SOCHI, Russia - If the U.S. women's hockey team wins a gold medal, the players could receive an invitation to go to the White House to meet President Obama.
Some of the U.S. players have already met Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"We were sitting in the athlete's lounge and he walked in with his entourage, and a bunch of media, and he came up and introduced himself," said U.S. forward Meghan Duggan.
It was the right crowd for Putin, who is known for his love of hockey. The Russian men's hockey team is considered one of the favorites for a gold medal, and the Russian women's team is much improved.
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"We told him we played hockey and his eyes lit up," Duggan said.
Forwards Brianna Decker, Amanda Kessel, Kelli Stack and Megan Bozak were the other American players who met Putin.
Goalie Molly Schaus was in the lounge when Putin showed up.
"I got to see him," Schaus said. "You are sitting in there, and the media comes, it was pretty cool."
Putin is often photographed shirtless while taking part in some physical activity, but he was ready for company when he met the players.
"He was dressed in world leader attire," Schaus joked.
Duggan said, "Because of the entourage he seemed presidential, but it wasn't much of an interaction."
She added: "Being an American, being with Obama would have been more close to my heart. But seeing the president of another nation is still a big deal."
USA Hockey's senior director of communication, Dave Fischer, also got a few seconds with Putin at the McDonald's counter at the athlete's village.
"He said, 'Welcome, asked where I was from and how things are going," Fischer said.
Fischer said it was a moment he won't forget: "He (Putin) was extremely personable, and his passion for the Olympics was very apparent."