Florence holds pep rally for local Olympic athlete

Florence held a pep rally at school for alum, Nita Englund, who will be making her first trip to the Olympics in South Korea as a ski jumper, February 7, 2018. (WLUK)

FLORENCE (WLUK) -- A northern Wisconsin athlete is traveling to South Korea for the Olympics.

Florence High School alum, Nita Englund, 25, is making her first trip to the Olympics as a ski jumper.

Wednesday afternoon, the 2010 graduate got a pep rally in her honor.

"What a feeling. Everyone was just like screaming and hollering. We were just ecstatic, because we knew that this had been a dream of hers," said Florence High School physical education instructor, Karen Harrison.

She wasn't there but her parents were.

Her mother, Julia Englund, was taken back by the support her daughter received from the Florence community, "I was not expecting it to be such a big thing and it was amazing actually. I didn't really think, I thought it would be like 20 minutes and we'd be done but the turnout, the enthusiasm and the preparation that went into it was great."

Since picking up ski jumping, Julia says her daughter has had to make some serious sacrifices to pursue her dream, "She's missed a lot of holidays, but she's of the nature of that's what she has to do."

Nita wrote a letter from South Korea to her hometown which she asked to be read at the pep rally.

In part, it read, "It's been a lifelong dream to represent the United States, Florence and the UP."

Julia says she's leaving for South Korea Thursday to watch her daughter jump.

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