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Meet the 24-year-old woman running a men’s pro hockey team (USA)

Cecilie Olsen always wanted to work in sports.

An athlete growing up in Stavanger, Norway’s third-largest city, she moved to Oslo four years ago to get a bachelor’s degree in public relations. A friend told her that the Manglerud Star club of GET-ligaen, the nation’s top hockey league, was looking for someone to assist with social media outreach. Olsen volunteered her services, and for three seasons, she worked in a variety of capacities.

She’s their general manager now. At 24 years old. After starting out as what amounts to a marketing intern.

Cecilie Olsen isn’t just working in sports. She’s running a men’s professional hockey team.

Manglerud manager Bjørn Danielsen, in his 70s, decided to step down this year. The team thought it needed someone younger in the position to help it grow and was also looking for someone who would fit the budget, as the Stars are one of the league’s smaller clubs. They were familiar with Olsen. They trusted that she knew the team. They decided to think way outside the box and hired her to replace Danielsen on Nov. 1.

Her impact was felt even before she officially took over: Working with head coach David Livingston, Olsen jettisoned four players from the team who had been distractions on and off the ice, according to Norwegian sports site

“I’m very thankful that they thought of me for this job, and I admire the club for this decision,” she told ESPN this week. “It shows that they are willing to change, and they believe in me because of what I’ve done here the past three years, not because I’m a young woman.”

That said, she is a woman, running a professional men’s team. And she is young, two years younger than John Chayka was when he was hired to take over the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and become the youngest general manager in U.S. pro sports history.

We asked Olsen about her trailblazing hiring and the impact she hopes it has across the ocean.



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