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The 2014 Winter Olympics get underway February 7 in Sochi, Russia. More than 85 nations will be represented this year, and some of the athletes who will compete come from Idaho.Over the coming weeks, we’ll introduce you to some of these Idaho Olympians. You'll meet an ice hockey forward from Sun Valley to a woman making her bid for the U.S. Virgin Islands’ ski team.You’ll find our Olympics coverage ahead of the games and during, along with stories from NPR’s team of reporters, right here on this page.Plus, connect with Idaho's Olympic athletes on Twitter.

Northwest Snowboarder Races For Russia At Olympic Games

Vic Wild
Vic Wild

A Pacific Northwestsnowboarderis predicted to be a medal contender when snowboard giant slalom racing begins Wednesday at the Winter Olympics.

But don’t look for Vic Wild on Team USA. The American-born, former Columbia River Gorge resident is competing for the Russians.

Vic Wild was raised in White Salmon, Wash., and learned to snowboard at Mount Hood Meadows. He became a top rider on the U.S. national team, which is how he met snowboard female world champion Russian Alena Zavarzina. They got married in 2011. That opened the door for Wild to gain Russian citizenship and change teams.

He explained to Russian television why he'd do that.

"I didn't have any good funding in the United States," Wild said. "I wasn't going to reach the goals that I wanted. Russia was an opportunity to get the goals and to be able to do what I wanted to do."

Wild now lives in Moscow with his wife. At the Winter Olympics, both are entered to compete in the lesser-known snowboard disciplines of parallel giant slalom and slalom. Those involve downhill racing on alpine courses similar to ski racing.

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