University of Oregon student in Sochi: 'I'm definitely going for gold'

      EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon's own Laurenne Ross will be making her debut for the U.S. Ski Team at Sochi.

      Ross grew up in Klamath Falls and now lives in Bend, when she's not traveling. She Skyped with NewsSource 16 from Italy, where she's training prior to Sochi.

      "It's been a lot of work and a lot of fun, a lot of really neat experiences and I wouldn't trade it for anything else."

      On the U.S. Ski Team for more than 8 years, Ross is getting her first shot at the Winter Olympics.

      "It's something that every athlete dreams of and it's always been in the back of my mind," Ross said. "It's a bit of a dream come true."

      And it's well-deserved, after what fans call an impressive year. Ross was one of six American women to land on the World Cup speed podium last season.

      "To have everyone on the team get a podium was kind of crazy," Ross said. "It's sort of unheard of. But last year we really had it together and we're trying to take that confidence into the games."

      Right now, Ross is training in Italy. She found out she'll compete in Sochi just a week before opening ceremony.

      "I'm definitely going for gold. I don't think it's that far-fetched at all. I think any given day, it's anyone's day. That's kind of the thing with ski racing. There are so many variables."

      As the days countdown to Sochi, Ross is still waiting to find out which events she'll compete in, hoping for the Super Combined, the Downhill and Super G.

      "It's hard because i mean we are racing in all these World Cups prior to the Olympics and then none of us even know if we're going." she said. "So it's total craziness."

      Ross grew up in Klamath Falls and put her first skiis on at just 18 months. But she always held onto her love of music. Well versed in playing the piano and violin, she picked up guitar about 5 years ago.

      "It's a very social instrument. Everyone likes to sing along and we have a fun time."

      While training kicks up a notch, Ross will head to Munich before Sochi on February 4th. As Russia gets ready for an influx of athletes and beefed up security, Ross says she won't let any threats compromise her focus.

      "It's kind of on everybody's mind a little bit but i'm pretty confident that everything is going to be secure, that we're going to be safe. And, you know, we've got a couple of good plans in place in case anything happens and the security there is going to be really tight. I'm just going to try and not worry about that and focus on my performance."

      And her hometown is cheering her on.

      "Thank you! thanks for being there. I love you all. Go Oregon!"