BOISE, Idaho — Figure skating, ice hockey, downhill skiing and snowboarding traditionally grab the prime-time spotlight during the Winter Olympics, but those following Team USA - and athletes from Idaho - won't want to overlook cross-country skiing.
Among the members of the U.S. Olympic team competing in cross-country skiing are Caitlin and Scott Patterson. Their team bios list their hometowns as Craftsbury, Vermont, and Anchorage, Alaska, but these siblings got their start in Nordic skiing -- and life -- in McCall, Idaho.
The children of Steve Patterson and Margaret Hillhouse moved with the family from McCall to Alaska in 2005, when Caitlin was 15 and Scott was 13.
Kay Hummel, a family friend, said before moving to Alaska, Caitlin and Scott skied with a youth team in McCall. Scott competed against Hummel's son, who was on the Bogus Basin Nordic Team. They were "friendly competitors," she said.
After moving to Alaska, Caitlin and Scott joined the Alaska Winter Stars, and they both went on to college at the University of Vermont. Caitlin continues to live in Vermont, where she's affiliated with the Craftsbury Green Racing Project and the Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club. Scott is affiliated with the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Center.
Scott Patterson raced in the men's skiathlon on Sunday, Feb. 6, and finished in 11th place. He placed 38th in the 15-kilometer classic race on Friday, Feb. 11. Scott raced for the USA in the men's 4x10-kilometer relay on Sunday, Feb. 13; the U.S. placed 9th out of 15 teams.
Scott's best finish was in his last race of these Olympics. He placed 8th in the 30-kilometer mass-start race on Saturday, Feb. 19. His time of 1:12:06.6 was just 33.9 seconds behind the gold medalist, Alexander Bolshunov of the Russian Olympic Committee. Scott's 8th-place finish also is the best of any U.S. man in Olympic cross-country skiing since 1976, and the second-best of any U.S. man in Olympic cross-country skiing ever.
The final men's cross-country race of the Olympics was slated to be a 50K, but it was shortened because of extreme cold, to reduce the time athletes were exposed to the elements. For perspective, 50 kilometers is equivalent to 31 miles; 30 kilometers is 18.6 miles. In a post on Instagram, Scott wrote, "Fighting all the way! 8th in the end and tantalizingly close. I wanted the extra 20km to grind."
Caitlin Patterson was expected to race in the women's skiathlon early Saturday, Feb. 5, but did not start.
Recent career highlights for Caitlin Patterson:
- 2022 U.S. Olympic team
- 2019 World Championships: 34th -- 30K freestyle and 15K skiathlon
- PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics: 26th place in 30K classic mass-start race and 34th place in the skiathlon
- Nine national titles
Recent career highlights for Scott Patterson:
- 2022 Winter Olympics: 11th place in skiathlon
- 2022 U.S. national champion in 30K freestyle (third national title)
- PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics: Top American finisher in 50K classic race (11th place), skiathlon (18th) and 15K freestyle (21st); member of U.S. men's 4x10K relay team
- Five top-10 finishes in World Cup competition
For more Winter Olympics news and information, click here.
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