The Olympic Competition in South Korea is underway, but some Olympics fans in West Virginia are already looking ahead to 2022. Now, West Virginia is already helping lay the groundwork for the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.
"It's like a ten year old plant here. we'll be able to wash these off, and do the divisions," said Barry Glick, owner of Sunshine Farm and Gardens in Greenbrier Co.
To look over the thousands of plants at Sunshine Farm and Gardens, you have to care about their well-being constantly, and Glick does just that.
"They're just getting ready to flower," said Glick.
In fact, Glick is more like a coach with his athletes, training them for their big day.
"There's not a place in the United States that these won't grow, from Florida to Alaska; they're hardy," said Glick.
In a couple of months, the blooms will leave West Virginia for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Just like contestants qualifying for a big event, these blossoms had to pass the test of the Chinese horticulturists.
Gov. Jim Justice arranged their tour of Sunshine Farm and Gardens, Glick's blooms received first place. probably because they last over a hundred years, bloom in the winter, and make great cut flowers. perfect for the athlete's winning bouquet.
"A week later we signed the deal, to send these plants to China," said Glick.
This isn't the first time these buds received fame. Glick's helebores graced the pages of Southern Living Magazine, podcasts, and college campuses across the country, but now they're on the international stage and in a sports arena, too, as landscaping material across China.
"They'll go to Baltimore, Columbus and within 24 hours (will be) on China Airlines" said Glick.
But what's most important is seeing a piece of West Virginia ahead of the game and part of the victory.
"People have very entrenched ideas about West Virginia as a dark, sad, poor place, and it's not. It's a beautiful mountain paradise. To get them all the way to China, and that people there will be able to see some of the beauty that comes from West Virginia, I think it's mind blowing," said Krista Osborne, a farm associate.