The State of Colorado has 31 athletes — 12.8 percent of the U.S. delegation and the most of any state in the Union — competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Whether born and raised in Colorado or claiming it as an adopted home, these athletes will don the red, white and blue with a nod to our purple mountains’ majesty.
You may already know the names Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn, stars of the nordic skiing events. Now get to know the entire Colorado contingent that are representing the Centennial State at these Games.
Note: Click the link of each athlete’s name for a more comprehensive look at their story!
KEY: NAME | AGE | HOMETOWN | EVENT| OLYMPIC APPEARANCES
In Andringa’s first Olympic appearance the Colorado Buffalo will compete in the freestyle skiing moguls event. Born in Milwaukee, Wis. Andringa claims Boulder, Colo. as his hometown after moving to Colorado at the age of three. Highlights of his young career include placing third in the 2015 FIS Junior World Championships (dual moguls).
Berend has hailed from Steamboat Springs for all of his 22 years. In his young career he is steadily improving, recently winning bronze at the U.S. National Championship while also placing top-10 from 2013-15 in the FIS Junior World Championship. He is one of four Coloradans on the Nordic Combined team, which has just five members overall.
A Colorado native and now two-time Olympian, Blunck will return to the halfpipe this February to try and redeem himself after a solid showing in Sochi (seventh place). Career highlights include a 2017 X Games gold medal as well as a 2017 World Championship gold medal.
With 31 years of skiing to his name, the former NCAA slalom champion is headed to his second Olympic games. Chodounsky will compete in the slalom events and hopes to find himself on the podium after a forgettable 2014 Olympics where he was unable to finish his event due to a hard crash.
In his first-ever Olympics, Corning will participate in snowboard slopestyle and halfpipe. The 18-year-old was the first snowboarder to qualify for the team and is another young athlete to keep your eye on. So far in his career Corning has placed first in the FIS World Cup Standings three times and twice in the Junior World Cup. Originally from Arvada, he calls Silverthorne home these days.
Mick Dierdorff | 26 | Steamboat Springs | Snowboarding | 2018
Dierdorff started as a young ski racer but hopped on a snowboard at the age of 10 just for fun. Sixteen years later the Steamboat Springs resident has an evolving career in snowboardcross. The first-time Olympian placed fifth in the 2017 FIS World Cup Standings and looks to add to his highlights in PyeongChang.
The 23-year-old Aspen native is making his first Olympic appearance along side his close friend Torin Yater-Wallace. Ferreira has four X games medals since 2014 and has represented himself nicely — as high as fifth place — in each of the FIS World Cups he’s competed in since 2013. Since the age of 3 when he started skiing, Ferreira has dreamed of this opportunity to win an Olympic medal.
Fletcher brings with him Olympic experience from Sochi in 2014 where he finished top 30 in each of his three events. Fletcher had to battle for his spot on this year’s team as a rally was needed in order to get him into position to move on to PyeongChang. With prior Olympic experience Fletcher will hopes move into winning position this time around.
Brother of Bryan Fletcher, Taylor is on his way to his third Olympics where he and his brother will compete in Nordic Combined. Taylor, like Bryan, has not placed at the Olympics but had similar results finishing sixth, 20th, and 33rd in his three events. Both Taylor and his brother are coming off promising performances in Sochi, so look for them to push each other to the next level this time around.
At the age of 17 Gerard is tied for the youngest USA Olympian in 2018. In his young career Gerard has already shown signs of being the next great US freestyle snowboarder. Through 2017 Gerard ranked first in the FIS World Cup Championship for Slopestyle and fourth overall. He looks to continue this season’s success at his first Olympics.
A Denver resident, Gibbs is competing in her first Olympic games. Over her long career she has seen much success racking up 12 medals in World Cup competition since the 2014 season. A former Ivy League volleyball player, Gibbs has the confidence to place and win her first ever Olympic medal.
In her four X Games superpipe appearances, Gold has won bronze three times and silver once while also finishing second in the 2015 World Cup halfpipe. She won Gold at the 2012 World Junior Championship. After dropping out of the 2014 Olympics due to injury, Gold will have another shot at winning and bringing an Olympic medal back to Colorado.
Good is one of four Colorado Nordic skiers on the Olympic team and is also the youngest at the age of 21. In future years Jasper wants to be a top competitor worldwide, but for now is working every day to place well in his first Olympic Games. From 2014-16 Jasper placed top 10 each ear in the FIS Junior World Championships.
The oldest of the four Aspen representatives, Simi will be returning to the Olympics for the third time. Along with fellow Aspen cross-country skier Noah Hoffman, the two will look to improve upon their 10th overall finish as part of the 4x10K relay race. After a strong outing in Sochi where he placed top 30 in every event, Hamilton looks to win his first Olympic medal.
The only 2018 women’s ice hockey player from Colorado has tons of talent. Hensley is the starting goalie for the team that has won the gold medal for the Four Nations Cup the past two years. Hensley has played some of her best hockey when under the most pressure. In the 2017 World Championship she won player of the game against Canada — USA’s biggest rival. Hensley hopes that all this success leads to success on the biggest stage of them all.
Born in Denver and now a resident of Aspen, Hoffman competed in four events during the Sochi Olympics — finishing top 30 in each of these. A broken fibula and other injuries in 2015 made Hoffman debate stepping away from the sport, but after some time away came back and now finds himself heading to his second Olympics where he can hopefully have another strong showing.
Representing the beautiful mountain town of Vail, Johnson is one of the youngest members of the Olympic team at 17 years old. In her brief FIS Junior World Championship Mogul Skiing career, Johnson has finished fifth overall in 2015 and second overall in the 2016. She has the potential to be one of the best moguls skiers for years to come.
A family ski vacation at the age of 9 led to Kearney’s love of snowboarding and future decision to move to Colorado. Kearney now has three X Games appearances as well as a No. 5 overall finish in the 2017 FIS World Cup. Heading into his first Olympic games, Kearney hopes to be standing on the podium with a medal around his neck for the sport he has loved since an early age.
Gus Kenworthy | 26 | Telluride | Freestyle Skiing | 2014 (Silver), ’18
One of the most decorated freestyle skiing athletes, Kenworthy is heading to his second Olympics where he will try to improve upon his 2014 Sochi slopestyle silver medal. Born in the United Kingdom, Kenworthy moved to Telluride at a young age. Kenworthy has also had much success as an X Games athlete, winning two silver medals and also three bronze medals. In 2015 Kenworthy announced he was gay, becoming the first action sports male athlete to do so.
The Aspen native, Maple, can be found on weekends painting houses and delivering barbecue around the town. Maple, 27, has had a successful career finishing ninth and sixth in his FIS Junior World Championships despite not having as much attention or recognition as other athletes in one of the marquee winter sports.
McCargo is one of the four female moguls skiers competing in PyeongChang this year. Coming off of her most successful season to date, she will attempt to top it off with a medal at her first Olympic games. In the 2017 season, McCargo ranks eighth overall in the FIS World Cup Standings. She does not go too far from the mountains ever, which is why Telluride has become her hometown where she can ski almost every day.
Downhill and the Super G are her specialty, and over her career McKennis has had a lot of success and strong seasons (multiple top-10 World cup finishes). The two-time Olympian missed out on making the team in 2014, so she has had eight years since her last Olympic competition in Vancouver. In her Vancouver appearance she was disqualified from the race, so expect McKennis to come focused and ready in 2018.
Born in Boulder, now a resident of Eagle, the 19-year-old Pates has finished top 8 in the FIS World Cup for halfpipe each year since 2015. Pates struck gold twice in his 2016 Youth Olympics appearance. There is a lot of young talent on the US snowboarding team. Look for them to make some noise this February, starting with Pates.
The University of Colorado, Boulder alumni and former NCAA cross-country ski champion is going to her first Olympic games. Although, she has the Olympics in her blood as her mother and uncle were both decorated speedskaters in the ’80s. Reid will look to add to her family history of winning Olympic medals by doing so herself in the biathlon. Her uncle, Eric Heiden was a five-time speed skating champion in the 1980 games. Her mother, Beth Heiden Reid, won a bronze medal at those same Olympics.
*After being named to the 2018 Team USA roster citing Boulder as her hometown, Reid ahead of the Games changed her hometown status to Palo Alto, Calif.
Shiffrin is one of the U.S. ski team’s biggest bright spots for now and the future as she became the youngest person (18) to win an Olympic slalom gold medal during the 2014 Games. She has also finished first place in the FIS World Cup Slalom four times since 2013 as well as earning three gold medals in the World Championship. She was the World Cup overall champion in 2017 and has a commanding lead on the standings in 2018 heading to PyeongChang.
Terry is a Colorado native born in Highlands Ranch. He played with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program and now attends Denver University. This will be Terry’s first time as an Olympic athlete, but he has already had plenty of success in his young career. He won the 2016-17 NCAA championship with DU, as well as gold medals at the 2017 World Junior Championship and the Under-18 Championship in 2015. With NHL players ruled out of the Olympics, Terry hopes to lead the young team to another gold medal.
Tierney, born in New Jersey, fell in love with snowboarding at the age of 10. The family decided to move to Colorado so Meghan and her siblings could continue to pursue their passion. As part of the Nor-Am Cup she has placed on the podium seven times while also finishing fourth overall in the 2014 FIS World Cup for snowboardcross.
Uhlaender is one of the veterans of the U.S. Olympic team, as she will be making her fourth Olympic appearance in Skeleton. Since 2003 Uhlaender has competed and won six World Championships medals, including two gold. She’s hoping fourth time is the charm to bring home some Olympic hardware.
Vonn is one of the most decorated women’s Olympic skiers from any country that will participate in the 2018 games. She holds the record for most World Cup victories by an American and is second all time. Vonn will participate in her fourth Olympics, although her last appearance was 2010 because major injuries kept our out in 2014. Despite being one of the veteran skiers, Vonn has a lot to prove. Bouncing back from injury and being out of the big stage spotlight for so long, don’t be surprised to see her back on the podium.
Nathan Weber | 31 | Pueblo West | Bobsled | 2018
Not only is Weber an Olympic athlete, he is a Sgt. First Class in the U.S. Army and an active duty Green Beret who has always dreamed of this opportunity. Weber found a way to train while serving in warm climates such as Cameroon and Niger. There would be no better story than to see Weber, a true American hero, and his team to stand atop the podium in the upcoming weeks.
At the age of 22 Torin is one of the most decorated freestyle skiers, becoming the youngest X Games medalist at 15. Since 2011 he has won seven different medals at X Games and a silver medal at the World Championships. In 2015 Torin faced a life-threatening infection that caused him to lose 20 pounds and be in a coma for 10 days. The experience gave him a new perspective on life and now heading to the Olympics for the second time — alongside his hometown friend, Alex Ferrira — Yater-Wallace hopes to win his first Olympic medal.