News Releases

Murray, Cantwell Applaud Washington State Olympic Athletes

Feb 06 2014

“The diversity among national Olympic teams fosters greater understanding and peace among nations by upholding the values of the Olympic movement.”

Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a Senate Resolution to congratulate athletes from the Evergreen State who will be competing with Team USA in the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which begin tomorrow in Sochi, Russia.

“The Olympics is the pinnacle of a lifetime of sacrifice and dedication for so many athletes and I’m proud to represent a state with such a rich history in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Washington state athletes are poised to compete with the rest of the world as their performances continue to inspire hope and pride in our state and our nation,” said Senator Murray. “I also applaud the inclusion of women’s ski jumping in this year’s games. I urge athletes and advocates to continue their push for increased parity and fairness in this and future Olympic and Paralympic Games – regardless of gender, race, religion, politics or sexual orientation.”

“For the next 16 days, our eyes will be on Team USA and the Washington state athletes representing our nation in the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Senator Cantwell. “Washingtonians are proud to root on our Olympians as they vie for gold on the international stage. We’re proud that Team USA represents the values of diversity, hard work and equal opportunity for all. I wish all of our athletes a safe and successful games in Sochi, as they contribute to building a peaceful and better world through sport practiced in the Olympic spirit.”

Washington state Olympic athletes include: Erik Bjornsen (Winthrop, Cross Country Skiing), Sadie Bjornsen (Winthrop, Cross Country Skiing), J.R. Celski (Federal Way, Short Track Speedskating), Patrick Deneen (Cle Elum, Freestyle Skiing), Brian Gregg (Winthrop, Cross Country Skiing), Torin Koos (Leavenworth, Cross Country Skiing), Christian Niccum (Woodinville, Luge), and Angeli VanLaanen (Bellingham, Freestyle Skiing).

 

Full text of the resolution:

“Congratulating the athletes from the State of Washington and across the United States who are set to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.”

Whereas the 2014 United States Olympic and Paralympic Team, also known as Team USA, is the largest delegation ever sent to a Winter Olympic Games by the United States;

Whereas the 230 members of Team USA represent the diversity of their Nation and will perform, with skill and grace, to the best of their ability;

Whereas diversity among national Olympic teams fosters greater understanding and peace among nations by upholding the values of the Olympic movement;

Whereas the members of Team USA will represent the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and fulfill the principles of modern Olympism as outlined in the Olympic Charter as modified by the International Olympic Committee on September 9, 2013;

Whereas on February 11, 2014, women will compete in ski jumping for the first time in Olympic history;

Whereas members of Team USA will compete in all 15 disciplines in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games across 7sports, and in 94 of 98 medal events;

Whereas Team USA features 106 returning Olympians, including 13 Olympic gold medalists;

Whereas the members of Team USA from the great State of Washington who will proudly represent their Nation are—

 

-          Erik Bjornsen of Winthrop, Washington, who will compete in cross-country skiing;

-          Sadie Bjornsen of Winthrop, Washington, who will compete in cross-country skiing;

-          J.R. Celski of Federal Way, Washington, who will compete in the 500 meter, 1,000 meter, 1,500 meter, and 5,000 meter relay events in short track speedskating;

-          Patrick Deneen of Cle Elum, Washington, who will compete in the moguls event in freestyle skiing;

-          Brian Gregg of Winthrop, Washington, who will compete in cross-country skiing;

-          Torin Koos of Leavenworth, Washington, who will compete in cross-country skiing;

-          Christian Niccum of Woodinville, Washington, who will compete in luge; and

-          Angeli VanLaanen of Bellingham, Washington, who will compete in the halfpipe event in freestyle skiing; and

Whereas all of the athletes of Team USA should be commended and honored for their contributions to sport, our country, and the Olympic movement:

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

-          acknowledges the dedication of the United States Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies of each sport that is an event at the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the administrators, coaches, families, and all others who support the athletes participating in the Olympic and Paralympic Games; and

-          congratulates the members of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams and wishes them success at the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

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