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Rigby native Jessika Jenson to make Olympic debut

By Tyler Berg
Published On: Feb 05 2014 11:43:22 PM CST

Rigby native Jessika Jenson will snowboard in the women's slopestyle qualifying round in the Olympics early Thursday morning.

RIGBY, Idaho -

Rigby native Jessika Jenson will snowboard in the women's slopestyle qualifying round in the Olympics early Thursday morning.

Jenson is the last snowboarder in the last heat. The Jenson family expects her run to be a little before 5 a.m. They said they'll be awake, watching live from their home in Rigby.

Olympic staff have been making changes to the slopestyle course as several athletes have complained about the course's conditions. One men's snowboarders broke his collarbone on the course, while U.S. snowboarder Shawn White decided to not even compete on the slopestyle course.

Jessika's father, Kevin Jenson, says the it does look intimidating at first.

"I think there are some concerns, but I think they're working as they go to try and improve it," said Kevin. "You know, the athletes get some days to practice, and hopefully it turns out good for everyone."

Safety in Sochi has also been a concern as threats of terrorism continue. Despite the worldwide concern, the family tries its best not to think about it.

"We will worry, but so far everything's going good," said Jessika's mother, Natalie. "She feels secure and safe, and that makes us feel better."

Natalie says she wishes the family could be in Sochi, but will be rooting Jessika on with the rest of Eastern Idaho.

"She said she'll be able to hear us," said Natalie. "We're her No. 1 fans."

Jessika's little sister, Ashley, has also taken up snowboarding. Her father, Kevin, says she's just as good as Jessika was when she first started. So, Rigby - you may have another Olympian on your hands in the near future.

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