Northwest Athletes' Medal Haul In Sochi: Three Gold, Two Silver
By Tom Banse
Athletes with ties to the Northwest won three gold and two silver medals at the Winter Olympics that just wrapped up in Sochi, Russia. If Idaho, Oregon and Washington were a separate country, we'd be right behind Poland and tied with Finland on the medal table.
Northwest athletes won medals in snowboarding, women's hockey, and short track speedskating. The most successful however was not on Team USA. Alpine snowboarder Vic Wild won gold twice for Russia, his new nationality by marriage. Wild grew up in White Salmon, Wash. and learned to snowboard at Mount Hood Meadows. Other Northwest athletes in Sochi represented Australia, Peru and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
At the next Winter Olympics in South Korea, there could be even more diversity from here. So says Cascade Winter Sports Club head coach Paul Tollefson, thinking specifically of a family from the Portland area, the Macedos.
Paul Tollefson: "A unique opportunity could exist at the 2018 Games when Michel, Tobias and their younger sister Clara are all potentially old enough to race at the Olympics and could potentially represent Brazil."
Another promising skier on the Mount Hood-based race team could become the first Winter Olympian for Afghanistan. Fourteen-year-old Cole Sher-Jen was born in America, lives in Lake Oswego, Ore., but his dad is Afghan.
Cascade Winter Sports Club: www.cwscraceteam.com
Photo: By Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski Team