Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Follow All The Winter Olympics Action Feb. 6-24 on NBC

Chicago-Area Athletes Soak In Opening Ceremonies

By Rob Elgas
|  Friday, Feb 7, 2014  |  Updated 11:14 PM CDT
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Some athletes forces to skip festivities in order to rest up for competitions.

Some athletes forces to skip festivities in order to rest up for competitions.

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Chicago-area athletes were among the many Olympians who experienced the lavish Opening Ceremonies Friday that officially kicked off the 2014 Winter Games.

"It was amazing. Just a breathtaking experience, it's crazy," bobsledder Aja Evans said, as she took in the sights and sounds with her Team USA mates.

Glenview speed skater Brian Hansen left early, but briefly experienced an opening ceremony moment.

"It's always so inspiring going in there and being with everyone else from Team USA, and seen the crowd and seeing the excitment, it's pretty cool," Hansen said.

Not all of the local athletes attended the festivities. Suburban Olympians Megan Bozek, Kendall Coyne and the rest of the women's hockey team decided to rest instead, because they play Finland at noon Saturday.

"I think it's a long time standing on their feet, the walking, the waiting behind the scenes I guess, so I think as a team they decided that was the best thing to do to not walk," Megan's mother, Patty Bozek said.

Seventeen-year-old speed skater Emory Lehman of Oak Park also decided to rest his feet. He competes in the 5,000 meter on Saturday.

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