Olympic Love Affair

Posted by Monica Hoel
This happy duo started traveling to the Olympics together 16 years ago.

Josef and Terri Smith Kiesenhofer fell in love with the Olympics in 2002.Terri Smith Kiesenhofer and husband, Josef, started going to the Olympics in 2002 when the games were in Salt Lake City.  “Honestly, it was Josef’s enthusiasm that convinced me to go.  At first, I didn’t want to take the time off but then Josef ordered a CD (man I sound old; I might as well have said 8-track!) of Olympic theme songs and started playing it around the house.” 

The trick worked. Terri joined Josef for a few days and she was hooked on the Olympic experience. “It was amazing! It’s hard to explain. We’ve all seen diehard fans, but take that diehard fan and wrap that up with extreme pride for your country and you get an Olympic fan.”

That trip might have been a one-off, because four years later Terri was pregnant with their second child and didn’t really think she could make the trip because she had been so sick.  But Olympic fervor and cupid worked things out. “I woke up on Valentine’s Day 2006 and felt amazing.  I pulled out the biggest surprise ever; I booked our flights for Torino, found a hotel online, and just hoped we’d get tickets once we arrived.  We flew out ONE week later!!”

They, of course, found tickets, and fell in love with speed skating and the bobsled. “We sat with Apollo Ohno’s Dad, & met Nancy Kerrigan!”

Josef’s grandfather died in 2009, so when the 2010 Olympics rolled around Terri suggested Josef take his Dad to Vancouver, BC. In 2014, all the Kiesenhofer men (Josef’s Dad, Josef, and their oldest son, Josef) were bound for Sochi, Russia, but things didn’t go as planned.  “There was so much political stuff going on that I vetoed the little guy going and Opa followed suit.  Josef had a remarkable time and felt safe the entire trip.” 

And what about South Korea 2018? Terri, Josef, Karli and young Josef Kiesenhofer, fondly known as K4, are being represented by dad this year. “I opted to stay back with the kids but, Josef is having a blast. Our next goal is a K4 Olympic trip when the kids are older and won’t miss school!”

  • Terri Smith Kiesenhofer and Josef Kiesenhofer don't just watch the Olympics on television.

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