The last place we saw Patrick Deneen was at home on the range, but for most of the last decade, it's been hard to pin down the champion freestyle skier.
"The nature of skiing in general is you have to follow the snow. You don't have a choice," said Deneen in Cle Elum on Thursday.
Deneen is a world champ and two time Olympian who has traveled the earth for the U.S. Ski Team. He's also a humble star who grew up skiing at Snoqualmie Summit. But the freestyle skiing champ came home for what may be his career highlight.
"We're excited to be together, be married, and not have her leave the country all the time," said Deneen, gazing to the person on his left.
Ellie Koyander has also spent the last decade criss-crossing the globe. She too is a freestyle skier and British Champ whose father had a chance encounter years ago at a meet in Russia.
"This amazing skier was skiing down. My dad couldn't contain himself, so he nudged the guy next to him and said, 'Look at this guy go!'" Koyander said. "The guy he talked to said, 'Well that's my son. That's my son thanks much,' and that guy skiing down was Patrick."
The two proud dads hit it off, and shortly after, so did Deneen and Koyander. They said their relationship involved "living out of suitcase" traveling the world for meets. They'd often be in the same town, but far away from home.
They both qualified for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, skiing for their respective countries. The fantastic journey is what led them back to Cle Elum and the family ranch.
Last Saturday, the couple exchanged their vows, and added a new title: husband and wife. There were guests from all over the world, representing the path they both took to get here.
For now, they both say they're putting marriage over moguls. That means heading out this weekend for their honeymoon.
The future? The new Mrs. Deneen says she's exploring roles in real estate and teaching, but one thing is for sure. The two Olympians, finally, after years on the road, will be together.
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