Olympic snowboarder and Eastern Idaho native JessiKa Jenson took time out of her busy schedule to see family, friends and fans ahead of the winter Olympics in South Korea.
“I’m just excited about everything,” Jenson, said. “And it just gives me the chills to think that I’m a two-time Olympian and will be going for my second time. I’m just super thankful to have made it this far.”
In the crowd was her former high school teacher who says she was a little quiet, but loved talking about snowboarding.
“It’s really great,” Ron Jones, Jenson’s former U.S. Government teacher, said. “I mean, she’s accomplished so much and trained so hard and done so many good things that it’s an honor to have her as a former student and two-time Olympian. It’s really awesome.”
Jenson snatched the fourth spot on the team by coach’s discretion. At the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, she placed 13th in Slopestyle. This time around, she’ll be doing a little bit more.
“This year it will be a little more exciting cause I’m doing two events,” Jenson said. “Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air. Big Air, it’s the first time that it’ll be in the Olympics so it’s really cool to be a part of the very first one.”
Jenson says she was happy to come home for a few days to recharge and see family and friends before leaving for South Korea.
“It’s just amazing that I can go there and not only represent my country, but southeast Idaho and my little town of Rigby where I grew up,” she said. “I can’t thank all the support from my family, friends, sponsors, fans and community for their support over the years to help making my dream come true.”
Jenson is leaving in just a couple of days. Her first event will be the Slopestyle qualifiers on Sunday, February 11th. She’ll hopefully be in the finals for that the next day, Monday February 12th. The Big Air qualifiers take place on Monday, February 19th. The finals take place on Friday, February 23rd.