Sun Valley, Idaho native Kaitlyn Farrington maintained her composure as the Star Spangled Banner played in front of a big, cheering crowd at the medals ceremony.
Greece no longer has a monarchy, but at the Winter Olympics in Sochi Thursday, the former king of Greece draped the gold medal around the neck of the snowboard halfpipe champion. Farrington had to beat three prior Olympic champions on Wednesday to secure the win.
Farrington says she’s unsure how the gold medal will change her fortunes, but figures it’ll be all good.
“It took a lot to get here,” she says. “When I first started out, my dad was selling his cows for me to be able to travel to a different contest every week and do that. Now that I’m here, I don’t think my dad misses his cows. I don’t know, I just think that this opens a lot of doors for me and kind of puts me in a position that I have always wanted to be in and have dreamt to be in my whole life.”
The 24-year-old was raised on a horse and cattle ranch at the south end of Idaho’s Wood River Valley.