We all know that Colorado’s a pretty great place to live – from our proximity to the mountains to the 300 days of sun we get, it’s no surprise that our capital city  has been ranked as one of the healthiest places to live in the U.S. But we’re not just healthy, Colorado’s actually produced some of the greatest athletes of all time, including many who have gone to the Olympics. Though we largely excel in the winter events (no surprise there), we’ve also had several stand-out performers in a variety of sports, from track and field to bobsledding. So, without further ado, here’s some of the Olympians who call Colorado home.

Keaton McCargo is a freestyle skier who was born and raised in Telluride, Colorado. She went to her first Olympics in 2018, where she came in at 8th place in PyeongChang. But in the meantime, McCargo has continued to excel in her sport, coming in at 8th and 10th place in the 2017 and 2015 world championships, respectively. Whenever she’s not skiing, this Olympian is still a classic Coloradan who likes mountain biking and hiking.

Bryan Fletcher is a Nordic combined skier (which, for the uninitiated such as myself, is a combined event of cross-country racing and jumping) who calls Steamboat Springs his home. He’s been to the Olympics twice, once in Sochi of 2014 and again in PeyongChang in 2018, both on the men’s team and as an individual. He’s also won the bronze medal for the World Championships and has survived cancer, going on to co-found ccThrive, a charity to help young cancer survivors.

Congratulations to childhood cancer survivor and ccThrive co-founder, Bryan Fletcher, on his 7th place finish in his... Posted by ccThrive on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

We’ve mentioned Janay DeLoach before as one of Colorado State University’s most prestigious sports alumnus, but she’s also Fort Collins’ resident Olympian. DeLoach is a two-time Olympian, participating in both the Rio and London games for the long jump, in the latter of which she took home a bronze medal.  Additionally, DeLoach has participated in the World Championships several times, winning a silver medal in the 2012 championships. When she’s not out on the field, DeLoach enjoys painting, crocheting and, like all good Coloradans, getting outside.

 

 

 

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Chris Klug is a snowboarder who specialized in the parallel giant slalom (no, not salmon, but the lemon juice away). In this high-speed snowboarding race, competitors race each other on parallel courses (hence the name), and Klug was one of the best of them. Hailing from Denver, the snowboarder went to the Olympics twice, the first in 1998 and the second in 2002, where he won the bronze medal in the PGS after recovering from a liver transplant in 2000. Besides crowding his schedule with multiple World Cup wins and other competition victories, Klug is an outdoorsman who is a strong advocate for donor awareness.

This Olympian’s a bit of a throwback, as Gordon Wren first earned his ski jump medals in the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. His roots were planted in Steamboat Springs, where he was a coach and manager of multiple ski areas. He first made the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1939 and then finished fifth in the individual large hill event in 1948 after World War II. Wren was finally inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1972.

Tribute Tuesday • Gordon L. Wren • Hall of Fame Class of 1978 • Sport Builder A native of Steamboat Springs, Colorado,... Posted by Colorado Snowsports Museum on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

 Nicole Hensley is a hockey goalie from Lakewood who helped bring the U.S. team a gold medal in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. There, Hensley stopped all 13 shots by the Russian team, leading to a decisive 5-0 win that brought the U.S. hockey team to victory. In the meantime, she’s also helped her team claim two gold medals from the 2016 and 2017 World Championships as well. She also loves “Harry Potter,” “She’s the Man” and country music. So, hey, maybe we’ll see her at Cheyenne Frontier Days, if COVID allows.

 

 

 

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Chris Corning is a Denver-born snowboarder who first made it to the Olympics in 2018. He just barely missed medaling with his fourth-place finish in the games, but has also performed admirably in the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, taking home two medals from the competition. Just like many of the entries on this list, Corning likes to get outside and dirt bike, wakeboard and camp when he’s not hitting the slopes.


Although Joanne Reid, a biathlete, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, she now calls Grand Junction her home. Her sport, which involves a mix of cross-country skiing and shooting (which means that when winter comes during the apocalypse, I want her on my team), is as intense as they come and not an event I was familiar with, but Reid still performed admirably in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games. Elsewhere, this skier has been to the World Championships multiple times, most recently in 2020, and enjoys climbing, road tripping and microbreweries.

Ralph Dequebec is a sled hockey defenseman and a Paralympian. Hailing from Denver, Dequebec won a gold medal from the PyeongChang Olympics and was a member of the U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team from 2014-2017. But what’s even more impressive is that this athlete began his sports career after he lost his legs serving in the Marine Corps in 2012. He received the Purple Heart for his bravery, and now enjoys swimming and woodworking in between playing hockey.

 Lauren Gibbs is a bobsled brakewoman who currently lives in Denver. Her story from a sales manager to an Olympian is a truly incredible one, as it led to Gibbs making the national team in her very first year bobsledding, and then winning a silver medal in her Olympic debut in 2018. Since her first introduction to the bobsled during the 2014-15 season, Gibbs has gone on to medal in many Bobsled World Cups, including the 2019-2020 competition, and enjoys volleyball in her spare time.

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