Local Olympian prepares for 2018 Winter Games

Jessika Jenson prepares for 2018 Games

RIGBY, Idaho - With the Rio games over, the next Olympic Games are in 2018.

Local News 8/Eyewitness News 3 anchor Dan Larkin caught up with a winter Olympian who is looking to once again represent the U.S.

"We also had no idea I'd be an Olympian," said Jessika Jenson.

Ever since Jessika was 10 years old, snowboarding has been her passion.

Her love for the sport has taken her from the hills of Kelly Canyon to places most of us have only seen on a map.

It includes a trip to the winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014, where she became the first person from eastern Idaho to compete in the winter games since 1964.

That's why she says when she hears the Olympic theme it gets her pretty fired up.

"It always brings back that warm fuzzy feeling and it just motivates me to like, go again because it was such a cool experience," said Jensen.

Her goal is to make it back to the winter Olympics in South Korea in 2018 and win a medal.

She says it'll be tough, but she thinks she can do it.

"I think my chances are, are high. I would say that the US has the most competitive team than any other nation. There are a lot of athletes that should go, but unfortunately how the Olympics works is we can only send a maximum of 4," said Jenson.

While there's a short break in competition, she has no trouble finding ways to stay on top of her game.

"There's lots of things to do when you don't have snow. You just have to be creative. I go to Anytime Fitness and work out like 5 times a week to work on my leg strength and explosiveness. And I also wakeboard in the summer. It kind of has a similar feeling. I jump on trampolines to work on air awareness," said Jenson.

The Rigby native also has a message for those who think there aren't any opportunities for those born and raised in a small town.

"No matter where you're from or where you grew up, you can accomplish anything," said Jenson.

That includes becoming an Olympic athlete.

The first of many competitions that will help determine who goes to the Olympics gets underway at the end of this year.

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