SOCHI, Russia - Former Gophers women's hockey player Natalie Darwitz has played on some of the most pressure filled stages that hockey has, but her new role off the ice.
Darwitz is serving as an analyst during the Sochi Olympics for NBC, and she says it is proving to be an even bigger challenge.
"It's out of my comfort zone," says Darwitz. "But at the same time I think that's when you grow the most."
Part of her job is to interview some of the very same teammates she used to battle with on the ice. Teammates who think she's doing a pretty good job.
"You want to be engaging, you want to make that initial contact, like, 'Hey, we're best friends,'" says former teammate Gigi Marvin. "And so she got what she wanted. So it was a smooth process, and I think that is what all journalists hope to do."
Smooth, but not always easy. Unlike hockey which she was a natural at, Darwitz admits learning the ins and outs of broadcasting means learning about the quirks.
"You have somebody in your ear all the time, that is probably the toughest. You still have to talk while somebody is continuing to talk to someone else," Darwitz laughs. "Learning which camera has the light on, that's also going to be an adjustment for me, too. So now when I watch KARE11 news and I see you delay a bit, I am not going to give you a hard time."
Mistakes aside, Natalie is enjoying her post hockey career, and getting the chance to be in Sochi brings her competitive spirit right back.
"I love where I am at in life and I know I made the right decision. But at the same time my competitive juices are flowing," says Darwitz.