The Land of 10,000 Lakes also has plenty of ice, dontcha know--no wonder so many Winter Olympians hail from Minnesota. Get to know the Olympic athletes from St. Paul, Minneapolis, Duluth and beyond.
Zach Parise, Hockey
Hockey player Zach Parise has spent most of his life in Minnesota, from his childhood in Minneapolis to his current position as left wing for the Minneapolis Wild. He comes from a hockey family -- Parise’s father, J.P. Parise, once captained the Minnesota North Stars. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Parise sent the gold medal game against Canada into overtime by scoring the tying goal in the last minute of regulation, but would settle for the silver medal after the team fell in overtime.
David Backes, Hockey
2010 Olympian David Backes' early hockey career was defined by Minnesota. Born in Minneapolis, Backes played for his high school in Spring Lake Park and was named a finalist for Minnesota Mr. Hockey as a senior. He then spent three years with the Minnesota State Mavericks before joining his current team, the St. Louis Blues.
Amanda Kessel, Hockey
Hockey player Amanda Kessel attended the boarding school Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in Fairbault, then became a Golden Gopher at the University of Minnesota. Both Kessel and her brother, 2010 Olympian Phil Kessel, will compete for Team USA in Sochi.
Phil Kessel, Hockey
Phil Kessel spent his college years as a Golden Gopher at the University of Minnesota, then graduated to play in the NHL for the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. He was an integral member of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team and will be part of the 2014 team’s quest for gold in Sochi.
Jessie Diggins, Cross-Country Skiing
A native of Afton, cross-country skier Jessie Diggins spent her childhood outdoors with the Minnesota Youth Ski League. Though she now trains in Vermont, Diggins still calls the Midwest home and considers herself a lifetime member of the Twin Cities skiing community.