Friday, February 28, 2014

Applauding Idaho’s Winter Olympians

     Americans and people around the world have gathered by their televisions to cheer on athletes in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Thanks to talented Idahoans competing this year, we have had the opportunity to applaud local Olympians. Idahoans earned two gold medals and one silver medal. They contributed three of the U.S. team’s 28 total medals.

     Idaho has been well-represented on the U.S. Olympic team: 

  • Nick Cunningham, a graduate of Boise State University where he captained the track team, is a sergeant in the New York National Guard. At Sochi, Nick earned 12th place in the two-man bobsled and 12th in the four-man bobsled competitions.
  • Kaitlyn Farrington, who earned a gold medal competing for the first time as an Olympic snowboarder in the halfpipe competition at Sochi, was raised on a ranch in Bellevue. Kaitlyn took fourth place at the 2013 World Championships, fifth place at the 2013 World Cup Sochi and was a bronze medalist at the 2013 World Cup Park City.  
  • Erik Fisher of Middleton went to Sochi as part of the U.S. Olympic team.  Erik, an alpine skier, was born in Boise and learned to ski at Bogus Basin.  Erik was on the 2010 U.S. Olympic team. 
  • Simi Hamilton, a Sun Valley skier, competed in cross-country skiing in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games where he placed sixth in the men’s team sprint classic and 11th in the men’s 4x10k relay.  Simi also competed in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games where he placed 13th in the men’s 4x10k relay, 29th in the men’s sprint and 64th in the men’s 15k.
  • Nate Holland, who grew up in Sandpoint and has a water sports business on Lake Pend Oreille, placed 25th in men’s snowboardcross in Sochi.  He placed fourth in men’s snowboardcross in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
  • Jessika Jenson of Rigby competed in the first Olympic snowboard slopestyle competition in Sochi where she finished 13th.
  • Hilary Knight of Sun Valley competed once again in women’s hockey in the 2014 Winter Olympics where the team earned a silver medal.  She also earned a silver medal as part of the U.S. women’s hockey team in the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Hilary scored five goals in achieving the silver medal at the 2012 World Championships and earning the gold medal at the 2011 World Championships. 
  • Sage Kotsenburg, a Coeur d’Alene native, took home the first-ever gold medal in the new men’s slopestyle event and the first U.S. gold medal in the 2014 Winter Olympics.   
  • Sara Studebaker from Boise competed in her second Olympics in biathlon competitions at Sochi where she helped earn a seventh-place finish in the women’s 4x6k relay biathlon.

     Olympic athletes’ significant commitment to excellence is commendable. Congratulations to Idaho and American Olympians on their extraordinary efforts during these Olympics and their many achievements. 

Mike Crapo, a Republican, is the senior U. S. senator from Idaho.

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