Gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington: 'I can't wait to come home'

ccripe@idahostatesman.comFebruary 14, 2014 

Idaho gold medalist Kaitlyn Farrington plans to return home to Bellevue next week before the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, she said Friday.

Farrington leaves Russia on Saturday for New York, where she will appear on “Late Show with David Letterman” and “Live with Kelly and Michael.” Her "Late Show" appearance is set for Thursday.

Next stop: Sun Valley. She does not plan to return to Russia for the closing.

“I can’t wait to come home,” she said in a telephone interview with the Idaho Statesman. “That’s what I’m really looking forward to — coming back to Sun Valley and seeing everybody who supported me through this whole journey.”

Farrington won the women’s halfpipe Wednesday night in the mountains. She received her medal Thursday night at a ceremony in the coastal cluster, the main hub of the Olympics.

Among those who congratulated her in Russia: Picabo Street, the Sun Valley skier who was the last winter gold medalist raised in Idaho and is working at the Games.

“She told me to pick my run I want named after me,” Farrington said.

Farrington, 24, grew up watching Street ski. She had met her a couple times. Now she’ll have a legion of Idaho girls who want to be like her.

“I can’t even believe it,” she said. “Every time I go home I go riding with the girls from the Sun Valley snowboard team. I always ride with them. They’re just so cute. Now I’m really excited to go back home and get to go riding with those girls. It’s just amazing to be their idol. It’s awesome to be a role model.”

Sun Valley sent Farrington a good-luck video (attached to this story) in Russia. She received it the morning of her competition but was unable to get it to play. One of her coaches showed it to her at the top of the halfpipe before her first run in the semifinals.

“It almost brought me to tears,” she said. “I thought, ‘Wow, I’ve come a long way.’ I felt like Sun Valley was there with me dropping into the pipe.”

We’ll have a full Q&A with Farrington in Saturday’s newspaper.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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