Classmates of a 15-year-old skater hoping to win gold in Sochi gave the teen a raucous Olympic send off Friday morning.
At a standing-room only assembly at San Jose’s Archbishop Mitty High School, Polina Edmunds – the youngest member of the 2014 Winter Olympic Team – was showered with chants of “USA! USA!”
The 15-year-old, who will represent the U.S. in ladies figure skating, then received congratulations from Mitty’s two other Olympic gold medalists – soccer star Brandi Chastain and legendary beach volley star Kerri Walsh.
“I’ve given some pretty important speeches and been in some really big arenas -- in front of 90,000 people -- but my heart is racing right now,” said Chastain, who then presented Edmunds with an American flag scarf to wear at the Games.
Walsh was also struck by the emotions of the moment.
“There is nothing I love more than coming home,” she told the assembly. “And to come home to be on ‘Team Polina’ is a really special occasion for me.”
Edmunds was joined at the assembly by her parents – John Edmunds, who is a CFO of a computer software company, and her mother and co-coach Nina, who grew up in Russia.
Polina Edmunds has told KTVU that her mother’s heritage makes her journey to Sochi, Russia, even more significant.
“I’ve very excited to go to Russia,” she told KTVU in an interview Thursday at her practice rink. “My mom, her family and her friends live in Russia. To go back to that country and experience my mom’s life – it will be very cool.”
However, Edmunds was quick to point out that she’s “an All-America girl.”
“I consider myself an All-America girl,” she told KTVU. “I’ve lived all my life in the country. My dad’s American, all my friends are American. I love this country. I love where I live. I love San Jose, California.”
Edmund will depart for the Games next week and will spend time training in Austria before heading to
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