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Jeannette woman treats dad, sisters to Vancouver Olympics

| Friday, April 27, 2012, 12:40 a.m.

Danielle Linsenbigler of Jeannette won big, and she and her family traveled to the Olympics.

As spectators.

"Hilton Hotels was having a sweepstakes and I travel for work," Linsenbigler said, "I entered and I was randomly selected."

Linsenbigler is an admissions counselor for West Virginia University.

She was the winner of a five-day, four-night trip to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, including air fare, accommodations, food and tickets to five events.

"I received an e-mail in mid-January and I thought that it had to be a mistake," Linsenbigler said of her initial reaction, "I called the lady first thing the next day and I was told that I in fact did win."

The trip was for four people, so Linsenbigler took her two sisters, Nicole and Samantha, and her father, Dana Linsenbigler.

"It was wonderful to see all the athletes and to see them there for their country," Dana Linsenbigler said. "The whole experience was just amazing."

The Linsenbiglers attended events that included women's curling, snowboarding, men's ski jumping, hockey and men's and women's skeleton runs.

They were in attendance when American Shaun White won a gold medal in snowboarding.

"That was absolutely amazing," Danielle Linsenbigler said. "To see him do the trick that he created was just amazing."

The family left Pittsburgh on Feb. 16 and returned to the area on the 20th. Danielle Linsenbigler stated that their first evening in Vancouver may have been their most exciting.

"We were having dinner the first night there and Bonnie Blair walked up to our table and asked us if she could join us," Danielle Linsenbigler said of the Olympic speed skater. "And she was one of the nicest people that I've met."

"I was so surprised and completely in awe," Dana Linsenbigler said. "It was a couple of minutes before I could even say anything. She was amazing and a really nice lady."

The family enjoyed all the events that they attended and were taken with the city itself.

"We all thought that Vancouver was one of the most beautiful places that we've ever been," Danielle Linsenbigler said. "This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us."

"It was an honor to be there," Dana Linsenbigler said. "But even though it was exciting to go to the Olympics itself, the best part was that I was able to go with all my daughters. That really made a wonderful experience something that was extra special. Being able to go there and experience it with my daughters."

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