U.S. Ski Team uses product made in central Illinois

By WEEK Producer

February 17, 2014 Updated Feb 17, 2014 at 8:12 PM CDT

EDWARDS, Ill. -- A company in the Peoria area is gaining a lot of attention from the Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.

Jake King assembles portable tree stands, the kind used by hunters.

He works for a company in Edwards called Lone Wolf. Recently one of their stands showed up on TV, halfway around the world at the Olympics.

"My 12 year-old son was really excited," said Jared Schlipf, president of Lone Wolf Portable Tree Stands. "He said dad, dad, get in here, Lone Wolf is on the Olympics."

It turns out coaches for the U.S. Ski Team are using the tree stands to watch competitors navigate portions of the course in Sochi.

"They were 80-feet up and the coach actually said they had five stations set up on the course," Schlipf said. "What it allows them to do is see the skiers for a much longer time, I believe 30 to 35 seconds."

The 50-or-so seconds of exposure on the Olympic telecast resulted in hundreds of texts and e-mails to Schlipf, not to mention millions of dollars of free advertising.

"To see a decal in somebody's window is one thing, but then to actually see your product being used knowing that you or one of your friends could have built it and that it came from the factory where you work is just a really cool experience," said Jake King.

"That's very neat and I think it's a home town pride thing that we can all appreciate and definitely a boost to the company and the area," Schlipf said.

That is almost as good as a gold medal.

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