The Alaska ski party is going on the road to this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea. The 49th state will be well represented, thanks to Alaska Pacific University.

Half of the 20 members of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Cross Country team are connected to the 49th state. The group was officially announced in a Friday statement from U.S. Ski and Snowboarding.

Kikkan Randall leads the APU group to South Korea with a record fifth appearance. Sadie Bjornsen will go for a second time. Rosie Brennan and Rosie Frankowski are in for their first times.

Another Alaskan, South High School graduate Caitlin Patterson, will go. Jessica Yeaton, who has also skied at APU, will be in Pyeongchang skiing for Australia. 

The men are doing their part. Erik Bjornsen is making a return trip, joined by first-timers Logan and Reese Hanneman, Tyler Kornfield and Scott Patterson. Patterson won the Mount Marathon race in Seward last July.

This will also be a family affair, with three sets of siblings on the roster -- the Bjornsens, Hannemans and Pattersons -- which should simplify travel for family members attending.

"Never in our history have we fielded a team with so many podium-proven World Cup and World Championship athletes," cross country head coach Chris Grover said in Friday's statement.

Randall, an Anchorage skiing icon, also expects a big performance.

"I am especially excited about this team going into 2018 as the strongest cross-country contingent I’ve ever been a part of," Randall said.

Senator Dan Sullivan Friday recognized the Alaska Pacific University Nordic Ski Team in his weekly "Alaskan of the Week" series. Watch the video of his speech below.

The Olympics' opening ceremony is Feb. 9.

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