- If you can believe it, the Olympic games are almost here. Competition begins
Thursday. It's also the perfect time to remind everyone that a former Olympian
calls Rhinelander home.
Putting on skis is second nature for Chris Cook. The Rhinelander native started
racing when he was just 3 years old. In high school, he became focused on
seeing where the journey could take him.
"I really wanted to do everything to pursue professional athletics," Cook
explained. "I went to Northern Michigan University and wanted to win a national
title there - which I did. It put me on the U.S. developmental team, the U.S.
ski team. It was step by step."
Cook continued to heat up the trails becoming the US Nationals Sprint Champ at
the age of 25. His talent and drive landed him at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino.
"The opening ceremonies, walking in with the entire team was an eye-opening
moment," Cook adds. "That was a dream-realized moment."
Having been to the games himself, Chris has a lot of insight into how this years
athletes are preparing, both physically and mentally.
"I'm good friends with Andy Newell," Cook said. "This is his third games. He's
focused on a medal. For the rookie, it's a little bit different. (It's) your
first games. It's trying not to let the media and all of the hoopla of the
games affect you."
Cook retired from competition two years ago. He has mixed feelings about being a
spectator this time around.
"I miss the racing," Cook said. "I don't miss the training, but I miss the
racing. But I do enjoy watching the racing and supporting the guys who are there."
Story By: Marisa Silvas