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

Gresham, Oregon, native Sam Michener was named to the US Olympic Men's Bobsled team
U.S. Olympic Committee
Gresham, Oregon, native Sam Michener was named to the US Olympic Men's Bobsled team

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.

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network

Correspondent Tom Banse is an Olympia-based reporter with more than three decades of experience covering Washington and Oregon state government, public policy, business and breaking news stories. Most of his career was spent with public radio's Northwest News Network, but now in semi-retirement his work is appearing on other outlets.
Tom Banse
Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from 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 found online and 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 three decades. A long–time network foreign correspondent, Deborah has reported from more than two dozen countries, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Rwanda, Kuwait, and Iraq.