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The Amazing Story Behind Idaho’s Newest Gold Medal Winner

Becoming a world class Olympic athlete is not cheap. In fact, it is very, very, expensive.   The Farrington Family of Bellevue Idaho, home to Idaho’s newest Gold Medal winner, knows this firsthand.  They had to figure out a way to help their daughter pay for her Olympic dream.  This is one thing that I can say that I have in common with this one Olympic athlete, and that is the similar way that we raised money to reach our goals.

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Now while I am not, or never will be an elite athlete like Kaitlyn, I did have the dream of being able to attend college, and had to figure out a way to pay for it.  One of the ways I paid to put myself through college was selling off livestock that I owned and raised so that I could afford to pay the yearly tuition and living expenses. 

The major way the Farringtons helped their daughter realize her Olympic dream was by selling off their cattle one at a time to help pay for her trips to participate in snowboarding competitions.

If it was a just a short trip from their home, Kaitlyn’s dad Gary, would  sell one of their cows at the auction. If Kaitlyn needed to bring along a coach, or if the trip was farther away, he’d sell two or more cows to help pay the expenses of the trip.

Before each competition, before she could head off for school, Kaitlyn would have to sort through the cattle herd, pick out a cow or two and load it in the truck so her dad could take it to be sold, all so Kaitlyn would have enough money to travel and compete in the next snowboarding competition.

In January, she was the last and final pick for the 2014 U.S. half pipe team.  Thank goodness she made the team, because the Farringtons have now sold every cow they owned so that their daughter could not only compete, but WIN THE FREAKING GOLD MEDAL IN THE 2014 OLYMPICS!

That’s one reason why I love the Olympics. There are people like Kaitlyn, who are the longest of long shots, who get to realize their dream. And like with all great stories, it’s usually not the story of actually winning the medal or the competition, it’s the story behind the story. 

If you know anything about half pipe Olympic competition, it wasn’t a shock to see an American woman atop the podium. But it was completely shocking to see long shot Kaitlyn Farrington standing there. She didn’t even make the team until a month ago.

Even more proof at how shocking it was that she won a medal, her mom and dad were so sure that she wouldn’t win a medal, that they bought tickets to see a hockey game that took place during the medal award ceremony. They thought they’d have some time to kill before they left for home. Great job Kaitlyn, great job cows! Go Idaho!

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