Two Westminster Students Will Compete at Torino Olympic Winter Games
February 6, 2006
Contact: Helen Langan
Torin Koos (MPC) and Zach Lund (Aviation) to Compete in Cross Country and Skeleton
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah’s Westminster College will watch several upcoming Olympic events with special interest because two of the school’s students are also Olympic athletes who have qualified to compete this year. Cross country athlete Torin Koos, who is a graduate student in the Master of Professional Communication (MPC) program, and skeleton athlete Zach Lund, who is an undergraduate student, majoring in aviation, will both be representing the U.S. at the Olympics in Torino this year.
Torin Koos, a Westminster MPC student originally from Leavenworth, Washington, was named to the USSA Olympic Team to compete in cross country events.
Koos, a sprint specialist, qualified for his second U.S. Olympic team. The son of a former U.S. biathlete, Koos has been competing in Europe for nearly a month, and recently won a sprint race in Oberstdorf, Germany. Presently, Koos is ranked #2 in sprints and #5 overall on the U.S. Cross Country team. Koos is attending Westminster with the assistance of the USSA tuition grant program that the college established last year.
The U.S. has not won a cross-country ski medal since Bill Koch's bronze in the 1976 Innsbruck Games. But American athletes have been inching up the ladder, and hopes remain high for a medal breakthrough. The cross-country team is led by medal contender Kris Freeman, 25, a New Hampshire diabetic who posted the best U.S. results in a generation during recent World Cup season.
Zach Lund, a Westminster Aviation student has had his Olympic dreams restored. Lund, who was the 2002 and 2004 America’s Cup champion and 2005 U.S. National Champion, is presently ranked #1 on the US men’s skeleton team. Lund’s Olympic dreams were nearly dashed by a doping violation resulting from a drug he has used for male-pattern baldness. He has since accepted a public warning for the violation, and has stopped using the hair replacement agent.
Lund, who is a 26 year-old Salt Lake native and Judge High School graduate, was the overall World Cup leader prior to the controversy, and is a realistic favorite to win a gold medal at the Torino Olympic Winter Games.
College officials are in the process of planning some Olympic watch parties for the campus community to cheer on these Westminster students as they pursue their dreams at the Olympics.