The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Washington breeds Olymians

J.R. Celski

Born: July 17, 1990 in Federal Way (now lives in Long Beach, California)

Sport: Short Track Speed-Skating

J.R began inline skating when he was three years old and slowly moved up the ranks as he got older. In 2004, when Celski was fourteen, his parents decided that he should move to a location where the best possible coaching would be available.

So that year, his brother went with him to Long Beach where they lived together so that J.R could work with the very talented Dutch speed-skating coach Wilma Boomstra. After living in California for two years, J.R. decided to move back to Washington and give up his goal of becoming a professional skater.

After a year however he moved back to California to continue his dream. This time his dad came with him, while his mom stayed and kept her job in Washington.             “There is not one word that can describe what my family has been to me,” Celski said. “Dedication and sacrifice don’t even cover it because they have done what most parents would think would be crazy.”

Celski was seriously injured by his own skate during the olympic trials, but has been cleared by doctors to participate and is optomistic going into the 2010 Olympics.             This will be his first Olympic games, and although he has drawn many comparisons to superstar Apolo Ohno, Celski has a very different style of skating. He is one of the most aggressive skaters out there, and his aggressiveness may lead to medals, or it might lead to disqualifications (Celski was disqualified in the 500m for being reckles). He is a bright young star who, along with Apolo Ohno, will try to take down a very tallented South Korean team.

Patrick Deneen

Born: December 25, 1987 in Redmond (now lives in Cle Elum)

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Sport: Moguls

Nicknamed “The Rocket” by 1994 Olympic Moguls champion, Jean Luc Brassard, because of his trademark speed. Deneen doesn’t often have the cleanest runs, but his speed allows him to compensate for a few minor technical errors he might make.             After being voted rookie of the year in 2008, he jumped onto the radar when he came out of nowhere to win the 2009 World Championship in Inawashiro, Japan. This came after he took 47th place in Canada and 45th in Utah earlier that year.

Deneen got off to an early start with skiing. His dad owned a ski shack, and put Patrick on skiis when he was only eleven months old. He started off as an alpine skier, but then focused his attention on freestyle instead.

“It just looked like so much fun” Patrick said, “and I tried it and it was even more fun than it looked.” Hopefully Deneen can use his speed and his training (190 days a year) to bring home a gold for the very young U.S team.

Nicole Joraanstad

Born: November 10, 1980 in Seattle (now lives in madison Wisconsin)

Sport: Curling

Even though she got a relitively late start on the sport, Joraanstad’s coaching made up for the lack of time. Her dad played on nationally competitive curling teams and  introduced her to the sport when she was fifteen. Joraanstad played in the U.S. junior nationals her first year, and decided to focus solely on curling. Three years later she moved to Wisconsin for college, and to be closer to the center of curling in the United States. She is the youngest member of team McCormick and is currently the team manager.

Torin Koos

Born: July 19, 1980 in Minneapolis, Minnisota (now lives in Leavenworth)

Sport: Cross-Country Skiing

Torin is the son of former olympic athlete Shaun Koos, who was on the national biatholan team. Koos, who had dreams of being an Olympic athlete since second grade, seemed destined to be a track runner. In fact, his skiing career took off when he was in college, which is fairly late for an Olympic trainee. Since then he has been all about skiing and has plenty of Olympic experience having made the team in 2002, 2006, and now 2010. His best shot for gold will be in the individual sprint. Hopefully Koos comes home with a medal, especially since the United States has not won a cross-country skiing medal since the 1974 olympics.

Scott Macartney

Born: January 19, 1978 in Crystal Mountain (now lives in Kirkland)

Sport: Alpine Skiing

Macartney grew up in the snow on Crystal Mountain and has been skiing his whole life. He also graduated from Dartmouth with a degree in economics. This will be the third time Macertney has been on an Olympic team, and has definitely felt the ups and downs of the sports. He has endured more than his share of crashes, one of which gave him a sever concussion. He was doing about 90mph and hit the last jump wrong, which caused him to land sideways and smack his head on the ice. Macartney then slid the remaining distance to the finish line. Even though the crash put him out of commission for quite a while, he continues to love the sport and train without fear.

Apolo Ohno

Born: May 22, 1982 in Federal Way (now lives in Salt Lake City)

Sport: Speed Skating

Ohno is two medals away from becoming the most decorated winter Olympic athlete in United States history. He is one of the most popular, if not the most well known, athlete on the U.S. team, due to his great success as a skater and his appearance on “Dancing with the Starts”, which he won.

This year Ohno will be skating in all three speed-skating events, as well as the relay, giving him four chances to win a medal. His resumé includes five gold medals, three Olympic games, and ten consecutive national titles. Look for him to be just as strong this year as ever.

Christian Niccum

Born: January 27, 1978 in Minneapolis, Minnesota (now lives in Seattle)

Sport: Luge

Growing up in Woodinville, Niccum loved to skateboard, wakeboard, and ride BMX. But when he took a simulative luge run down the Seattle hills, once again, he fell in love. Niccum has been a fixture on the U.S. luge team for years now and, even though he may be getting older, he still has the determination and skill necessary to compete at the Olympic level.

Niccum and his luge partner Dan Joye are currently solidified as the U.S. second fastest team. Niccum also had to overcome a devistating crash that resulted in a grade three concussion and forced him to miss two World Game events, and he barely made it to the 2006 olympics. This may be one of his final chances, so expect his team to compete and place well.

Bree Schaaf

Born: May 28, 1980 in Bremerton (still lives in Bremerton)

Sport: Bobsled

After initially starting with skeleton, Bree switched to bobsled. She is very new to the sport but has untapped potential as well. Last year, not only did Schaaf win U.S bobsled rookie of the year, she also was the U.S national bobsled champion. Since she is so new to the sport, she may not be able to match up with some of the more experienced bobsled drivers in the Olympics. However, her raw tallent might be enough for her to surprise some people and maybe even medal in the 2010 Olympics.

Karen Thatcher

Born: Febuary 29, 1984 in Bryn Mawr, Pa (now lives in Blain Minnesota)

Sport: Hockey

This will be the first olympic experience for Karen, but she is hardly inexperienced. She won the world championships with her team in 2007 and 2008, and was named to the 2007 Worlds team. After graduating from college, Karen moved to Blain, Washington, so she is very excited to be close to her friends and family who can support her in Vancoover. Thatcher also had to overcome an injury (torn mcl) but appears to be in great shape now and is ready to lead the U.S women’s hockey team in their persuit of gold.

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