It’s no secret that Colorado is a mecca for winter sports. So when the U.S. Olympic Committee announced the Team USA roster for the 2018 Games in South Korea, it’s not surprising that Coloradans are leading the way. Of the 242 U.S. athletes heading to PyeongChang, 31 Olympians hail from the Centennial State, representing a variety of sports—from freestyle and alpine skiing to ice hockey, snowboarding, bobsledding, biathalon, and skeleton.
California ranks second with 22 athletes, followed by Minnesota with 19, New York with 18, and Utah with 16 athletes. Of course, it’s worth noting that Colorado is only third when the results are adjusted for population. Per capita, Vermont (13 athletes, population of 624,000) leads the way with one Olympian per every 48,000 residents. Alaska ranks second (9 athletes, population 740,00) with one athlete per every 82,400 residents. And Colorado, with an approximate population of 5.5 million, boasts one Olympian per every 177,000 residents.
With Colorado’s sprawling summits, high elevation, and Olympic Training Center (in Colorado Springs), it’s no wonder that so many Olympians choose to make our state their home base. Many of the world’s top alpine skiers traveled to Colorado in November to train for the Olympics—teams from Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Italy, Canada, and Japan all took practice runs at Copper Mountain’s U.S. Ski Team Speed Center because the course resembles the one they’ll race in PyeongChang.
Thirteen of the Coloradans on Team USA are returning Olympians, including skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender and alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, who are each returning for the fourth time. Skiing phenom Mikaela Shiffrin, from Eagle-Vail, is competing in her second Olympics and looks to defend her 2014 Olympic gold medal in alpine slalom. Additionally, having expanded her skill-set over the past few years, the 22-year-old could bring home as many as four gold medals to Colorado.
The Olympics begin February 8, with the opening ceremony airing on the 9th. Click here for a schedule of the competitions and get ready to cheer on your fellow Coloradans and Team USA.
Here’s a full list of the Coloradans heading to the Olympics.
- Casey Andringa, Boulder — Freestyle Skiing
- Ben Berend, Steamboat Springs — Nordic Combined
- Aaron Blunck, Crested Butte — Freestyle Skiing
- David Chodounsky, Crested Butte — Alpine Skiing
- Chris Corning, Silverthorne — Snowboarding
- Mick Dierdorff, Steamboat Springs — Snowboarding
- Alex Ferreira, Aspen — Freestyle Skiing
- Bryan Fletcher, Steamboat Springs — Nordic Combined
- Taylor Fletcher, Steamboat Springs — Nordic Combined
- Red Gerard, Silverthorne — Snowboarding
- Lauren Gibbs, Denver — Bobsled
- Arielle Gold, Steamboat Springs — Snowboarding
- Jasper Good, Steamboat Springs — Nordic Combined
- Simi Hamilton, Aspen — Cross-Country Skiing
- Nicole Hensley, Lakewood — Ice Hockey
- Noah Hoffman, Aspen — Cross-Country Skiing
- Tess Johnson, Vail — Freestyle Skiing
- Hagen Kearny, Norwood — Snowboarding
- Gus Kenworthy, Telluride — Freestyle Skiing
- Wiley Maple, Aspen — Alpine Skiing
- Keaton McCargo, Telluride — Freestyle Skiing
- Alice McKennis, New Castle — Alpine Skiing
- Jake Pates, Eagle — Snowboarding
- Joanne Reid, Boulder — Biathlon
- Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail — Alpine Skiing
- Troy Terry, Highlands Ranch — Ice Hockey
- Meghan Tierney, Eagle — Snowboarding
- Katie Uhlaender, Breckenridge — Skeleton
- Lindsey Vonn, Vail — Alpine Skiing
- Nathan Weber, Pueblo West — Bobsled
- Torin Yater-Wallace, Basalt — Freestyle Skiing