Monday, November 3, 2014

US of kAte!

Our family always gets so excited when the Olympics roll around every 4 years, 
especially the winter Olympics because the Holt family loves our winter sports!
There is nothing quite like cheering for the USA's most elite athletes!
But this time, when the Olympics came around there was even more excitement than usual.
Mostly, because we personally knew one of the athletes, Kate Hansen.
Kate and Ashley were roommates at BYU during their freshman year and that's where their friendship began. 
They bonded over Beyonce, and Ipod dance parties, that's where they shared their favorite dance moves.
Every time we came into town, Kate would come up with the girls 
and we always looked forward to her visits to Park City.
Kate has such a dynamic, enthusiastically fun personality, which we love.
But the thing I love most about Kate is that she is humble and down-to-earth.
When asked, she will talk about her Olympic experience,
 but she feels much more comfortable turning the conversation to center around others in the room.
For the next 2 years, we followed Kate on her journey to qualify for the Olympics.
We tried to keep up with her travels in Europe and the US, as she raced to qualify.
We would try to text her before races, wishing her good luck.
She would always text back immediately and was always so appreciative
 of each and every text that we would send her way.
Following her crazy race schedule was super fun but also super stressful.
I don't know how her parents did it!
When she finally qualified in November, just a few months before the Olympics,
Ashley was there in Park City to greet her at the end of the race.
The photo below was taken by one of the Deseret News photographers
and appeared in their online story about Kate qualifying.
It's one of my favorites of these two friends and I'm so grateful that someone captured that moment!
Here is my Instagram post when Kate officially made the US Olympic Luge team!
Ashley and Brooke got this great idea to design and sell (at a minimal cost)
 these cute shirts to all of Kate's friends back at home and gave a bunch to her family.
The idea was that we wanted to send Kate our love and support while she was competing in Sochi.
So all of her fans back home were supposed to take a photo wearing their US of kAte shirt
and Instagram or FaceBook the photo with the hashtag #USofkAte.
It was a fun idea and super fun to be a part of the USofkAte fan club.
The girls also organized Ipod Dance parties, filmed the group dancing and 
sent it to her to wish her good luck,
and they held a couple of USofkAte parties on campus to watch Kate race.
This photo captured Kate's enthusiasm and personality!
I mean, have you ever seen such a cute photo!?
 We all woke up early to watch Kate take her first run early in the morning.
I've never been so nervous watching an Olympic event and
found myself amazed and shocked at how calm Kate seemed to be.
 Kate had two great runs and ended up in the top 10 after the first day.
 One thing Kate is good at, besides the luge, is dancing!
She and Ashley and their friends LOVE to dance to Beyonce.
They are kind of obsessed with Beyonce and who can blame them?
So it's no surprise that when Kate is warming up, she dances to Beyonce. 
The media picked up the story and ran with it.
Kate and her dance moves went viral and we loved it.
Not only did we get to see Kate luge but we got to see Kate dance!  So fun!

Beyonce got in on the fun and tweetted about Kate! What?!
Back to business on the second day of racing, and once again, Kate is completely cool and calm.
Her family, in the stands, were wearing the US of kAte T-shirts.
How fun is that?  To see Ashley and Brooke's cute shirts on national TV!
Love that cute Hansen family and watching them cheer Kate on was so incredibly fun!
Ready to take her first run!
Two amazing runs and Kate ends up 10th!  Wow!  Top 10 in her first Olympics!  Amazing performance on the ice...
and on the set of the TODAY show!  What?!
The next couple of days were crazy!
Kate was dancing up a storm and the media loved it!  And so did we!
Her cute interviews and awesome dance moves got her a lot of attention
and just like that, US of kAte became Dancin' Hansen!
Olympian Kate Hansen, USofkAte or Dancin' Hansen, it doesn't really matter what you call her,
but Kate is real and honest and genuine and we love her!
And we loved cheering her on at the Olympics!
It was truly an incredible experience that we will never forget!

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