U.S. Ski Team’s Jacqueline Wiles got her start with Cooper Spur Race Team

olympic skier Jacqueline Wiles rode a breakthrough 2013 racing season to a position on the U.S. Ski Team and a slot in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Although she grew up in the Portland area, Wiles was a member of the Cooper Spur Race team for several years as a child.

Courtesy NBC sports
olympic skier Jacqueline Wiles rode a breakthrough 2013 racing season to a position on the U.S. Ski Team and a slot in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Although she grew up in the Portland area, Wiles was a member of the Cooper Spur Race team for several years as a child.

Anyone who has been involved in the Cooper Spur Race Team program over the years will have an extra reason to be excited about the upcoming Winter Olympics. For the first time in its 36-year history, one of CSRT’s own young speed demons will race on the world’s largest stage as a member of the U.S. Ski Team. Although she grew up in the Portland area (a 2010 graduate of Canby High School), Jacqueline Wiles got her start at ski racing on Mount Hood as a member of the CSRT, which she was a part of for about seven years during her childhood.

Labeled a U.S. Ski Team “young-gun,” Wiles, 21, had a breakthrough year in 2013, vaulting herself into the spotlight by winning the U.S. Alpine Championship and the NorAm Super G title and scoring two top-10 finishes at the World Junior Championships. Her dreams of racing in the Olympics came one large step closer to reality last month when she was named to the Olympic team, to compete in downhill and super-G events, which are scheduled for Feb. 12 and 15.

“It has been a big dream of mine ever since I was little,” Wiles said. “It’s a huge step for me and I’m really excited about the future.”

In a message to her fans and followers, Wiles explained how she got to where she is today.

“Born and raised in the great Pacific Northwest, I grew up skiing on Mount Hood. Weekend trips to the mountain became a regular activity for our family. My older brother and I loved it so much we had to join a program. The local race team was cheaper than getting basic lessons and from then on I never looked back.”

For several years, that “local race team” was CSRT, which has long provided Mount Hood skiers with a framework to help cultivate talented young skiers into next-level racers. One of many former coaches who helped her along the way was Hood River resident Dan Bubb, who says he remembers Wiles well.

“She was a go-getter from day one,” he said. “I could tell she was different than the others. She was focused and dedicated and worked very hard. It’s so cool to see her come so far, and I can’t think of a more deserving person than her.”

Wiles was one of nine women named to the U.S. Olympic Alpine Team. She joins teammate Laurenne Ross (Klamath Falls) in representing Oregon at the Games.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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