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Westminster College students cheer on 18 classmates in Winter Olympics

Feb 9, 2018, 10:15 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 4:02 pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — There can be no doubt there were many Opening Ceremony viewing parties going on throughout Utah Friday night, but KSL found one unlike any other.

Students at Westminster College in Salt Lake City gathered in the Shaw Student Center on campus to watch as 18 of their fellow classmates walked with the U.S. team in the Opening Ceremony.

Westminster College is the official education partner for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams — this means Olympic athlete students are offered a special tuition-grant-based program.

Many of the students who attended the viewing party said the school’s strong ties to the Olympic Games helped bring them here.

“The Winter Olympics get me excited because I love skiing, and I grew up skiing, so it kind of hits home for me,” said Holly Howe, a freshman from Billings, Montana. “I grew up loving Mikaela Shiffrin and watching Lindsey Vonn, so it’s really cool to come to a school where people are doing that and fulfilling their dreams.”

College can be tough even without a full-time athletic schedule, but the student-athletes boast a combined grade point average of 3.6. The athletes are from a diverse selection of grade levels and majors. They range from freshmen to seniors, and from art majors to finance majors.

Back in 2014, the college had 22 students who participated in the Sochi Olympic Games.

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Westminster College students cheer on 18 classmates in Winter Olympics