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Anchorage’s Luke Jager brings state pride to Beijing for first Winter Olympics

Published: Feb. 3, 2022 at 8:42 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage cross-country skier Luke Jager is preparing for the biggest competition of his life: the Olympics.

“It’s funny, I’m like getting ready to go to the Olympics, but all I really want to do is go home, because ... I’m just feeling like, ‘dang, how much I love home right now,’ because I’m just feeling so much love from Alaska,” Jager said from his hotel room in Switzerland before taking off to China.

That love is reciprocal, stemming from the unwavering and unconditional support from the Alaska ski community.

“Just like the whole process of qualifying for the Olympics and then hearing the number of people from home that like reached out to me and ... played like an actual role in that in some way, was pretty overwhelming and really, really cool,” Jager said. “We had so many people from a young age just telling us like, oh, if you want to do this then you can do this, and you know, we’re going to help you in either a big way or a small way.”

The Alaska Pacific University and University of Utah skier is an Alaska state champion with West Anchorage High School and a junior world champion, while his performance at the 2021-22 FIS Cross-Country World Cup gave him the nod as a first-time Olympian, leading to the best feeling in skiing.

“The best feeling in skiing ... is being done, I think,” Jager said with a laugh.

For now, Jager knows he will be competing in the men’s sprint free qualifications at 11:30 p.m. AKST on Feb. 8, with hopes in competing in the sprint relays on Feb. 13.

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