It's only 13 days until the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics. And even though the games are thousands of miles away in Russia, you don't have travel that far to find the home of one of the competitors.
John Landsteiner is a Mapleton native who will be representing team USA in the sport of curling. Although he now lives in Duluth, his parents still reside in Mapleton.
Cheri Landsteiner says, "I was crying. It was just very unbelievable. It's hard to imagine it's actually happening. We're very proud of him."
Meet Steve and Cheri Landsteiner. The Mapleton natives are the proud parents of an Olympian curler who are about to travel to Sochi, Russia to watch their son John compete in the 2014 Winter games.
Cheri says, "It's gonna be eat, sleep curl."
But how did these parents from the small town of Mapleton with humble roots raise an Olympian?
Cheri says, "Dedication and determination."
The Landsteiners will be in Russia for 12 days, watching eight of the nine round–robin games, and hopefully the medal rounds.
Steve says, "I would say they're as good as anybody there. They just have to put it all together at the right time."
Steve is a curler like his son. And today he was competing at the place where it all began for the Olympian: the Heather Curling Club in Mapleton.
They've been curling in Mapleton for over 150 years. And for the first time they'll be sending an Olympian to the games in Russia.
Adam Knewtson says, "Our club is very excited to have an Olympian curling in Sochi. It's very exciting. Everybody is excited. We're gathering support around them, sending them over to Russia. That's a huge deal. Especially for a small club in Mapleton, Minnesota."
The club in Mapleton has over 120 members and sees about one thousand kids come through each year. And with an Olympian who used this very ice, the sport is growing in popularity.
Knewtson says, "The message is anything can be achieved."
Achieving anything, like a kid from the small town of Mapleton wearing the red, white and blue and representing us all.
Cheri says, "The last words are go USA!"