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Oregonians Help U.S. Ski Team Race For Gold

OPB | Feb. 5, 2014 12:25 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 5, 2014 1:51 p.m.

Bend resident Laurenne Ross competes at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley, California

Bend resident Laurenne Ross competes at the U.S. Alpine Championships at Squaw Valley, California

Sarah Brunson / U.S. Ski Team

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia begin this week. Oregonians Laurenne Ross and Jacqueline Wiles only found out they were going to the Olympics a little over a week ago. Since then, they spent several days in Italy at a training camp, before arriving in the mountains outside of Sochi on Tuesday morning. Both women spent the majority of their youth skiing on Oregon mountains: Ross at Mt. Bachelor , and Wiles at Mt. Hood.

The U.S. Women’s Alpine team is facing an uphill battle this year, after star skier Lindsey Vonn announced she wouldn’t be competing due to a knee injury. Vonn came home from Vancouver in 2010 with both a gold and a bronze medal at Vancouver in 2010, but her absence may leave room for first-time Olympians like Ross and Wiles to make their mark at Sochi.

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