Twenty-seven athletes with Minnesota ties are on the 230-member U.S. Olympic team that will compete in the Sochi Winter Games. Several other Minnesota natives or residents will be helping them prepare, making sure their events run smoothly or telling their stories through the media. They include:

•Rohene Ward, Minneapolis, figure skating choreographer

•Alicia Hanrahan, South St. Paul, hockey linesman

•John Benton, St. Michael, NBC curling analyst

•Pete Fenson, Bemidji, NBC curling analyst

•Chad Salmela, Duluth, NBC biathlon/cross-country skiing analyst

•Natalie Darwitz, Eagan, NBC women's hockey analyst

•Robb Stauber, Medina, women's hockey goaltending coach

•Brent Proulx, St. Paul, women's hockey equipment manager

•Dr. Michael Stuart, Rochester, men's hockey team physician

•Todd Richards, Crystal, men's hockey assistant coach

•Tim Muller, Hibbing, men's curling coach

•Mark Jones, Hastings, senior director of communications for the U.S. Olympic Committee

Rachel Blount