Hot Air Olympic Snowboarding Coverage

Kaitlyn Farrington’s road to gold in Sochi began with cows

Her father sold a cow each week from their Idaho farm to fund travel, coaching

family ranching photo from youtube video

Farrington family photo from their Idaho farm from USSA YouTube video at bottom

Kaitlyn Farrington might never have developed into the gold-medal-winning Olympian that she became in Sochi on Wednesday if not for one thing: cows.

Snowboard - Winter Olympics Day 5

Kaitlyn Farrington wins halfpipe gold in Sochi; photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Farrington, who won the women’s halfpipe at the Winter Olympics, grew up on a farm outside of Belleve, Idaho, where she rode horses and participated in rodeo. She started skiing at age 3, and snowboarding at age 12, saying of the latter “it definitely came natural to me, I picked it up really quick.”

At age 17, Farrington was discovered by the U.S. Snowboard Team, and she began concentrating on halfpipe and competitions.

“My parents were both really supportive,” Farrington told NBC before the Winter Olympics. “They understood that I had this passion for snowboarding and that I loved to do it.

[RELATED: Get a glimpse of Farrington's natural charisma in this Snowboarder magazine interview]

“When I first started competing and going to the bigger contests it was just really expensive to be travelling and have coaches and all that kind of stuff. Every Wednesday my dad and I would load up a cow into the trailer so he could take it to the cattle sale. Then he would sell that cow and that would be my travel money for the weekend.

kaitlyn farrington with parents after learning she qualified for olympics

Kaitlyn Farrington and her parents on the day she found out she qualified for the Winter Olympics; photo from Facebook page of Farrington’s mother, Suz Locke

“We don’t have any cows left after the whole thing happened.”

Well, there might not be any cash cows remaining, but now there’s a gold medalist in the family, and that ain’t hay.

Actually, her father, Gary Farrington, expected it, telling the Idaho Statesmen the other day, “I’m looking for gold. I haven’t told her that, but that’s exactly what we’re looking for.”

Mission accomplished.