An Italian athlete sponsored by Kiku apples medaled at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Dominik Windisch and his three teammates in the mixed relay biathlon won bronze for Italy. Windisch is sponsored by Kiku, an Italian apple marketed exclusively in North America by Wenatchee, Wash.-based Columbia Marketing International, according to a CMI news release.
Kikus are grown in the U.S. by Wenatchee-based Columbia Fruit Packers Inc.; Rice Fruit Co., Gardners, Pa.; and Applewood Orchards, Deerfield, Mich.
Windisch is one of 19 professional or Olympic athletes Kiku has sponsored.
CMI gained rights to the Kiku in 2006. The company imports the apple from New Zealand in the summer before switching to Washington in late summer.
The original variety branded Kiku is the Brak variety, said Steve Lutz, CMI's vice president of marketing. There is also a newer strain, Fubrak.