Five Questions With Lotti Odnoga

Team Hungary's captain on food, family, and growing the game at home.

Five Questions With Lotti Odnoga
Lotti Odnoga representing Team Hungary. PHOTO: Bildbyrån.

After spending two seasons in the SDHL with SDE, Hungarian defender Lotti Odnoga is ready to try her hand in the PWHL. She answered some Proust-style questions in the lead-up to draft day and gave TIG some insight into her life.

1. Where are you happiest?

I am happy when I get to do (play hockey) what I love with some great people around me, and I am even happier if I can share this experience and talk to younger girls, especially in my home country, about it. I am also the happiest when I get to come home to Hungary and spend some quality time with family and friends (and my puppy). 

2. If you weren't playing hockey, what would you be doing?

I would definitely play another sport; I can't imagine life without being active. So if I had to choose another sport it would probably be tennis or beach volleyball, however I picked up Padel in Sweden this past season and I really enjoyed it.

If I am thinking of a career outside of sports I would love to be a teacher in psychology or languages; I enjoy giving forward the knowledge I have. I also recently had the opportunity to commentate one of the games from the Men's WC when Hungary was playing, and I really enjoyed that task too, so I would love to do more of that. I would also love to run my own restaurant, as I grew up helping out in my parents' Spanish restaurant.

3. Dream holiday destination that you've never traveled to before?

There are so many. I love both hiking and laying on the beach vacations. I would love to visit the National Parks in North America, especially the Rocky Mountains and places in British Columbia. Some warmer places with a sandy beach like Bali, the Bahamas, Greece, Australia and I could keep going, but these places are definitely on my bucket list and hopefully I will get to cross out some of them in the near future. But the one place I've been wanting to visit is Italy, and I've actually never been there even though it's not too far from where I live. I would like to do a road trip along the coast (especially Amalfi Coast) and for sure spend time in Florence, Tuscany. 

4. Favorite Hungarian food or food you miss the most when away from home?
The one dish I have been missing since I've been abroad was "csirkepaprikas galuskával," but this past season in Stockholm there was a Hungarian store 10 minutes from me so I was able to buy the Hungarian Paprika right there and we made it, and I taught my roommates how to make it a couple times, which was super fun.

Csirkepaprikas Galuskával. PHOTO:

Soups in Hungary are also big, especially gulyas soup. And some of the sweets like Rétes, Kürtöskalács (chimney cake), and somloi galuska are some of my favorites and are usually the first things I get when I travel home.

5. What do you want people to know about women's hockey in Hungary?

We don't have a big pool of players, which has both its pros and cons. Most of us grew up playing hockey together or at least have known each other for many many years, and I think that is special. We play for the same goal every time we put the jersey on and leave everything on the ice. Of course it's not always sunshine and rainbows. There have been some harder times throughout the years, but we always find a way to come out better from every situation. We had to/have to leave our homes, friends, and family in order for us to get the best chance of development, and most of us do or have done this at a very young age, and some people don't understand how hard it actually is and how much we have given up to achieve things in hockey. 

There are so many veteran players who have done so much for women's hockey in Hungary: for example Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer who was the first registered female player in Hungary has become the first female president of the Hungarian federation. Hungarian women's hockey is definitely going in the right direction with more and more younger girls lacing up the skates and more developmental opportunities for all ages, thanks to those people who put so much effort and time into this.