Spurred on by Idaho Toward the Winter Olympics
By Kaitlyn Farrington
The author, a snowboarder from the Wood River Valley who specializes in the halfpipe, is vying for a spot on the U.S. team to compete in February at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The squad is expected to be finalized by January 19. Kaitlyn learned to snowboard in fifth grade, was a silver medalist in the 2008 Junior World Championships, won a bronze and finished fifth twice in World Cup events this year, and then placed fourth in the World Championships. It hasn’t come without hard knocks: she has had five wrist surgeries. Here, Kaitlyn recalls the influence of an Idaho upbringing on her development as an athlete.
My love for Idaho is long and varied. I had so many wonderful experiences growing up on my family’s ranch south of Bellevue that I can hardly imagine growing up any other way. My parents got a divorce when I was in third grade, but my dad moved just down the road, to the other side of our hundred acres. It was great, because I could either hop on my horse bareback and ride down to the other house, or hop on my four-wheeler. I suspect there are not many other places you can do that.
I used to go on really long four-wheeling rides to this place we called “Up Top.” It was our other piece of land, a little more than 250 acres. All over Up Top were natural springs, where I would swim during the summer. Up Top was my getaway.