Nuns and family gather at Watch Party for Olympic speed skater Kristen Santos – NBC Connecticut

The Higganum cheer squad was back this week to watch Fairfield’s Kristen Santos compete in the 1500 meter speed skating competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The Santos family and the nuns of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Higganum rejoiced when Kristen won her quarter-final race.

After being very animated watching Kristen compete last week in the 1,000 meters, Sister Doretta D’Albero was calmer watching the races this week.

“At first I was clapping and screaming. But now that I see the short track and understand the intricacies of it, now I’m holding my breath until the very end, because I mean, she was at a quarter turn last time,” D’Albero said.

And rightly so, because in just a split second, Kristen’s dreams of winning a medal were shattered.

“Someone again, fell right in front of her, pulled her away, kinda frustrating, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” said Donna Soukup, Kristen Santos’ mother.

“Frustrated, unhappy, wishing it wasn’t, but it is. But she made the most of it,” said Sister Lany Jo Smith of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It has been quite a whirlwind watching Kristen compete in the Olympics.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this,” Smith said.

“We really had a great time cheering him on and you know, decorating and entertaining people,” D’Albero said.

And Santos’ sisters and family are still proud.

“She’s a young woman with a lot of integrity and she’s a champion no matter what because of this interview. [referring to an interview Kristen gave after her 1000 meter medal race.] She had her emotions right where they needed to be and said, “I’m not angry. I’m sad. I’m disappointed.’ And that must be disappointing. She worked so hard. And she wanted it so badly,” D’Albero said.

“I’m very proud of her and I love her. Me and, you know, she tried and she was unlucky and you know not to blame herself,” Soukup said. .

Kristen herself said she was so grateful for their support.

“I appreciate them so much. I really feel their support deep inside me. They are the first people to message me before, after every race, waking up in the middle of the night. And these are the people who made it all so much easier to deal with, all the heartbreaks I’ve had here, all the ups I’ve had here. You know, the sick home that I am, they go above and beyond to make sure I’m as happy with my experience and as comfortable as possible here,” Santos said.

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