Former Lubbock news reporter becomes mother while husband competes in Winter Olympics
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - From 2012 to 2014, Caitlin Napoleoni covered the news and weather throughout the South Plains. In addition to covering weekend weather for KJTV-TV, a wide range of stories included city government and the first football season for Fearless Champion- Texas Tech’s mascot horse, who is retiring after nine years of service.
This year, the former Lubbock reporter, who is now a meteorologist for WPTZ-TV in Burlington, Vt. has been a popular subject on the other side of the news. While Caitlin’s husband, Leif Nordgren, is representing the United States as a biathlon skier at the 2022 Winter Olympics, his wife gave birth to her first child Astrid Lynae Sunday night.
The distance is quite a number for two people who are becoming parents for the first time. The Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre sits more than 6,500 miles from their home in the Adirondack Mountains. Through Facetime technology, the Olympian stayed connected with his family while his daughter was born.
During the next day, Leif entered his first competition of these Games- the finals to the men’s 20km biathlon. There, he crossed the finish line with a time of 59:29.8- more than ten minutes behind gold medalist Quentin Fillon Maillet of France. Even though his 87th-place finish was disappointing, he was still featured in one of the best-televised moments of this year’s Olympics.
“Leif, congratulations on your first race of the Games. Astrid and I are of course, so proud of you. We are so proud of all the sacrifices you have made for our family,” Caitlin said on a pre-recorded message (shown on NBC’s daytime coverage and on the USA Network), while she was holding their daughter. “Even though you’ve been so far away, we can’t wait for you to get home- but of course, we can’t wait to watch you race for the rest of these Games. We love you so much!”
While being interviewed by NBC’s Tom Abbott, Leif reflected on what’s been an emotional week for him.
“I was just thinking of my family in the warmup, and it just brought some tears to my eyes,” he said while wiping away tears. “Unfortunately, I didn’t produce a good result on the race today, but I think it’s a win no matter what for the home life.”
Leif, who also skis for the Vermont National Guard, is no stranger to the Olympic stage as he also took his skis and rifle to Sochi, Russia in 2014 and PyeongChang, South Korea four years later. Biathlon events will continue throughout the next week and a half. Coverage can be seen across NBC’s various platforms, including KCBD-TV.
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