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Colorado’s 2018 Winter Olympic Contenders in PyeongChang, South Korea

Liz GS

Colorado is sending at least 31 athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.  That’s more than any other state!  Read on to find out more about these talented athletes.  Good luck to them & Go Team USA!

“Racer Ready!” Just red and blue gates ahead of you: tunnel vision. Praying your inspection and visualizations were accurate. Hoping your training – dryland, in the weight room, and on snow – has prepared you for the turns ahead. Then the noise dies down: tunnel hearing. Just the start referee: “three…two…one…go!”

As my daughter would say with her hands balled up in fists, “I’m sooo excited!” The Winter Olympics are almost here! And all Coloradoans should be sooo excited! That’s because a good number of Winter Olympians call Colorado home. Especially when it comes to skiing. Because, well, Colorado has some of the best slopes and snow in the country. But I’m not biased…. 🙂

Alpine Ski Racing: Another Life

Many lifetimes ago, I proudly donned a skintight downhill suit nearly every weekend in high school during the winter. I chased snow during the summers, traveling to multi-week ski camps in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Always hoping to find a good point-race in Utah or back east in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont. I attended something like only three days of school the third quarter of my senior year because of my racing schedule. Traveling to Europe and racing with the United States Ski Team’s development team. Obsessively documenting my workouts, diet, and weight lifting repetitions. Being clocked going about 80 miles per hour in the downhill at Nationals in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with a jump designed to go over a car. It all sounds so crazy to me, and I was there!

These days, my recollections of that lifetime – when I lived and breathed ski racing – are mostly limited to anxiety dreams about missing a start: failing to reach the start of the race for one reason or another. In the dreams, sometimes I’m talking to a friend in the ski lodge; other times, I get stuck on a chairlift with the start tent or shack in sight; and still others, I make a wrong turn and go careening down an out-of-bounds snowfield. (In all honesty, that last one actually happened – except it wasn’t out-of-bounds because the Swiss ski area didn’t believe in out-of-bounds markers, or any trail markers for that matter!)

You can understand why I get so excited for the Winter Olympics. There are many amazing events to watch, but my heart belongs to alpine ski racing.

Lucky for Coloradoans, our ski and snowboard clubs and teams produce some of the best athletes. Check out all the Colorado competitors attending the 2018 Winter Olympic games in PyeongChang, South Korea:

Colorado Athletes @ the 2018 Winter Olympics

It looks like the Centennial State is sending at least 31 athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang! That’s a pretty great showing – more than any other state in the country! 🙂 (This list may not reflect the ultimate Team USA because changes may be made based on injuries, illness, and exceptional circumstances.)

Alpine Skiing

David Chodounsky | Crested Butte

David will be a three time Olympian once the games in PyeongChang begin.  He participated in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics too.

Wiley Maple | Aspen

Wiley is a Downhill underdog, but he’s got perseverance – having to pay his own way to ski on the National Team to the tune of $30,000 this year alone…and that should make for a perfect Olympic story!

Alice McKennis | New Castle

Alice is a speed skier, excelling at Downhill and Super G.  She participated in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Mikaela Shiffrin | Eagle-Vail

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Mikaela became the youngest person to win an Olympic gold medal in slalom; she was only eighteen. Undoubtedly, Mikaela will pick up several more Olympic medals – South Korea and beyond. Not only has she transitioned from a slalom skier to an all-around alpine racer, Mikaela won the overall and slalom titles in the 2017 World Cup standings.

Lindsey Vonn | Vail

Lindsey has a whopping 81 World Cup victories under her belt – more than any other woman in the history of ski racing. She also has won more World Cup crystal globe titles than any other ski racer, period. The 2018 Olympics will mark her fourth (2002, 2006, 2010). Lindsey had to sit out the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi because of an injury so undoubtedly she is hungry to add to her collection of medals – gold and bronze (Downhill and Super G, respectively, at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010).  And she is on fire right now!

Biathlon

Joanne Reid | Boulder

Joanne attended the University of Colorado Buffalo – go Buffs!

Bobsled

Lauren Gibbs | Denver

Lauren has many World Cup medals – including two gold.

Nathan Weber | Pueblo West

Not only will Nathan represent his country at the 2018 Winter Olympics, he also serves his country – he’s a Green Beret in the U.S. Army! Oh, and he’s also won a World Cup medal – a silver this season in Park City, Utah.

Cross-Country Skiing

Simi Hamilton | Aspen

Growing up in Aspen, Simi excelled at many sports like climbing and mountain biking.  But his speciality is cross-country skiing – and sprinting at that.  PyeongChang will be his third Winter Olympic appearance – along with 2010 and 2014.

Noah Hoffman | Aspen

Noah attended the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi – and he competed in four Cross-Country Skiing events.

Free-Style Skiing

Casey Andringa | Boulder

Casey will compete in Moguls at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Aaron Blunck | Crested Butte

At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Aaron got 7th place in Halfpipe.  He got gold at the 2017 World Championships so things are looking pretty good for him at his second Olympic experience!

Tess Johnson | Vail

At just eighteen years old, PyeongChang will be Tess’ first Olympic appearance.  She also plays soccer, and her high school team has won two state championships.

Gus Kenworthy | Telluride

Gus won silver in Slopestyle at the 2014 Games in Sochi.  In South Korea, he’ll compete in both Slopestyle and Halfpipe.  Gus is also the first openly gay male athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics.

Keaton McCargo | Telluride

Keaton recently got 8th place (Dual Moguls) and 10th place (Moguls) at the 2017 World Championships.

Alex Ferreira | Aspen

Alex has medaled at the X-Games in Oslo and Aspen.

Torin Yater-Wallace | Basalt

This will be Torin’s second Olympic berth, having competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.  Just two years ago, he had a life-threatening infection and was in a medically-induced coma for ten days.  He’s recovered and is ready for a medal.

Hockey

Nicole Hensley | Lakewood

Nicole plays goalie and has been on two gold-medal World Championship teams (2016 and 2017). She also volunteers at a local animal shelter fostering and walking dogs.

Troy Terry | Highlands Ranch

A Denver University Pioneer, Troy was on the 2016-2017 NCAA Division I National Championship Team. He was also drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2015 NFL draft.

Nordic Combined

Ben Berend | Steamboat Springs

At the 2017 World Championships, Ben snagged an 8th place finish in the Team Normal Hill (4x5K).

Bryan Fletcher | Steamboat Springs

Bryan has a bronze medal from World Championships in 2013. He also is a cancer survivor and co-founded a charity helps young cancer survivors thrive.

Taylor Fletcher | Steamboat Springs

Taylor, along with teammate Ben Berend, got an 8th place finish in the Team Normal Hill (4x5K) at the 2017 World Championships.  Taylor also finished 9th in the Team Sprint Large Hill (2×7.5K) at the same competition.

Jasper Good | Steamboat Springs

This will be Jasper’s first Winter Olympic bearth.  He also rides a unicycle!

Skeleton

Katie Uhlaender | Breckenridge

This will be Katie’s fourth Winter Olympic appearance.  She finished fourth at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but that finish was transformed into a bronze medal recently when the gold-medal winner, a Russian, was stripped of her title because of doping.  With a couple of World Championship gold medals, Katie’s chances of medaling in South Korea are looking pretty good!

Snowboarding

Chris Corning | Silverthorne

Chris won silver in Big Air Snowboarding and bronze in Slopestyle at the 2017 World Championships .  He was the first Coloradoan named to the 2018 US Winter Olympic team.  And this is the first year that Big Air Snowboarding is a Winter Olympic sport.

Mick Dierdorff | Steamboat Springs

Mick will compete in Snowboardcross.  In 2017, he was ranked 5th in World Cup standings in that event.

Red Gerard | Silverthorne

Seventeen-year-old Red is headed to the Olympics after being ranked first in the 2017 World Cup standings for Slopestyle.

Arielle Gold | Steamboat Springs

This will be Arielle’s second Winter Olympics, and she’ll compete in Halfpipe.

Hagen Kearney | Norwood

Hagen finished 7th at the 2017 World Championships in Snowboardcross.

Jake Pates | Eagle

Jake won gold in Halfpipe and Slopestyle at the Youth Championship in Lillehammer in 2016.

Meghan Tierney | Eagle

At Meghan’s first Olympic experience in 2018, she will be competing in Snowboardcross.

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Best of luck to all our incredibly talented athletes.
Go Team USA! Go Team Colorado!

 

 For the latest information and updates about all American athletes, check out Team USA’s website.

Slalom on Howelsen Hill | Steamboat Springs
Slalom on Howelsen Hill | Steamboat Springs

Liz PM

Liz was fortunate enough to grow up in Steamboat Springs and is proud to have thru-hiked the Colorado Trail. These days, in addition to mountain biking, hot springing, and photographing her way through the Centennial State, Liz teaches yoga and constantly inspires others to enjoy the finer points in life!

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