Trio of Ohioans set to compete in Sochi

LISA CORNWELL Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Kelly Gunther wasn't sure she would ever skate again after a serious ankle injury four years ago. Now she is one of three Ohioans competing in the upcoming Olympics in Russia.

Gunther, a native of northeast Ohio's Lorain, fractured her ankle in competition in 2010. The injury came not long after Gunther barely missed a spot on the long track team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

"2010 was definitely not one of my better years on the ice," Gunther recently told The Morning Journal in Lorain. "But it was the year that helped shape who I am and made me realize what I can accomplish when I keep positive and focus on what I want."

Gunther, 26, will compete in the 1,000-meter event in the Sochi Olympics that begin Friday.

Two hockey players, also from northeast Ohio, are trying again for Olympic gold. Brooklyn Heights' Kelli Stack and Brianne McLaughlin-Bittle, from Sheffield Village, won silver medals in 2010. The United States and Canada are favored to meet again in this year's gold-medal game.

McLaughlin-Bittle told The Chronicle Telegram of Elyria that she felt a sense of relief after learning she had made the 2014 team.

"The last time around, I didn't realize what I was getting myself into," said the 26-year-old goaltender. "I was just happy to be there. This year, I knew how fun it could be to compete in the Olympics for your country."

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