Jacqueline Wiles, daughter of a West Linn resident, takes her shot in Sochi

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jacqueline Wiles won her way onto the U.S. Ski Team headed for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where she will compete in women's downhill racing.For Jacqueline Wiles, success is all downhill. And the 21-year-old former Canby area resident can't wait to get there.

In January, she won her way onto the U.S. Ski Team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where she was scheduled to compete in women’s downhill racing Wednesday. Results from the Rosa Kkutor Olympic venue were not available by the Tidings's press time.

Joining her Wednesday on the American team were Stacey Cook and Julia Mancuso.

She qualified by adding to her World Cup points by placing 15th in downhill races at Cortina, d’Amperzzo, Italy.

Not bad for her rookie year on the World Cup circuit. Her first World Cup contest was in November.

The 2010 Canby High School graduate expressed her elation on her Facebook page:

“Words can't even describe how I feel right now. To think a year ago I wasn't even on the U.S. Ski Team, to now be going to the Olympics is unreal!”

Wiles was just named to the U.S. Alpine team in September, something she worked hard for, said her father, Portland attorney David B. Wiles.

She started the 2013-14 season aiming to hone her skills for the 2018 games, he said.

“Her goal this year was to ski consistently and successfully on the World Cup,” her father said.

She did that and more.

She won the U.S. World Cup women’s downhill championship in December. She followed that with a good showing in French and Australian events and topped it all off with her Cortina performance.

“They knew she had the potential and in January she delivered,” her father said.

The Wiles family moved to the Canby-Aurora area in 1999, said her father, now a West Linn resident.

Jacqueline Wiles and older brother, Steele, first attended North Marion School District and switched to Canby when she was in the eighth grade. Both she and her brother would later ski on the Canby High team.

The whole family skied and Wiles got her start at age 2. Her dad got her a pair of kid’s skis and poles and turned her loose at Ski Bowl.

He had no idea the little urchin floundering through the snow would grow up to become an Olympic skier.

“I knew she loved to ski,” he said. “Even after they had trained for the day, she would go out and ski by herself.”

She did most of her skiing at Mount Hood, he said.

“Five years ago, I moved her up to White Pass (Wash.) because of the coaching up there,” he said.

Today, Wiles attends Westminster College, a private liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, Utah, on a four-year merit scholarship.

Wiles’ father was in Sochi to cheer her on.

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