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The conversation at the Wukesong Sports Center veered dangerously from the growth and speed of women’s ice hockey toward the question of political statements at the Olympic Games. Hilary Knight, wrapping up practice before her fourth Olympic appearance for the United States, paused, glanced around and chose her words carefully.

“I think it’s important to be able to place value on things that you hold dearest to you, and it’s something that is important to me,” Knight began. Then she pivoted, saying that her priority was the American team’s opening game.

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