Keep an eye on Yooper’s Olympians in Chinese games | News, Sports, Jobs

Hockey player Abby Roque. Snowboarder Nick Baumgartner. Watch for these names in the coming weeks as they are Yoopers who will be competing in the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China.

Roque, 25, is from Sault Ste. Marie and is a forward for the United States women’s hockey team. She talks in her online intro to the 2022 Olympics about playing hockey on her backyard rink. You can watch it at

Roque’s father was a coach at Lake Superior State. His mother is from Calumet.

The United States women’s hockey team is looking to repeat their gold medal at the 2018 Olympics, with their main rival being Canada.

Baumgartner, an Iron River native who turned 40 in December, will be competing in his fourth Olympics as a member of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team.

He participated in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 in snowboardcross, with a fourth place finish at the 2018 games in PyeongChang, his best result to date.

You can show your support for Baumgartner by purchasing merchandise from the webpage or from Advanta print in Iron Mountain at

This year, Baumgartner is the oldest snowboarder in Olympic history and the oldest athlete competing for Team USA.

Although 29-year-old Deedra Irwin is from Pulaski, Wis., we also consider her a Yooper, of the transplanted variety. She attended Michigan Tech University from 2011 to 2015. She raced cross country and competed in Nordic skiing as a freshman before focusing on skiing for the rest of her time at Houghton.

On Sunday, Irwin made history as the top finisher in Team USA Olympics history in the 15k biathlon. Not bad for a woman who added the rifle component to her game just four years ago.

We know Upper Peninsula residents who love winter will watch the games. There will be a total of 109 medal events in the following 15 sports: Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Cross Country Skiing, Curling, Figure Skating, Freestyle Skiing, Hockey, Luge, Nordic Combined, Short Track, Skeleton, Ski Jumping , snowboarding and speed skating. There are also seven new events: women’s monobob, men’s and women’s big air (freestyle skiing), mixed team snowboard cross, mixed team jumping, mixed team short track relay and mixed team ski jumping.

That’s a lot of winter sports to follow and we know having a few Yoopers to cheer on makes the Olympics even more exciting.

We wish Roque, Baumgartner and Irwin good luck in Beijing. Go Team USA!

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