Four years ago Monday, Hailey native Kaitlyn Farrington stole the show at the Winter Games in Sochi. The then 24-year-old provided us all with an upset-to-remember, knocking off three former Olympic gold medalists en route to a gold medal of her own.
Her surprise win is even more impressive considering she didn't even qualify for the Olympics until three weeks before the Games began. But she beat two-time Olympians Gretchen Bleiler and Elena Hight at a qualifying event to secure her spot on the four-person squad.
In the world of women's snowboarding, there is no shortage of unique personalities and star athletes. So when the small-town girl who grew up on a ranch in the Wood River Valley stood atop the podium in Sochi, it was a surreal moment.
"I was just happy when I realized [I was] on the podium," she said. "And then to land on top was just unbelievable."
Standing on either side of her - American snowboarding icon and 2002 Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark, and 2010 gold medalist Australian Torah Bright.
Fellow American Hannah Teter, who won gold at the 2006 Games and silver in Vancouver, finished fourth.
Farrington returned home to a hero's welcome, and was treated to a parade through her hometown.
Less than a year later, Farrington emotionally announced her retirement at age 25 due to a degenerative spine condition. She learned of her congenital cervical stenosis after a fall 2014 crash that left her unable to feel anything for two minutes.
Farrington was fortunate she had never done permanent damage. If she had known about the condition earlier in life, she may never have become a snowboarder.
In retiring from halfpipe, Farrington made a deal with her longtime doctor, U.S. snowboard team physician Tom Hackett.
“I just have to keep my feet on the ground,” Farrington said.
Though she won't be competing this year in PyeongChang, she will be there helping the rest of us understand the intricacies of the sport she loves.
NBC has announced that she will be a commentator for snowboarding events.
We may get our first chance to see Farrington Monday night as her signature event gets underway. The women's halfpipe finals - featuring American phenom Chloe Kim is slated for primetime, and men's qualifying featuring star Shaun White and Hailey native Chase Josey will get underway at 9 p.m. MT.
For his part, first-time Olympian Josey says his goal is to follow Farrington's script.
"I'm proud to say I'm from Idaho and from Sun Valley," Josey told KTVB before leaving for South Korea. "It's not often an athlete goes to the Olympics from here. Looking at Kaitlyn Farrington, she kind of did the same thing. I'm just trying to do it again, I guess."
We'll be watching to see if Josey can replicate Farrington's Olympic magic - and if she (as commentator) gives a him a hometown shout-out.