Sammamish downhill skier races in Whistler

March 2, 2010

Yina Moe-Lange looks toward 2014 Olympics

WHISTLER, British Columbia

Sammamish skier Yina Moe-Lange rests after completing the second race in the ladies’ giant slalom at the Whistler Creekside venue. By Andrea Collins

The cold rush of snow, blazing fast speeds and butterflies marked 16-year-old Yina Moe-Lange’s Olympic debut.

Moe-Lange, a Sammamish resident skiing for Denmark, put the pedal to the metal the second day of competition, shaving her time dramatically to place 47th out of 60 competitors in the second run of the ladies’ giant slalom Feb. 25.

“I was super nervous yesterday,” she said of the first race, held Feb. 24. “Everything was so different. There were more people there that wouldn’t normally be there at a race. The thought of knowing that was tough.

“I got the first start out of the way and skied today more like I’ve skied every other race in every other course.”

By the second day of competition, the butterflies floated away and what was left, for one of the youngest competitors in the games, was sheer athletic ability. Read more

Off The Press

March 2, 2010

Chantelle Lusebrink (back) and Andrea Collins

With a competitor from Sammamish in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and it being only five hours from town, who could resist an opportunity to take a road trip to see the games in person?

With a little help and hospitality from a friend of mine, and her family from Issaquah, I got to go and experience the convergence of the world’s cultures onto one city — Whistler, British Columbia.

The games brought more cultures to the alpine town than ever seen there before.

In any given moment, you’d move between a group of people speaking Russian, to one speaking Korean, to one speaking German.

The stereotypes were also there, as they exist for a reason and with some truth, the boisterous Americans and the young Asian teens that idolized the anime look. The stereotypes were embraced and cherished as the differences that make up the world versus being put down.

Understandably, there were long security lines — but nothing beyond what we Americans experience at the airport — and Canadians had a hard time keeping up with the demand for the coveted Canadian maple leaf mittens. Only that nearly made for an international incident when people were told they could only purchase two pairs per person.

Smartly, Whistler officials kept much of the mountain open for tourists, so you could strap on your skis and get close enough to the starting gate to catch a glimpse of the action for the men’s slalom or women’s giant slalom, which to my knowledge doesn’t happen at all winter venues. Read more

Olympic speed skater J.R. Celski visits Issaquah on Wednesday

March 2, 2010

NEW — 12:30 p.m. March 2, 2010

Federal Way native and bronze-medal speed skater J.R. Celski will make his first post-Olympics appearance in the Seattle area at the Issaquah branch of 24 Hour Fitness on Wednesday afternoon.

Celski, 19, will meet with fans, display his medals, pose for photos and sign autographs during at 24 Hour Fitness – Issaquah Black Nugget Road Super Sport Club, 5712 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E., No. 200.

The free event runs from 5:30-7 p.m.

The skater earned bronze hardware in the men’s 1,500-meter race and the men’s 5,000-meter relay at the just-concluded Vancouver Olympics.

Read more

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics opening week / February 2010

February 24, 2010

Gold and glory in Vancouver

February 23, 2010

To view exclusive photos snapped by Issaquah residents experiencing the 2010 Winter Olympics, click on the link below:

A view from Vancouver

February 16, 2010

Sammamish skier chases dream downhill to the Olympics

Yina Moe-Lange marches alongside fellow Danish athletes during the Winter Olympics opening ceremony Feb. 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo contributed

The dream stretched back to childhood, when Yina Moe-Lange strapped on a pair of skis and took to the slopes. Through the years and countless downhill runs, she honed her skill with a singular goal in mind: competing in the Winter Olympics.

Moe-Lange, 16, assumed she might be too young to compete when the Olympics opened in Vancouver, British Columbia, and skiers competed in alpine events about four hours from Sammamish, where she and her family moved in 2005.

The premier skiers — like, say, Lindsey Vonn — reach peak ability in their 20s, so Moe-Lange trained with the 2014 Winter Olympics in mind. About a month ago, however, she received word from Denmark: Moe-Lange, a Danish citizen, had been selected to compete in the games, then just a few weeks distant.

The dream to compete in the Winter Olympics turned to reality ahead of schedule.

Read more

Residents run for the border as Olympics open in Vancouver

February 16, 2010

Jo-Ellen Smith (center), a Cougar Mountain resident and Winter Olympics volunteer, cuts the ribbon at the Whistler, British Columbia, athletes’ village. Contributed

After the International Olympic Committee awarded the winter games to Vancouver in 2003, longtime Olympics fans in Issaquah hatched plans to attend. The games in nearby British Columbia mark the Olympics to open closest to Western Washington — closer than Salt Lake City, Utah, the host of the 2002 games, and Calgary, Alberta, the site of the 1988 competition. Read more

Wanted: Locals headed to the Winter Olympics

February 2, 2010

Issaquah councilman reappointed to transit board

King County Executive Dow Constantine reappointed Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler to the Sound Transit board of directors.

The regional board establishes policy and guides a system with almost 14 million riders per year on buses, commuter rail and light rail in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

“Councilmember Butler has been one of the most dedicated Sound Transit board members with whom I have had the pleasure to serve,” Constantine said in a statement. “He has ably chaired the Finance Committee for several years and was recently chosen as a vice chair of the Sound Transit Board for the coming year.”

Butler, elected to the City Council in 1999 and re-elected since, joined the Sound Transit board in 2003, after a recommendation from then-Executive Ron Sims. The former executive reappointed Butler to subsequent terms.

Butler serves alongside 16 other elected officials from King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Constantine also serves on the board. State Department of Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond is the 18th board member.

The new board is scheduled to meet Jan. 14.

Constantine appointed three other local politicians to the board: Bellevue Councilwoman Claudia Balducci, new Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and new King County Councilwoman Jan Drago.

Besides Butler, the executive also reappointed King County Councilwoman Julia Patterson and King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer.

“I believe that these appointees will continue the strong leadership needed as we plan and build more light rail in the coming years,” Constantine said.

After voters elected Constantine as executive in November, the executive-elect appointed Butler to his 30-person transition team. Butler had served alongside Constantine on the Sound Transit board in the past.

Wanted: Locals headed to the Winter Olympics Read more

Racing to the Olympics

January 26, 2010

Racing to the Olympics Yina Moe-Lange, a 16-year-old Sammamish resident and former Skyline High School student, will compete in alpine ski events for Denmark in the Winter Olympics, in Vancouver, British Columbia, beginning Feb. 12. Moe-Lange will race in the giant slalom Feb. 24 and the slalom Feb. 26. ‘At 16, I am not yet a medal contender,’ she said. ‘But this is an extremely important step in the furthering of my ski racing career. Ever since my childhood, I have dreamt of going to the Olympics and this is an opportunity not to be missed.’ Moe-Lange ran cross-country in middle school and for the Skyline High School team. She has also been involved with the Issaquah Gliders for years, both as a runner and as a volunteer assistant coach. Photo contributed

Olympics visitors wanted

January 5, 2010

As Vancouver, British Columbia, prepares for epic crowds and worldwide attention when the 2010 Winter Olympics begin next month, we want to hear from Issaquah residents with plans to attend the games. Read more

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