As the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, gear up in full force we pause to point with pride — more than a quarter of the United States cross-county ski team hails from North Central Washington. These superb world-class athletes were born, raised and refined in the hotbed of American Nordic skiing — here.
More specifically, three members were sprung by the Methow Valley and its superb cross-country ski trails and facilities. Sadie Bjornsen is a 24-year-old sprint specialist. Brother Erik Bjornsen is a 22-year-old on the rise. Brian Gregg is a 29-year-old strong at long distances, making his debut on the national team. All three were raised near Winthrop and developed their skills in the Methow’s youth racing program and on its fantastic 120 miles of ski trail. Torin Koos, a Leavenworth native, at 33 the grizzled veteran and sprint specialist, makes his fourth Olympic team, and calls the Wenatchee Valley home. He is the reigning U.S. national freestyle sprint champion, his sixth national title.