From a rope tow as a toddler on Mount Hood to a two-time United States Olympian, Aurora-native Jacqueline Wiles is headed to Pyeongchang with Team USA.
Last Saturday was a call for celebration on the slopes of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
The 25-year-old Canby High School grad placed third at the Women's Downhill World Cup to punch her ticket to Pyeongchang.
"Getting on the podium for my first time this year, I think I am slowly peaking at the right time right now," said Wiles.
Wiles is back at her home in Portland for a little rest and relaxation with her mom before returning to the Olympic stage in South Korea.
"Your kids always say, 'I am going to go to the Olympics,' and your friends say, 'Yeah, she's going to go to the Olympics.' But Jacqueline set the tone and has not waivered from her goals," said Wiles' mom, Jennifer James.
Seemingly growing up on Mt. Hood, Wiles earned her way to a second straight Winter Games in Alpine Skiing.
"That tenacity just pays off for her, she never gives up," said James.
"Seeing how big the event is, now going into this one, I know I can just breathe a bit more," Wiles said.
Her speed group is one of the best in the world, shredding with Lindsey Vonn and Bend's Laurenne Ross.
"Oregonians just love being outdoors and being active," said Wiles. "Laurenne and I, that's a big part of our lives. We're all about nature and the thrill of our sport, and I think that's what makes us real successful."
Wiles placed 26th in Sochi four years ago then became the first athlete ambassador for the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.
"She helped fund a couple of years when I needed help so I am really grateful to have been a part of her Lindsey Vonn Foundation, giving back to young kids, and I hope to continue, you know, giving back to young kids as well," said Wiles.
Unlike being a late add to the squad in 2014, Wiles and her family and friends have plenty of time to build up to the big month in South Korea.
"It was tough to not have my mom at the first Olympics and to share that moment with her so it's nice that I get another opportunity now," Wiles said.
From "Mitey Mites" on Mt. Hood with her brother Steele to the families trek to the 2002 games in Salt Lake City.
"I think that really inspired them to see how human and how exciting it is to have that experience," said James.
Wiles, who hosts the Jackie Wiles White Pass Summer Ski Camp on Mt. Hood in July, went to South Korea to race on the track last February. She calls it her favorite run she's ever been on and compares it to the one she just conquered in Italy.
James has been out of work as a massage therapist since before Christmas after carpal tunnel surgery. The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help her travel to the Olympics. Anyone who would like to help can visit www.gofundme.com/jenniferjamesolympicwish.
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