeat (the USA's Vancouver haul of four Nordic combined medals) and add more. That's what we go to bed dreaming about."
And for some other siblings who shared a bedroom growing up, the dream is the same.