More Vermonters named to Olympic teams

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CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) "It was definitely not expected, so I'm just really excited to share the experience with two of my teammates," Kaitlynn Miller said.

At just 26 years old, Miller just learned she'll get the chance of a lifetime: competing on the women's U.S. Olympic Cross Country Skiing Team.

"I loved skiing, I loved racing and I wanted to see how far I could go with it. And this is where I've gotten to, which is pretty incredible," Miller said.

Incredible for this Elmore woman, who has already been training hard.

"I'm not on any strict diet," she said.

"I've known Kait since she was 8 years old, so it is pretty amazing," Coach Pepa Miloucheva said.

Miller maintains her skiing skills at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. Miloucheva is her coach.

"I really try to teach them. I tell them everything, why we do it, what I expect from what we do," Miloucheva said.

Miller is among six Craftsbury stars, including three skiers and three biathletes.

"They are the best of the best and they've worked at it for years. And they're very determined athletes," said Judy Geer, the director of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

Miller has been training in Craftsbury for the past four years but this is her first time as a U.S. Olympian. She'll spend the next few weeks doing domestic races, most of them will be at her home course. And home is close to her heart.

"I, of course, think Vermont's awesome," Miller said. "The ski culture here, my family, my ski program, all the juniors and the younger skiers in the state. And in my program, I think you sort of carry that feeling with you."

Miller is scheduled to leave for South Korea in mid-February.

Miller isn't the only one. There are five others from the women's team with Vermont ties: Sophie Caldwell of Peru; Ida Sargent of Orleans; Liz Stephen of East Montpelier; Caitlin Patterson, who is from Alaska but trains in Craftsbury; and Jessie Diggins is from Minnesota but went to Stratton Mountain.

And on the men's team: Andy Newell from Shaftsbury, who competed in the last Olympic Games; Patrick Caldwell is Sophie's cousin; and Scott Patterson is Caitlin Patterson's brother and he also went to UVM.