2018 Winter Olympics - Team USA Includes Three North Carolinians

Feb 8, 2018

Three North Carolinians will represent team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Speed skater Heather Bergsma (top left), Hockey player Bobby Sanguinetti (bottom left) and speed skater Kimani Griffin (bottom right).
Credit U.S. Olympic Committee

Cue the music. It's time for the games.

Though the opening ceremony is still a day away, the first rounds of the 2018 Winter Olympics have begun in Pyeongchang, South Korea. And a small contingent of North Carolinians will be there competing for team USA.

Let's face it. North Carolina is not exactly a mecca for winter sports. We lack the tall mountains and plentiful snow of places like Colorado and California, the two states with the largest contingent of U.S. athletes at these games.

Still, when the 244 members of Team USA take part in the opening ceremony, three North Carolinians will be among them.

We'll start by introducing the veteran, because she is one to watch.

This is the third Olympics for 28-year-old speed skater Heather Bergsma and it's coming at just the right time. The High Point native is the current world champion in both the 1000 and 1500 meter long track events. And she also holds the world record in the latter. 

Bergsma is now hunting for her first Olympic medal and will be competing in multiple events beginning Saturday.

Next comes 29-year-old hockey player Bobby Sanguinetti. This year the NHL is not sending its star players to the Olympics. Which meant Sanguinetti, a Wilmington native saw his Olympic dreams revived. Though he had been a journeyman in the NHL, Sanguinetti now plays in the minors. And will play for Team USA when the pucks start drops on February 10.

The third North Carolinian is Kimani Griffin, a 27-year-old speed skater from Winston-Salem. He, too, is a rookie Olympian. And besides being a world-class athlete, Griffin is also a world-class musician. When he's not whirling around on the ice he's playing classical guitar. At 17, he booked a gig at Carnegie Hall

So, as you watch the Winter Olympics, cheer on these three North Carolinians hoping to bring some gold back to the old North State.