SOCHI, Russia — Saturday was a day young Jackie Wiles won't soon forget.
On the same day in Sochi, the U.S. ski team rookie racer both secured a start in next Wednesday's Olympic women's downhill and and got to meet meet Picabo Street in the finish area.
Wiles was born in July 1992, less than two years before Street won the silver medal in downhill at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
Street went on to win gold in super G at the 1998 Nagano Games and inspired young skiers to follow in her trails.
Wiles was one of those girls.
“I had a picture of you on my wall, obviously,” Wiles told Street, who is working the Sochi Games as an alpine analyst for Fox.
Wiles had just finished fourth in Saturday’s downhill training run, but did not know for sure she had clinched a spot in Wednesday’s race.
“This is the best skiing of my life right now,” Wiles said. “It would be an amazing experience.”
Wiles, who was raised in Oregon, burst on the scene by winning the U.S. downhill championship last year.
Her best finish this year on the World Cup circuit was 15th place in a downhill at Cortina, Italy.