A group of hockey officials who made it to the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, took some time to honor Jamie Huntley-Park, a fallen San Diego police officer.
Huntley-Park had been training to referee the women’s Olympic hockey tournament before she and her husband were tragically killed by a wrong-way driver in June of 2021. Both were detectives in the San Diego Police Department.
NBC 7 spoke with two of Huntley-Park’s closest friends who were training alongside her for years.
“It’s not just on the ice that we loved being around each other. It was off the ice too,” said Kendall Hanley, a friend and former teammate of Huntley-Park.
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Hanley says Huntley-Park was kind, giving and devoted to her dream of making it to Beijing where they would officiate women’s hockey together.
“I mean it’s hard not to have her around at all…but the Olympics was absolutely something she was supposed to be a part of,” said Jackie Spresser, another friend and teammate.
Hanley and Spresser explain it takes years of intensive training on the ice to become an Olympic hockey official. Only 22 women were chosen to officiate this year’s games. Huntley-Park and the others had been working towards their Beijing goal – encouraging one another for years.
“Jamie was the ultimate friend. She had a way of picking up on what you needed most even if you didn’t say it,” said Spresser.
Over the past two weeks, Huntley-Park’s fellow hockey officials were determined to honor her and bring her spirit to the Olympic games. When they arrived in the locker room, there was an empty cubby with her name on it.
“That’s where she would have been if she were there,” said Spresser.
Her teammates also made a special request to wear jersey numbers 69 and 30 in honor of Huntley-Park’s police badge number: 6930.
Another special tribute: the challenge coins used by all the hockey officials had the number 23 engraved on the front – a reference to Huntley-Park’s jersey number growing up. And for her family, the International Ice Hockey Federation shipped a special-made jersey #23 back to the states.
“Jamie was incredibly proud of what we did as a group in Beijing," said Hanley. "I know she would have been. And was with us the entire time. I felt her every time we hit the ice."