Kendall Coyne Schofield has taken some deep breaths and reminded herself to keep going during one of the most eventful weeks of her life.
She's used to making history that can easily be described in one word: breathtaking. She was a forward for the United States women's hockey team that defeated Canada 3-2 in a shootout to win gold at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Last Friday in San Jose, she became the first woman to compete in the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills when she crossed the line in 14.346 during the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater competition, finishing less than a second behind Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (13.378).
Five days later, the 26-year-old will break another barrier when she makes her NBCSN broadcasting debut on "Wednesday Night Hockey" between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS). She'll be a part of pregame coverage on "NHL Live," join play-by-play announcer John Forslund and analyst Eddie Olczyk in the booth and go "Inside the Glass" with Pierre McGuire.
Coyne Schofield's journey is the latest chapter of the women's evolution in sport and media. A.J. Mleczko Griswold is an NBC analyst who also works with Jennifer Botterill covering the New York Islanders on MSG Network.
Video: Coyne on getting Fastest Skater competition call-up
Each are excelling in their respective fields. Coyne Schofield is determined to duplicate that success.
"It's a huge transition but I'm looking at it in the same regard as I just want to be myself, showcase my personality and prove to the world that women can talk sports, women can talk hockey and we know the game as well as the men," Coyne Schofield said.
"I'm sure there will be nerves. But like I've been saying to everybody the last few days, I think a little bit of nerves are a good thing because it means you care. You just don't want the nerves to take over a moment. I'm super excited for the experience. I'm excited to learn in between the glass with Pierre and go up in the booth with John and Eddie, and just experience them at their best."
Two days after returning home from San Jose, Coyne Schofield was having dinner to celebrate her mother-in-law's birthday when she received an email from USA Hockey. The message was the opportunity to join the NBCSN broadcast crew. She immediately accepted, undaunted by the limited time for preparation.
"I know the game because I've been playing the game for a long time, so I've got that going for me, for sure," said Coyne Schofield, a communications major and sideline reporter at Northeastern University. "I'll definitely have to shake off the rust. But at the end of the day I'm going to be who I am, showcase my personality and have so much fun with it."
Coyne Schofield has already been tested and thrived under the spotlight, so Wednesday in Pittsburgh is nothing new.
"As an elite athlete it's go time," she said. "What I've learned is you need to be loose, you need to have fun, but you also need to get to work."