As if you needed another reason to watch the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, here's a fun fact: More Olympians on this year's U.S. team hail from Colorado than any other state!I guess you just never know who you're brushing elbows with in your local King Soopers. Out of 242 Olympians heading to PyeongChang, South Korea, as part of the elite Team USA, 31 are from Colorado! Colorado is, of course, a hotbed for winter sports, and in the 2018 Winter Olympics, Coloradans will be competing in freestyle skiing, cross-country skiing, Alpine skiing, Nordic combined, biathlon, snowboarding, bobsled, ice hockey, and skeleton events. Here's a list of the Colorado athletes poised to make us proud! Simply click on each of their names to read their Team USA profile and find out their age, career highlights, and more.
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
Who to Keep an Eye on:While, of course, we're rooting on all our Colorado-grown heroes, here are a couple to watch! Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, of Eagle-Vail, will be competing in four skiing events, hoping to defend her 2014 Olympic gold in Alpine slalom. Arguably the most well-known Colorado Olympian, Lindsey Vonn will be appearing in her fourth Olympic Games, aiming to increase her Olympic medal count from where it currently stands -- at 4. [caption id="attachment_32743" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Lindsey Vonn, courtesy of CNN[/caption]
More Interesting Stats:
- Our 31 Colorado Olympians work out to one for every 177,000 state residents. Though we have the most Olympians of any state, Colorado is only in third place per capita. Vermont, followed by Alaska, get the per capita bragging rights.
- After Colorado, California has the next most U.S. Olympians total, with 22.
- Steamboat Springs is home to more Olympians than any other Colorado town (6), while Aspen comes in second, with a total of 4. Members of Team USA also hail from Vail, Eagle, Boulder, Crested Butte, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, Telluride, Basalt, Norwood, New Castle, and Pueblo, with three from the Denver metro area.
- Overall, the U.S. is sending the largest Winter Olympics team in our history, beating out the 2014 Sochi Games, which had 230 athletes -- 19 of whom were from Colorado. Eighteen Coloradans represented the U.S. in the 2010 Vancouver games.
- U.S. Winter Olympians come from 31 out of 50 states.
- There is a 16-hour time difference between PyeongChang, South Korea (where the games will be held), and Colorado.