TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — She is one of the best female hockey players in the country and she is training for the 2018 games right here in the Tampa Bay area.

Anne Schleper has been there before. She and team USA skated their way to silver in the 2014 games, which was heartbreaking only because they led Team Canada 2-0 with three minutes left in the game. The momentum switched and Team USA lost in overtime giving Team Canada the gold.

“Obviously, for those who watched, it was a very heart-wrenching game and I feel like i still get emotional about it sometimes but it fuels me. It fuels my drive for the future,” says Schleper. The future is the 2018 games in South Korea. Her desire to make the team again is what drives her to stay in top shape.

Schleper says “It’s definitely not a guarantee. It’s a constant tryout. That’s what keeps you driven and motivated too. I think if something was a shoe in, I don’t think we would be at the level we could be as a team.”

Schleper grew up in Minnesota but moved to Tampa after the 2014 Olympic games to train with one of her Team USA coaches who lives here. “Tampa has kind of become a little hockey hotbed in a sense” thanks to the success of the Tampa Bay Lightning, says Schleper.

“The Lightning have just really taken me in and made me part of the team. I can’t say enough about the organization from top down… everyone over there has been awesome in supporting myself but also the community,” says Schleper.

Right now, Schleper isn’t spending time on the ice. She’s in off-season training, which involves a lot of time in the gym. She will hit the ice again to train in a few weeks and without a doubt will be following the summer Olympic games this August. That will, no doubt, fuel her desire to bring home gold in 2018.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW: