Julianne David is going to the Olympics.
David did not qualify for the games, which kick off in Sochi, Russia, next week. But she is going to cheer for someone who did, providing Hillsboro with its own little Olympic connection.
You see, the 30-year-old David, a Hillsboro resident, is the elder sister of United States long track speed skater Jonathan Kuck (pronounced Cook), who already has an Olympic medal to his credit.
Four years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia when Kuck was just 19 years old he teamed with Chad Hedrick and Brian Hansen to earn a silver medal in the mens team pursuit. In that event, two teams of three skaters each square off on the same track, with the faster team advancing to the next round.
A Canadian trio just edged the U.S. in the 2010 finals.
Kuck also raced as an individual in Vancouver, taking eighth in the 10,000 meters, the longest and most grueling event in speed skating.
This time around, Kuck who turns 24 in March qualified for the 5,000 and 1,500- meter races, and he is a good bet for the U.S. team pursuit lineup again. Kuck won the 5,000 last month at the U.S. trials in Salt Lake City.
The most exciting thing that were looking forward to is watching Jonathans races and supporting him and cheering for the rest of his teammates, said David, who, like her brother, hails from Illinois but moved to Oregon a couple of years ago with her husband, John, who works at Intel.
So as she did four years ago, David will be on hand to witness her brothers performances on his sports brightest stage. She is excited for her trip to Sochi, as she has traveled internationally before, she said, but has never been to Russia. That will change next week, when she, her husband, her parents, her husbands brother and his wife all fly to Sochi, which is located on southwest Russias Black Sea coast, not far from the Georgia border.
The Kuck contingent will be busy during its stay in Russia. In addition to watching a number of the speed skating events, David said, her group has tickets to some skiing, curling, snowboard cross and hockey contests, so she will be getting a live and in-person look at events that most of us will only view from half a world away on television.
Of course, for David and her family, the big stuff is the speed skating at Adler Arena Skating Center. Kucks first race, the 5,000, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, the first day of long track speed skating. The mens 1,500 is slated for Saturday, Feb. 15, and the team pursuit is scheduled for Feb. 21-22, so David will be in Russia for the duration of the games.
There as a proud sister, cheering on her brother as he races around the Olympic long track oval, one skate stroke at a time.
Jonathan ... has achieved something that almost nobody can, and its entirely from his own persistence and dedication, and were extremely proud of that, David said.
So off she goes to Russia from Hillsboro, with love.