Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, February 11 2014 at 4:44 PM, Updated: Tue, February 11 2014 at 6:59 PM
Keno, Ore. -- The Sochi Olympics are bringing back memories for a Keno woman that once made the U.S. Olympic team...but never had a chance to compete.
Susie Youngdale made the U.S. Olympic archery team back in 1980.
But the U.S. boycotted the Moscow Summer Games to protest Russia's invasion of Afganistan...
"You saw years of training just kind of go away with the stroke of a pen."
The irony isn't lost on Youngdale...
"2014, we are in Afganistan, and I think we're lucky the Russians didn't 'dis-invite' us to the Olympics."
Youngdale has been able to turn her passion for archery into a business, and her passion for the Olympics hasn't waned...
"I do watch them - stay up too late some nights watching some of the events."
Youngdale says there have been changes over the past 34 years.
There's less emphasis on amateur status...the technology's evolved...but Youngdale believes the Olympic spirit of the athletes remains intact...
"All the work, and the effort, and the sacrifice that you put forth to compete - that is still there."
A total of 65 nations chose to boycott the 1980 Moscow games.
The Soviet Union and 14 other eastern bloc countries countered by boycotting the 1984 summer games in Los Angeles.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.