- Women's Snowboarding
Humble beginning for Bellevue's Kaitlyn Farrington
Few mainstream athletes are as tied to the Gem State as snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington, a top competitor in women's freestyle halpipe.
Raised on a ranch just outside of Bellevue, Idaho, Kaitlyn's love for snowboarding began at three years old. Her father says the youngster was lucky to grow up near the world-class Sun Valley ski resort in nearby Ketchum.
"If she was not born and raised on Bald Mountain, she wouldn't be the snowboarder she is," Gary Farrington told KTVB.
Kaitlyn also wouldn't be the same snowboarder if Gary Farrington hadn't taken a dramatic step to help his daughter raise cash to compete. That's because he began selling his cows in order to pay for her promising career on the slopes.
"Everyone knew in town that she was starting to do some big things," Gary Farrington explained to KTVB. "The cows were a big deal. We had a joke, it was one cow for a domestic contest and two or three for an international contest."
Gary Farrington says he first stepped foot in Bellevue, Idaho in the late 70's and began ranching and raising his family not long afterwards.
However, with Kaitlyn's trusty dog Milo now by his side, and his daughter a world away, it's fair to say times have changed for Gary.
Now, he's sold the family ranch, and is "cowboying" and riding horses to pay the bills. Gary says he only sees Kaitlyn a few times a year now, but still always thinks about her, even when he's throwing hay bails on the nearby ranches.
"Kaitlyn has put in so much hard work from the beginning," Farrington said. "For her to have this accomplishment is tremendous."
On January 19th, Kaitlyn took her career to the next step.
With her family gathered in Mammoth Mountain, California to watch the Olympic Trials, the Idahoan threw down a score of 91.4 on her first run and punched her ticket to Sochi.
"It can't get any bigger than that," Farrington told KTVB over the phone. "It just can't. For country, for Bellevue, for Idaho ... I can't imagine it not being the biggest thing going."
Embedded owg_slideshow: Model Olympian: Kaitlyn Farrington