TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. -- Timberline Lodge ski area got big Olympics news on Wednesday.

It’s now an official training site for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are less than a year away.

Over many summers, Timberline’s Palmer Snow Field has served as a popular summertime practice center, lifting world-class skiers a little closer to the sun and their Olympic dreams. Now, their secret weapon is an official part of team USA.

“We formalized a relationship with the U.S. Ski and Snowboarding teams which means we're an official summer training center which means they're going to be spending a lot of time with us,” said John Burton, Timberline’s Director of Marketing.

Burton said Timberline had been working on the long-term agreement since last summer. He said the resulting deal will help support elite-level athletes while promoting Timberline's world class training center.

“Anytime you get that many elite athletes training together at the same time, they just kind of feed off each other,” Burton said.

Guests at Timberline Lodge were thrilled to hear the news.

“I'm excited to see any Timberline merchandise with the U.S. Ski Team,” said Jeff Jonjevic.

As part of the agreement, Timberline will be allowed to license merchandise. Burton said they'll also promote the athletes through meet and greets and social media.

“This place has such great energy already,” said guest Kimberly Bergmark. “To have the team here, I think it's just a really exciting time.”

It's also closer and more cost effective than heading to Chile or New Zealand—both, summer practice alternatives. Instead, most of the U.S. team will fix their eyes on South Korea while on the slopes of Mt. Hood.

“Hopefully that translates into some great results next winter,” said Burton. He said the athletes will likely hit the slopes starting in June.

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