The 2014 Sochi Olympics are kicking off next week (Friday February 7th) and we are as excited as ever! A lot happens in four years and the new talents have certainly brought that to light. As with every winter Olympics, I will be watching on and off but dedicating most of my viewings to my four favorite sports - figure skating, freestyle skiing and snowboarding, and the bobsled. To get you gals (and myself) up to speed on the happenings for each I've compiled a quick list of athletes to watch for each sport.
G R A C I E G O L D | F I G U R E S K A T I N G
Ever since I was a little girl I have always loved watching the figure skating competitions. Their grace (no pun intended) and agility matched with beautiful, glitzy costumes always lure me in (also I'd really like to know what it's like to wear one of those costumes, have an insanely sturdy hairdo in place and then do a couple triple axles). This year, 18 year old Gracie Gold is on the top of my list for female athletes to watch at Sochi. With an extensive history of winning competitions including this year's U.S. Figure Skating Championship (in Boston!), Gracie is sure to promise an excellent performance. Follow her and her experience at Sochi on on twitter: @GraceEGold
A J A E V A N S | B O B S L E D
Next up: Aja Evans. I love stories like Aja's. Aja started practicing bobsledding just TWO years ago and has quickly climbed to the top earning her spot on the 2014 U.S. bobsled team. Previous to the bobsled, Aja competed on the University of Illinois track and field team in shot put and sprint events. Basically, Aja is a fierce competitor but that comes as no surprise - her brother, Fred, is the Vikings' Defensive Tackle. Follow her on twitter: @AjaLEvans
H A N N A H K E A R N E Y | F R E E S T Y L E S K I I N G
This fellow New Englander is no stranger to the ski mountains. Hannah, who's been skiing since she was two, has made two Olympic appearances and won the gold medal at the 2006 games. Watch Hannah and her famous pigtails as she hopes to defend her title at Sochi. Follow her on twitter: @HK_Ski
K A I T L Y N F A R R I N G T O N | S N O W B O A R D I N G
Kaitlyn, an Idaho native and half pipe master, has a resume full of championship awards and records including being the first woman to execute and successfully perform a backside 900. I don't even know what that is, but it sounds scary! Having finished 3rd at the 2014 X Games we are anticipating Kaitlyn to come in hot at Sochi. Off mountain Kailtyn is also an active philanthropist participating in POW (Protect Our Winters) and B4BC (Boarding for Breast Cancer). Follow Kaitlyn on twitter at: @KaitlynFarr
Good luck to all the athletes, we can't wait to watch you all succeed! Safe travels.