Bellevue residents speak out about Olympic win


By Ngozi Ekeledo

Bellevue, ID ( KMVT - TV / KTWT - TV ) The city of Bellevue has had more than 24 hours to digest its Olympic darling Kaitlyn Farrington's big gold medal win in Sochi.

Now the residents are making big plans for her return.

"I would love to give her a key to the city,”said Bellevue mayor Chris Koch. “I've never done that before, and I think it would be an amazing thing — a really fun thing to do."

"We created a card for Kaitlyn that showed all the support and the community's support,” said Betsy Castle, the co-executive director of the Bellevue Public Library. “[The support] is all you hear about on the streets right now in Bellevue."

Throughout her entire journey, Farrington and her family have made her success that of the community's too.

"It's putting Bellevue on the map, and I know she trained up in Sun Valley and all that, but it's putting the whole area back on the map again back to when Picabo Street won a gold medal,” Koch said. “It's kind of bringing recognition back to an amazing area of Idaho and the United States."

Farrington is described as a down to earth girl from the ranch.

"It took a lot to get here,” the women’s halfpipe gold medalist said in a press conference after her win Wednesday night. “When I first started out, my dad was selling his cows for me to be able to travel to a different contest every week."

Now, her out of this world performance on the Sochi halfpipe has catapulted her to an inspiration story.

"We've seen more interest in wanting to do things that Kaitlyn's doing and to be on Dollar Mountain,” Castle said. “I know watching [her run] with my daughter [Wednesday], she just thought that [Kaitlyn] was amazing and that she wanted to be in the Olympics."

Koch agrees that Farrington’s reach will go very far for Bellevue’s younger residents.

"Somebody from a small town in rural Idaho can go all the way to the Olympics and achieve all their dreams and do whatever they wanna do,” he said.

“I think that's kind of setting it up for the kids of the future to know that they can do these kinds of things. It's not just a story that they read on the internet – it's the truth."

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