A world of sports experience

JIM BENDER

, Last Updated: 7:07 AM ET

She speaks six different languages and has played at the top level of either women's hockey or soccer in four different countries, including the U.S.

Switzerland's Kathrin Lehmann also runs her own women's hockey and soccer camps in Munich, Germany.

"Fluently, I speak German, Swiss-German, French, English and a little Swedish -- I would somehow survive -- and Italian, the same," Lehmann said yesterday.

The 5-foot-8, 154-pound forward is also working on her second degree (economics after taking German literature) and has a coaching diploma (University of Zurich) that allows her to teach soccer.

"I am building up my sports career with coaching diplomas," said Lehmann, who has also served as goalkeeper for Germany's national soccer team. In fact, she attended Oklahoma State University on a soccer scholarship for one year but became age ineligible at 23.

"And I couldn't play hockey there and I'm just a horrible person if I only play one sport," she said. "It's like asking a mother, 'Which on day you like better, your boy or your girl?' It's just impossible."

Lehmann also played hockey for a Swedish club team, AIK Solna, last winter after Sweden coach Peter Elander invited her to his annual women's hockey camp.

"It's all about improvement and I aim to get better all the time," said Lehmann, who was not paid to play. "You can switch countries and learn a new culture. First, I had to understand Swedish hockey without knowing the language. It's a new kind of hockey you play and I tried to learn just by watching and understanding what they were doing."

Lehmann actually set up Maria Tooth -- arguably Sweden's top forward at the 2007 Women's World Hockey Championship -- for the winning goal when that team won the Swedish championship. In fact, Lehmann played with five of the Swedish players here on that squad. And she will be playing against them when the Swiss take on the Swedes on Monday because Sweden dropped into the second group after losing to Finland.


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