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.