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Opening Ceremony Never Gets Old, Even For Olympic Veterans

Sarah Brunson
U.S. Snowboarding
U.S. Olympic snowboarder Nate Holland

For some of the Northwest athletes competing at the Winter Games, this will be the third or fourth time to experience the Opening Ceremonies.

But snowboarder Nate Holland of North Idaho says it never gets old.

"I'm going to go there and experience the Russian opening ceremonies and Team USA and try to feed off some of that energy," he says. "Get that Olympic vibe going within me and feed off of that for the duration of the time that I'm there."

Most of this region's Olympic athletes will march into the stadium in Sochi with Team USA. But if you're feeling local pride, you might also keep an eye on four other countries:

• The flag bearer for Peru is a cross country skier who now lives in Seattle
• The U.S. Virgin Islands will be represented by a Whitman College student who calls Sun Valley home
• Two athletes based in the Northwest are competing for Australia
• A snowboarder from White Salmon, Washington is now riding for host country Russia

The Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics take place Friday.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.