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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.

Idaho Olympians: Meet Slalom Skier Jasmine Campbell

Jasmine Campbell
Courtesy Jasmine Campbell

Twenty-two-year-old Hailey resident Jasmine Campbell is headed to the 2014 Winter Olympics to compete for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Campbell was born on the Caribbean island and moved to Idaho when she was nine.

Campbell is a student at Whitman College, but she's taking the year off to train for the Games. "It's just basically an 18 hour job where I'm always thinking about skiing," Campbell told the Northwest News Network. "I wake up in the morning, before going upstairs, I watch a ski video. When I go to bed at night I watch a ski video. During the day, I have double training sessions."


Hometown:  Hailey, Idaho

Sport:  Alpine skiing

Events:  Slalom and Giant Slalom

Birthdate:  Nov. 8, 1991

Team: U.S. Virgin Islands

Stats: Campbell is the one and only representative of the U.S. Virgin Islands at the 2014 Winter Olympics. She is the first skier from the tropical Caribbean territory to reach the podium in an international ski race, finishing 2nd and 3rd in giant slalom races in China this past December. As of late January, she was ranked 1097 in giant slalom and 1295 in slalom on the worldwide list maintained by the International Ski Federation.

Campbell on the 2014 Sochi Games: "It is a tremendous honor and privilege to compete in the Olympics. I want to ensure that I ski to the best of my ability so that I may represent my birthplace in the most honorable way possible.  At Sochi, I want to perform in a way that makes my countrymen proud, and gives the sport the respect and dedication it deserves," says Campbell.

Why will she carry the Virgin Islands flag?: Campbell was born in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Her family left the Caribbean for Sun Valley when she was 9-years-old. She started skiing soon after her arrival to Idaho. Theoretically, Campbell could have pursued an Olympic berth on either the U.S. Ski Team or Virgin Islands team, though the latter offered a more realistic route to Sochi. Her father, John Campbell, skied for the Virgin Islands in the 1992 Albertville Olympics.

Campbell is taking a year off between her junior and senior years at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington to pursue her Olympic dreams. At Whitman, she is double majoring in psychology and philosophy. "This Olympic odyssey may well have helped direct me to a potential career path in sports psychology," Campbell says.

Tom Banse covers business, environment, public policy, human interest and national news across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be heard during "Morning Edition," "Weekday," and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

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