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Hillsboro woman will root for her brother in Sochi Olympics speed skating

Julianne David is going to the Olympics.

David did not qualify for the games, which kick off in Sochi, Russia, next week. But she is going to cheer for someone who did, providing Hillsboro with its own little Olympic connection.

The 30-year-old David, a Hillsboro resident, is the elder sister of United States long track speed skater Jonathan Kuck (pronounced “Cook”), who already has an Olympic medal to his credit.

Four years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia — when Kuck was just 19 years old — he teamed with Chad Hedrick and Brian Hansen to earn a silver medal in the men’s team pursuit. In that event, two teams of three skaters each square off on the same track, with the faster team advancing to the next round.

A Canadian trio just edged the U.S. in the 2010 finals.

Kuck also raced as an individual in Vancouver, taking eighth in the 10,000 meters, the longest and most grueling event in speed skating.

This time around, Kuck — who turns 24 in March — qualified for the 5,000- and 1,500- meter races, and he is a good bet for the U.S. team pursuit lineup again. Kuck won the 5,000 last month at the U.S. trials in Salt Lake City.

“The most exciting thing that we’re looking forward to is watching Jonathan’s races and supporting him and cheering for the rest of his teammates,” said David, who, like her brother, hails from Illinois but moved to Oregon a couple of years ago with her husband, John, who works at Intel.

So as she did four years ago, David will be on hand to witness her brother’s performances on his sport’s brightest stage. She is excited for her trip to Sochi, as she has traveled internationally before, she said, but has never been to Russia. That will change next week, when she, her husband, her parents, her husband’s brother and his wife all fly to Sochi, which is on southwest Russia’s Black Sea coast, not far from the Georgia border.

The Kuck contingent will be busy during its stay in Russia. In addition to watching a number of the speed skating events, David said, her group has tickets to some skiing, curling, snowboard cross and hockey contests, so she will be getting a live and in-person look at events that most of us will only view from half a world away on television.

Of course, for David and her family, the big stuff is the speed skating at Adler Arena Skating Center. Kuck’s first race, the 5,000, is Saturday, Feb. 8, the first day of long track speed skating. The men’s 1,500 is Saturday, Feb. 15, and the team pursuit is Feb. 21-22, so David will be in Russia for the duration of the games.

She'll be there as a proud sister, cheering on her brother as he races around the Olympic long track oval, one skate stroke at a time.

“Jonathan has achieved something that almost nobody can, and it’s entirely from his own persistence and dedication, and we’re extremely proud of that,” David said.

So off she goes to Russia from Hillsboro, with love.

Amanda Miles is the Hillsboro Tribune’s sports editor. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..