BLAKESLEE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Many of us are rooting for Team USA when it comes to the Olympics. But one Monroe County business has reason to cheer for a member of the South Korean Olympic team.
It’s not everyday “Peterson’s Ski and Cycle” shop gets to tune up skis for an Olympic athlete. But they now have those bragging rights as a frequent customer landed a spot on the South Korean freestyle skiing team.
“Jackie usually comes in in the off-season from skiing because she is involved in competitions around the world,” says Chris West of Peterson’s Ski and Cycle.
Jackie Kling was adopted by a Philadelphia couple who have a home near the Pocono mountain ski resorts. Even though she’s an American citizen she has retained her Korean citizenship allowing her to compete for South Korea at Pyeonchang. Thanks to her family’s ties to Monroe County, she’s made our area a stop on her Olympic journey.
“A lot of people don’t see all the efforts behind the scenes and how much time, travel, and money it takes to get to that point,” says West.
West says Kling was always a superstar, even before she made the South Korea team. An autographed magazine hangs in the shop that lists all her major competitions and awards.
West hopes Klings’ Olympic journey inspires others. “Start the impossible. There’s nothing that says you can’t start skiing at age two or three years old at the local resorts–Jack Frost or Big Boulder. Work hard, put the time in, put the effort in, dedicated yourself to it and who knows you could be the next person on the Olympic team”.
Jackie Kling did compete this weekend. Unfortunately she did not get a medal and just missed the qualifying round.