Hawarden family cheers on Olympian Brian Gregg - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Hawarden family cheers on Olympian Brian Gregg

HAWARDEN, Iowa (KTIV) - As the Olympics continue, one cross-country skier with ties to Siouxland is hoping to make an impact.

Outside of Larry and Carol Gregg's home in Hawarden, Iowa, an Olympic flag waves in the wind. Thousands of miles away in Sochi, Russia, their cousin Brian is competing as a cross-country skier on Team USA.

"We knew he was kind of on the bubble," said Larry. "He took second in U.S. Nationals last month, so we knew he had a pretty good shot after getting second at Nationals.

Brian's aunt and uncle, Glenn and LaVonne Gregg, also live in Hawarden. Glenn's brother is Brian's father Jim, who graduated from West Sioux high school in 1960. Jim grew up around farming and cattle feeding.

"Jim was not going to be a farmer or a cattle feeder," said LaVonne. "He was an outdoor guy also."

In fact, Brian's whole family is filled with outdoor enthusiasts. His wife Caitlin competed for Team USA in the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, also in skiing, and will be cheering Brian on in Sochi.

"His wife actually won nationals and didn't make it to the Olympics this time," said Larry.

Even without wife competing by his side, getting the call to compete in Sochi carries a lasting impact.

"It is something that is an accomplishment that's lifetime," said Glenn. "Not just a season, not just a game, but it's a lifetime."

And while the Greggs haven't had much contact with Brian over the last few years, the family is still close - and extremely proud - of Brian's accomplishments.

"We're just happy that he's in there and he's going to make a name for himself," said Glenn. "We're all going to remember him as an Olympian."

So that flag in front of Larry and Carol's door doesn't just represent Team Gregg. It represents a family's support for one of their own.

"It's a great thing," said Glenn.

"Very inspirational," said Larry.

"It is so great," said LaVonne.

Brian's sister and twin brother will join parents Jim and Jan in Sochi to watch him compete. Last weekend Brian finished 47th out of 68 competitors in the 30-kilometer skiathlon. He will compete again on Friday in the 15-kilometer classic before finishing off his Olympic competition in the 50-kilometer freestyle.
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