Hawarden family keeps close tabs on Olympic Games

Posted February 14, 2014 at 4:27 am

By Steve Peterson

The Gregg family watched the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Games with anticipation on Feb. 7.

“I did see him, by accident,” said Glenn Gregg, referring to his nephew Brian Gregg of Winthrop, Wash. Brian is a member of the USA Cross-Country Ski Team competing in Sochi, Russia.

“He said he would be in the first row. He got some time on camera. Absolutely we’re proud of him,” said Glenn.

Brian grew up in Hawarden before moving West and became interested in cross-country skiing. Brian, age 29, works for a visitor’s center in Cascade, Wash.

West Sioux teacher Larry Gregg said it was great to see his cousin, Brian, considering the number of Team USA athletes marching in at the same time.

“We have had quite a bit of interest in town,” said Glenn of Brian’s stardom. “It’s good coffee talk downtown.”

Brian’s parents, Jim and Jan, made the journey to Russia.

“We thought when he finished second in the U.S. Nationals that he might be selected for the Olympics,” said Glenn.

The 2014 US Olympic Team was announced on Jan. 27 by the United States Olympic Committee. Erik Bjommsen, also of Winthrop, Wash., was also selected.

Brian’s wife, Caitlin, also has had Olympic dreams.

“He’s competing against Norwegians, Swedes, people whose vocation it is in these sports. It will make for great memories,” said Glenn.

“They’ve got a blog, they’re on Facebook,” said Larry. “We watched a race Sunday morning at 4 a.m., the Skiathlon. Brian finished 47th. He will also be in the 50K race on Feb. 23, the last day and maybe some relay races. They’re really supportive of each other.”

A USA Olympic flag hangs outside of Larry Gregg’s home.

While Brian has been in Washington state for many years now, his grandparents, Warren and Grace Gregg, “enjoyed coming to Hawarden for the city’s swimming pool,” recalled Larry.

For now, the early wake-up calls will continue for the Greggs, who remain very proud of their nephew.

Comments are closed.