It’s not every day someone gets to cross an item off their bucket list.
But Fairview Northland Hospital President John Herman will be doing just that when he hops on a jetliner headed for the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, and the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Herman and his wife Diana will be heading to Sochi to watch their daughter Keri compete in slopestyle skiing, an event making its Olympic debut in Sochi.
Keri Herman, 31, is a Bloomington Jefferson graduate who first made a name for herself on the ice rink. She was named to the first Jefferson girls varsity hockey team, first wearing the blue, white and silver of the Jefferson Jaguars as a seventh-grader. She went on to play varsity hockey for seven years, earning numerous all-conference and MVP honors. Herman eventually graduated from Visitation High School, a Catholic girls school located in Mendota Heights closely associated with St. Thomas Academy.
While hockey was big in the Herman household — Keri’s brother Kevin also played for Jefferson with the Minnesota Wild’s Zach Parise — it was on the Twin Cities ski slopes where the Hermans spent some of their family time.
“Skiing was my passion,” John Herman said.
John Herman was once the captain of the ski team at Edina High School (before the split to Edina East and Edina West) and was a ski instructor on the jumps at Highland Hills in West Bloomington.
When it came time to raise a family, John and Diana realized that competition sports like ice hockey were great fun to be a part of, “But we wanted our kids to learn life sports,” John Herman said.
That meant swimming, golf and skiing at Highland Hills and Buck Hill in Burnsville.
After high school, Keri Herman moved to Boulder, Colo., where she attended the University of Colorado. She graduated in 2005 with degrees in finance and marketing. But instead of going out into the business world, Herman went out onto the ski slopes of Colorado to earn a living.
It’s there that she has been honing her skills in slopestyle skiing, an event in which skiers perform difficult tricks off of jumps. Slopestyle skiing has its origin in snowboarding.
Herman has plenty on her list of accomplishments.
Her first championship medal was earned during the 2008 Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo., where she earned a bronze medal in slopestyle skiing. She followed that up with a bronze medal on the 2009 Winter Dew Tour at Mount Snow, Vermont, and then a silver medal at the 2010 Winter Dew Tour in Breckenridge. Also in 2010, Herman won silver medals at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo., and the Winter X Games Europe in Tignes, in the Northern Alps of France.
In 2011, Herman once again won silver medals at the Winter X Games in Aspen and the Winter X Games Europe in Tignes. She also earned a bronze medal at the The FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships in Park City, Utah. In 2011 she was named to the first US Freeskiing Slopestyle team.
It was in 2012, and again in 2013, that Herman found gold.
She was the top slopestyle ski finisher at the 2012 Ushuaia World Cup in Argentina and again at the 2013 Copper Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colo.
Her greatest honor to date came two weeks ago, on Saturday, Jan. 18, in Park City, Utah. That’s where Herman finished second in the final Olympic selection event in slopestyle skiing, which earned her a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team and a trip to Sochi.
The skier’s parents have their plane tickets in hand and hotel rooms booked. They couldn’t be more excited.
“This is a bucket list deal,” John Herman said.
“My daughter’s in the Olympics. I’m not going to miss it,” he said.
While Herman is away from his third-floor office at Fairview Northland Regional Hospital in Princeton, the staff at Fairview Northland will be keeping a close eye on the events at Sochi.
Already, there is quite an interest in the 2014 Winter Olympics and Keri Herman is quite the buzz in the hospital offices, hallways and cafeteria.
And here’s a little known fact: While Herman has access to great medical care as a world-class athlete, it was in Princeton that she received some of her most recent medical advice.
Keri Herman accompanied her father John Herman to work at Fairview Northland Regional Hospital over Christmas week.
It was Christmas Eve, and Keri Herman had been having trouble with a bad knee.
“We ran into Dr. John Lesko, our new orthopedic specialist. He told her how to best handle treatment of her knee,” John Herman said.
With advice from the Princeton doctor in tow, Herman went on to compete in three more qualifying events, one in which she earned the silver medal that earned her a berth on the Olympic team.