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Today’s Steamboat Olympians in Action!

TODAY (2/23): The closing ceremonies have happened and the winter Olympics are officially over until 2018. Total Steamboat athlete medal count: 2. Both of them gold!

YESTERDAY (2/22): In women’s parallel slalom, Ester Ledecka just missed out on a medal, coming in 6th place overall. Caroline Calve did not do as well, losing early and coming in 26th. On the men’s side, Justin Reiter was unfortunately disqualified, but Vic Wild won gold AGAIN!

(2/21): No Steamboat athletes competing, but huge congrats to our neighbor, Mikaela Shiffrin of Vail, for winning gold in slalom. At 18, she is the youngest woman ever to do so!

(2/20): Today was the long-awaited team gunderson nordic combined competition. After being one of only two teams not to break 400 jump points, Billy DemongBryan FletcherTaylor Fletcher, and Todd Lodwick made up for it in the cross country portion, skiing into 6th place overall.

(2/19): Both the men and women of extremely speedy snowboarding took on the parallel giant slalom today. On the women’s side, both Caroline Calve and Ester Ledecka had fast enough races in qualifiers to advance to octafinals. There, both women won both of their respective races, moving them on to quarterfinals, where they did not advance further. In final rankings, Caroline came in 6th and Ester took 7th.

The men’s parallel GS resulted in the first medal for the Steamboat Olympians…and a gold at that! While Justin Reiter did not advance out of qualifiers, taking 24th place overall, Vic Wild went all the way to finals and then proceeded to win the event! Huge congrats to Vic!

(2/18): Men’s snowboard cross finally got underway with Jarryd Hughes taking 3rd in his octafinals heat, which advanced him to quarterfinals. There, his 5th place finish in his heat was not enough to advance further, ending his Olympic run. Jarryd’s overall ranking in the event is 17th place.

The Nordic Combined Long Hill Individual Gunderson also took place today. The Fletcher brothers took the highest places of the US team, with Taylor Fletcher earning 20th place, and Bryan Fletcher coming in 22ndBilly Demong took 31st place. All three showed considerable skill in the cross country portion, gaining places there after their jumps landed them far behind the leaders. Todd Lodwick again chose to rest his shoulder injury for the team competition, taking part only in the jumping portion today. Best of luck to all four in the Team Gunderson on thursday!

(2/17): Another Australian snowboarder with Steamboat training roots, Jarryd Hughes, was supposed to compete in the men’s snowboard cross, but the event has been postponed until 11:30 tonight Colorado time/10:30am tomorrow Sochi time. The rescheduling was due to heavy, persistent fog in the Sochi mountains, making it impossible at times for the athletes to see more than 20ft in front of them. Men’s biathlon was also rescheduled because of these conditions.

(2/16): Australian snowboarder with Steamboat training roots Belle Brockhoff took 8th place in women’s snowboard cross.

(2/14-2/15): No Steamboat athletes competing until 2/16 when Belle Brockhoff looks to dominate women’s snowboard cross.

(2/13): No Steamboat athletes competing, but it was a great day for their American teammates who swept the medal stand in men’s ski slopestyle! Go Team USA!

(2/12): Today was an unfortunate day for injuries amongst the Steamboat athletes. Arielle Gold crashed during a training run prior to her halfpipe qualifying heat, injured her shoulder, and had to pull out of the competition, in which she was considered a medal contender. Still, huge congrats to Arielle for making it this far! As she is only 17, we hope to see her return to win big at the 2018 winter games in Pyeongchang.

Six-time Olympian Todd Lodwick also pulled out of the cross country portion of the Nordic Combined Normal Hill Individual Gunderson due to a recent shoulder injury, but his was reportedly a strategic decision to focus on the team competition 2/20. In the same individual nordic combined competition, Billy Demong took 24th place (the highest american rank for the event), Bryan Fletcher came in 26th, and brother Taylor Fletcher finished 33rd. Following the event, Bryan tweeted “After having a better trial jump I went for it all or nothing in today’s comp. Obviously I didn’t win it all but I had a blast going for it!”

(2/11): A 5th place finish in the men’s halfpipe qualifying round advanced Taylor Gold to the semifinals, where his (awesome, especially in the face of the horrible pipe conditions) performance earned him 8th, narrowly missing finals qualification. Great job Taylor, and we’ll be rooting for his sister Arielle tomorrow in the halfpipe as well! In the men’s finals, Shaun White’s shaky performance landed him in 4th, just off the podium, making this year the first time no Americans have medaled in men’s pipe. I’m no expert, but it seemed to me that White’s specially tailored, way-too-tight pants very well may have been at fault…

(2/10): It was a big day in moguls for Patrick Deneen. This morning, he won the second qualification round and took 9th in the first round of finals and 6th in finals 2 (in an extremely close victory over Matt Graham of Australia who will not advance. Pat beat Graham by .01 of a point!), qualifying him for the Superfinals, where he took 6th place overall. Though he just missed a medal, it was still an awesome performance and the FASTEST time on the course. Good job Pat!

(2/9): No Steamboat athletes competing

(2/8): Eliza Outtrim took 6th place in the women’s moguls finals with teammate Hannah Kearney winning bronze for the USA!

(2/7): No Steamboat athletes are competing, but Todd Lodwick has the huge honor of being the U.S. Flag Bearer for tonight’s opening ceremonies!

2/6: Though opening ceremonies aren’t until tomorrow, the games began today, with Eliza Outtrim taking fourth in the Ladies’ Moguls  qualifying round. Her high score was more than enough to advance to finals this Saturday (2/8)! Go Eliza!

Fourteen athletes who have trained with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, including 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 be going for gold at the 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. KBCR will track these athletes and their results RIGHT HERE!

Here’s the full list of Steamboat athletes & dates competing:

Steamboat Springs 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, making 151 Olympic appearances during 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, ski jumping, snowboarding (alpine, parks and pipes) and telemark.

“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.

Digital Content Manager for KBCR, KSNO and KZYR. Colorado College grad and fiddle player with mountain music on my mind!

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