Six Minnesota Olympians dropped in on Sen. Al Franken's weekly Minnesota breakfast to meet the senator and fill up on mahnomin — a kind of wild rice porridge. (Franken serves up the dish each week, as per the recipe from Minneapolis breakfast spot Hell's Kitchen.)
Among them was Edina native and alpine skier Kaylin Richardson, along with members of the U.S. Men's Olympic Curling team, an all-Minnesota group. Curlers Chris Plys and Jeff Isaacson hail from Duluth, John Shuster is from Chisholm, John Benton is from St. Michael, and team coach Phil Drobnick is from Eveleth.
In all, Minnesota had more athletes in this year's Vancouver Olympics than any other state. Twenty-one athletes from the North Star State participated in the games. Others, most notably skier Lindsey Vonn, have strong ties to the state.
The senator's office was so full of people Wednesday that Franken had to stand on a table to address the crowd. He said he was rooting for all Minnesota's native sons and daughters during the games...even when he didn't really know when he should be cheering.
"I watched a lot of curling," Franken admitted to his breakfast guests. "I still don't really understand it, but I watched a lot of it."
Above: Sen. Al Franken with members of the U.S. Men's Curling team and their coach Phil Drobnick.
Hayley Tsukayama is an intern in the Star Tribune's Washington bureau.