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Rhinelander man recalls his Olympic experience

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) declares the Olympic Games open during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fi
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) declares the Olympic Games open during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Fi

RHINELANDER, Wis. (WXPR) -- With the Sochi Olympic games well underway, a Rhinelander man offers insight into what it's like to compete on the world stage. Chris Cook was on the United States ski team at the 2006 Torino Olympics.

Cook describes being on the start-line as a moment of clarity. "Everything else about the Olympics is a huge distraction, and pulling you in all sorts of directions. But at the end of the day when you get to that starting line that's where you're comfortable, that's where you've had all the training, all the preparation." Cook grew up in Rhinelander and started cross country skiing as a young boy. He raced for Rhinelander High School and later for Northern Michigan University, becoming the NCAA Division I champion in 2003. A few years later, he made the Olympic team.

Cook says watching the winter games brings mixed feelings. "It's tough, I enjoy - I really miss the racing, you miss the team. But at the end of the day you want to see your teammates do well, you want to see the U.S. do well." Cook placed 21st in the individual skate sprint at the Torino games.

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