Microsoft Employee’s Daughter to Compete in Winter Games
REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 12, 2010 — On the morning of January 21, Microsoft employee Danny Lange was getting ready for work when he heard footsteps bounding down the stairs. It was his daughter, Yina Moe-Lange, who ran down to him and held out her cell phone. Her hands were shaking so badly that Lange couldn’t read what was on the screen, but she was trying to show him an e-mail that had come in overnight from Denmark.
Yina had just been informed that, at age of 16, she would fulfill her childhood dream of skiing in the Olympics.
In the e-mail Yina, a Danish citizen who has lived in the U.S. since she was 4, was officially asked to compete for Denmark at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, which start on Friday. The teen will be one of the youngest Olympians at the Games when she races in the giant slalom and slalom skiing events February 24 and 26, respectively.
Yina knew she was being considered for the Danish team, but the invitation came as a surprise. “I didn’t know what to think I was so excited,” she said. “Even though I knew it was a possibility, the shock was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be.”
The news also surprised her father. Lange, a principal architect in Microsoft’s Startup Business Group, said that countries typically only send athletes who have a chance to medal. In Yina’s case, the Danish committee’s decision looks toward the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. “By picking her, they’re basically saying, ‘here’s the kick-off of our four-year plan,’” he said.