Olympic gold medalist visits Idaho Falls to campaign for Ahlquist

Idaho Falls

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Cyclists line up behind Kristin Armstrong. | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – A three-time Olympic gold medalist and Idaho native was in town campaigning for one of Idaho’s gubernatorial candidates.

Cycling gold medalist Kristin Armstrong led an over 10-mile-long bike ride from Snake River Landing Monday night. The bike ride was part of a campaign event for Tommy Ahlquist.

Armstrong won her first gold medal at the 2008 Bejing Olympics, her second at the 2012 London Olympics and her third at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. She won all three in the Women’s road time trial.

“I’ve known Kristin Armstrong … for a long time in our community (outreach) efforts,” Ahlquist told EastidahoNews.com. “When I ran for governor she immediately called me and said, ‘hey, I want to get behind this.'”

Armstrong said endorsing a political candidate is a big deal for her because she hasn’t ever been actively involved in politics before.

“In order to make change, I need to be part of that change as well,” Armstrong told EastIdahoNews.com.

She said she got to know Ahlquist while she was working at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center.

“I got really excited because I knew the kind of leader that Tommy was and I knew his background in healthcare as being an ER doc,” she said.

The bike ride kicked off with Armstrong in the lead and around 100 other local cyclists.

Before and after the ride Armstrong met with supporters and signed shirts, bikes, water bottles and took pictures.