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South Carolina speedskater prepares for Olympics

You don't hear a lot of Southern drawls at the Winter Olympics.

The U.S. Olympic team that has gathered in Vancouver mostly hails from states like Colorado or Minnesota — places where ponds freeze over and enormous mountains beckon.

Lauren Cholewinski — a long-track speedskater who grew up in Rock Hill, S.C., and now lives in Utah — is an exception.

"When I first got out to Utah," Cholewinski said, "people looked at me like I was speaking French."

Cholewinski, 21, will participate in the Winter Olympics' opening ceremonies Friday and will compete four days later for the U.S. She has progressed from a roller rink in Rock Hill that was then called "Roller Magic" to the biggest stage for her sport in the world. And she has done so quickly. Speedskaters generally reach their peak in their late 20s, so Cholewinski hopes to race in the 2014 Olympics and perhaps those in 2018 as well.

Read the complete story at newsobserver.com

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