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'A Dream Come True': More Northwest Athletes Clinch 2018 Winter Olympics Slots

U.S. Olympic Committee
USA Bobsled & Skeleton announced the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Bobsled Team to compete in PyeongChang, South Korea for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. Gresham, Oregon, native Sam Michener made the cut.";

Two more Pacific Northwest athletes are heading to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The national bobsled federation on Monday named Sam Michener of Gresham, Oregon, to the U.S. Olympic Team. Michener, a high school football player and standout sprinter at the University of Idaho, followed a well-trodden path from track to ice.

This is a dream come true,” Michener said of his Olympic debut in four-man bobsled.

Snowboard halfpipe competitor Ben Ferguson of Bend, Oregon, clinched a spot on Team USA as well with a top 5 finish on Saturday at an Olympic qualifying event in Colorado.

The full roster for the U.S. Olympic ski and snowboard team will be announced next week. Several more athletes with Pacific Northwest roots are in the hunt for remaining team slots.

Previously, two short-track speedskaters from Federal Way, Washington, punched their tickets to the 2018 Winter Games by racing well at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Utah. PyeongChang will be the third Olympics for J.R. Celski, while Aaron Tran will skate as a rookie.

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.
Deborah is an award–winning radio and television journalist whose career spans more than three decades. As the recipient of a 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship, Deborah is currently focusing her reporting on adolescents and mental health.