Controversial opinion: The Winter Olympics are the better Olympic Games. Sorry, gymnastics, diving and basketball, you’re all great sports, but as a skier, the Winter Olympics is my jam.
Plus, as Utahns (or for those of us that have adopted Utah as our home), the Olympics are a special thing to us. The 2002 Games gave the state a lot of the infrastructure that exists here now and put us on the map as a skiing destination. We are full of Olympic history and structures—oh hi, Utah Olympic Park, Soldier Hollow, Utah Olympic Oval—and quite a few Winter Olympic National Governing Bodies have made their homes here, including U.S. Ski and Snowboard and US Speedskating.
I get on a plane to Beijing in a couple of days to work with Team USA on the ground at the Olympics, so I figured I’d give you a few Utah skiers and riders to cheer for while you’re kicked back at home in the warmth (it’s supposed to be a high of like 10 degrees each day, yikes!). Enjoy those powder days I’ll be missing, and turn on NBC to watch these athletes go for gold February 4-20.
Bella Wright, Salt Lake City
Young gun Bella Wright got her start at Snowbird and has shot through the ranks to the World Cup in the last couple of years. She’s had a tough few months of injuries, but she’s made it through to the other side to represent Utah over at the Yanqing alpine venues in Beijing.
Rosie Brennan, Park City
Though Rosie Brennan now lives primarily in Anchorage, Alaska, she grew up in Park City and her family still lives here. She’s a major medal contender to watch out for in Beijing—it’s her second Olympics and she’s been collecting podiums since PyeongChang.
Brita Sigourney, Salt Lake City
2018 Olympic bronze medal winner Brita Sigourney will be back in the pipe in Beijing and looking for more hardware. But when she’s home in Salt Lake, she lives with her puppy and boyfriend, pro skier Tim McChesney. She loves to ski Alta Ski Area, ride her snowmobile and mountain bike—normal Utah things.
Alex Hall, Park City/Salt Lake City
Alex Hall grew up in Switzerland, but moved to Park City and competed for the Park City Ski & Snowboard Team and now calls Salt Lake City home. The nine-time X Games medalist is attending his second Olympics and looking for his first medal.
Nick Goepper, Salt Lake City
This two-time Olympic medalist has made his home in Salt Lake City where he’s built an impressive mini-park in his backyard to practice his slopestyle tricks. This dedicated athlete always shows up for the Games, so expect more medals from him.
Colby Stevenson, Park City
A true Parkite, Colby Stevenson’s first-ever sponsor was Davanza’s Pizza on Main Street. He credits his home to helping him become an Olympian—the mountains and facilities like the Utah Olympic Park helped him get to where he is today. He attended the Winter Sports School for high school and is now a junior at Westminster College. This will be Colby’s first Olympics.
Marin Hamill, Park City
First time Olympian Marin Hamill grew up in Park City and competed for Park City Ski & Snowboard before making the US Freeski Team in 2019. She also attends the University of Utah as a business student.
Maggie Voisin, Park City
Maggie Voisin lives in Whitefish, Montana, but trained in Park City for years on Park City Ski & Snowboard, so if she wins a medal, we can definitely count her as one of our own. This will be her third Olympics, and she was fourth in 2018, so is hungry for a medal this year.
Darian Stevens, Park City
Heading into her second Olympics, Darian Stevens lives in Park City’s Summit Park neighborhood. She’s battled injuries over the last few years but is coming back strong, having trained hard at U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s USANA Center of Excellence in Park City and is looking for redemption.
Faye Gulini, Salt Lake City
Snowboardcross rider and three-time Olympian Faye Gulini has made Salt Lake her home over the years and just received a master’s degree at Westminster in business. She also had one of the coolest Utah wedding ceremonies we’ve seen in a while—inside the Snowbird tram wearing her 2018 Olympic jacket.
Kevin Bickner, Park City
Heading into his second Olympics, Kevin Bickner calls Park City his home base now, crediting the access to the Utah Olympic Park ski jumps to his success. The team can use the jumps in both the summer and winter, making them an invaluable resource. Bickner is also a talented mountain biker.
Casey Larson, Park City
Like Bickner, two-time Olympian Casey Larson, hails from Indiana and now lives in Park City. Larson is also a biker and backcountry skier.
Taylor Fletcher, Park City
As Taylor Fletcher is a longtime Park City resident, I usually run into this guy at the grocery store. But when he’s not shopping for food, this three-time Olympian is the most talented Nordic combined skier in the country. To note, combining both ski jumping and cross country skiing seems nearly impossible, but it’s also just as impossible to keep up to this guy skiing uphill or on a mountain bike.
Jared Shumate, Park City
Jared Shumate graduated from Park City’s Winter Sports School and now is a student at the University of Utah Honors College studying geography and sociology when he’s not traveling the world competing on the FIS World Cup circuit. This will be his first Olympics.
Stephen Schumann, Park City
Coming back from a knee injury in 2019, Stephen Schumann grew up in Park City and is now heading to his first Olympic Games in Beijing.