The 2018 Winter Olympics begin in PyeongChang, South Korea on Friday and there are a record number of Alaskan athletes competing for medals over the next few weeks.
Erik and Sadie Bjornsen, from Winthrop, WA, made their Olympic debuts at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. Erik finished 6th in the team sprint and Sadie finished 9th in the 4×5 km relay. Both are going into the games with medal hopes.
Rosie is from Park City, Utah. She didn’t start skiing until she was 14, but for the last two years, Rosie has skied on the World Cup circuit in Europe. She was on the 4x5k relay team that finished 3rd in 2015 at the World Cup races in Lillehammer, Norway.
Rosie, born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, earned her Master’s degree in Business Administration from APU, where she has skied professionally for the last few years.
Logan and Reese Hanneman are from Fairbanks. After graduating from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Logan and joined his brother in Anchorage to ski for APU. Both have won Super Tour races in the U.S.
Tyler was born and raised in Anchorage. He skied for the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he won multiple national championships. Skiing professionally, Tyler has continued to climb to the top of national podiums.
Siblings Cailtin and Scott Patterson are graduates of Anchorage’s South High School and are former members of Alaska Winter Stars ski program. They also both skied for the University of Vermont. Caitlin then joined Vermont’s Crafstbury Green Racing Project, while Scott moved back to Alaska to ski for APU. They have both won multiple national championships and skied on the World Cup.
Kikkan Randall made her Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was the first American woman to both podium and win in World Cup Races. She was also the first American woman to finish in the top 10 at the Olympics. This will be Kikkan’s fifth and final Olympics.
Casey Wright (competing for Australia)
Casey is from Melbourne, Australia. She started skiing for the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2016. She was voted “most improved skier” by her teammates in 2017.
Jessica Yeaton (competing for Australia)
Jessica was born in Perth, Australia and moved to Alaska when she was 12. After graduating from Montana State University, Jessica moved back to Alaska to ski professionally for APU.
Rosie started snowboarding at Alyeska when she was just three years old. The 24-year-old graduated early from South High School to snowboard full-time in Colorado. Rosie is competing in snowboard cross.
Ryan is a graduate of Service High School. He competed at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and, in 2015, won gold at the World Cup Championships in Austria. The 25-year-old will compete in two snowboarding events: big air and slopestyle.
Keegan Messing (competing for Canada)
Keegan is a figure skater from Girdwood. The 26-year-old grew up in Alaska, but his moms is from Alberta, Canada, so Keegan is competing for Canada. Keegan’s great-great grandfather was the first person ever recorded to immigrate from Japan to Canada.
Mat Robinson (competing for Canada)
Mat is from Calgary, Alberta. He was a defenseman for four years at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Luka Vidmar (competing for Slovenia)
Also a former Seawolf, Luka is from Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a defenseman and played for for four years for the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Alex was born in Fairbanks, but when he was one he moved with his family to Zurich, Switzerland. Alex relocated to Park City, UT when he was 16. He will compete in slopestyle skiing.