What is it about Steamboat Springs and the plethora of top notch athletes that their town turns out? Just head over to Howelson Hill and enter their great room. Flags, jerseys and memorabilia hang from it’s rafters recognizing all of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Olympic and World Cup Athletes. A record 88 athletes and counting, it must be in the water.
This Olympic season 14 athletes with ties to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.® include Todd Lodwick, the United States’ first six-time winter Olympian; Billy Demong, five-time Olympian and defending Olympic Gold medalist in Nordic Combined; and two sets of siblings, Taylor & Bryan Fletcher and Arielle and Taylor Gold, will represent their respective countries at the upcoming 2014 Winter Games. These athletes and coaches will represent Steamboat Springs and five different countries, and carry on an Olympic spirit and community heritage that now spans 19 Winter Games.
“For a century, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC) and the community of Steamboat Springs have had enduring success in inspiring excellence in our young athletes” said Jim Boyne, executive director of the SSWSC. The SSWSC is unique within the United States as it offers training in all of the Nordic disciplines as well as alpine skiing, freestyle, freeskiing, snowboarding (alpine, parks and pipes) and telemark.
Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.® is known around the globe for producing more winter Olympians than any other town in North America, now a record 88 and counting. Including the 2014 Games, Steamboat’s Olympians have represented twelve different countries, made 151 Olympic appearances during 19 Winter Games. The following 2014 Olympians are currently training or have trained with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and will compete in the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi.
2014 Olympians with Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Ties:
(name, country, discipline, past Olympics)
|Belle Brockhoff, AUS, SnowboardingCaroline Calve, CAN, Snowboard (2010)Billy Demong, USA, Nordic Combined (98, 02, 06, 10)Patrick Deneen, USA, Moguls (2010)Bryan Fletcher, USA, Nordic CombinedTaylor Fletcher, USA, Nordic Combined (2010)Arielle Gold, USA, Snowboarding||Taylor Gold, USA, SnowboardingJarryd Hughes, AUS, SnowboardingEster Ledecka, CZE, SnowboardingTodd Lodwick, USA, Nordic Combined (94, 98, 02, 06, 10)Eliza Outtrim, USA, MogulsJustin Reiter, USA, SnowboardingVic Wild, RUS, Snowboarding|
“It’s not one entity or organization, but the entire community that openly embraces and supports its athletes of all ages and ability levels, allowing them to fulfill their dreams, and plays a key role in establishing the core foundation for Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.,” continued Boyne. “In Steamboat, we focus on developing the ‘complete athlete’, instilling life skills such as character, confidence, discipline, perseverance, organization and leadership – our goal is to create champions on and off the mountain.”
Steamboat’s tradition dates back to the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, at which the Valley’s first Olympian, John Steele, placed 15th in Nordic jumping. Nelson Carmichael became the first Steamboat Olympian to win an Olympic medal, a bronze in moguls at the 1992 Games. During the 1998 Nagano Games, Steamboat Olympian Shannon Dunn-Downing became the first American woman to win a medal in snowboarding. In 2002, Travis Mayer rocketed onto the scene and brought home the silver medal in mogul skiing. And at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, the US Nordic Combined team made history when they won Olympic medals in all three events entered.
Steamboat is home to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, one of the country’s oldest and most successful clubs celebrating its 100th Anniversary during this Olympic year and Howelsen Hill, which dates back to 1914 and is the oldest continuous operating ski area in Colorado. Steamboat is not only considered the birthplace of freestyle skiing in the hotdog days of the 1970s, but also Nordic jumping in Colorado going back to the early 1900s.
We wish all of Steamboat’s athlete’s as well as Colorado and the rest of the world’s Olympians the very best performances there in Sochi Russia. Games start today. We are tuning in and getting ready to cheer them on!
~MTN Town Magazine
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