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Olympians hailing from Washington state go for the gold

The Olympic competition is already underway in Sochi, Russia, and Washington has several athletes on the U.S. Olympic team looking to medal at the games.

The highest profile member of the team is Federal Way’s J.R. Celski. He is the heir-apparent to Apolo Ohno in short track speed skating. The 23-year-old won two bronze medals in Vancouver four years ago, despite nearly missing the games after a horrific crash in the trials where his skate ripped through his thigh.

An athlete also likely to medal these games is Mount Vernon’s T.J. Oshie. He’s on the U.S. Hockey team. He plays professionally for the St. Louis Blues. The U.S. and Canada are expected to battle for the gold.

Washington also has five athletes on the cross country skiing team: Siblings Erick and Sadie Bjornsen, Brian Gregg, all from Winthrop, Torin Koos from Leavenworth, and Holly Brooks from Seattle.

Cle Elum’s Patrick Deneen hopes to have a better go of it in Sochi. The moguls champ fell during his final run in Vancouver.

Woodinville’s Christian Niccum is competing in the luge. And Bellingham’s Angell VanLaanen made the freestyle skiing competition in the half pipe.

Correction: Feb. 7
An earlier version of this report misspelled Apolo Ohno’s name.

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