The 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing, with quite a few of our locals competing in Pyeongchang! It’s been amazing to watch athletes like Laurenne Ross and Ben Ferguson represent our country, our state, and even our little town on the world stage.
With the nation rallying around some of our friends and neighbors, we got to thinking about other Bend locals that have participated in Olympics of the past. We were delighted to find that Central Oregon has quite an impressive roster of Olympians! We’ve highlighted a few of them here:
Kiki was born and raised in Central Oregon, skiing on "Bachelor Butte," as it once was known. She competed with the U.S. Olympic Ski Team at the Grenoble Olympics in 1968. She went on to become the first American to win a World Cup event-- a slalom race in 1968 in Oslo, Norway.
Kiki only competed on the World Cup circuit for less than three years, but her five career victories led the U.S. alpine team for eleven years! Well done, Kiki.
Ashton's family moved to Bend when he was in fifth grade, and he graduated from Mountain View High School. He attended University of Oregon, competing in their decathlon program. There, he won the decathlon at the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship three times, breaking records.
Ashton holds the world record in both the decathlon and indoor heptathlon events, and won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He then defended his Olympic title in Rio 2016 by winning the decathlon gold medal and tying the Olympic record. Eaton is only the third Olympian to achieve back-to-back gold medals in the decathlon. Amazing!
Although he wasn't from the Bend area when he entered into the Olympics, Paul has lived in the area for almost 40 years, and become ingrained in the Bend community. He is an Olympic champion, and former world record-holder!
Paul won a gold medal in the 4x100m medley relay at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He broke the world record in both the heats and the finals.
Paul currently lives in Bend, and has many interests and pursuits, including taking photographs of interestingly-shaped clouds.
Although she, too, was born and raised outside of Central Oregon, Mohini currently owns and operates OOA Gymnastics right here in Bend! She is an artistic gymnast who competed at the 1997 and 2001 World Championships, and earned a silver medal with the American team at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece! Not only that, but she is a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
Mohini is the first hindu Indian-American gymnast, and the second Indian-American athlete in any sport, to medal at the Olympics. Kudos to her!