Lifestyle

Meet the Colorado Athletes Competing in the Winter Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics are underway, and many Colorado-born athletes are going for gold in Beijing! Colorado has no shortage of world-class athletes. In fact, our state has the second most athletes competing on the Team USA roster this year.

With our mountain geography, it’s no surprise that many of our athletes are competing in skiing and snowboarding. Still, there are plenty of other winter sports that Coloradans are participating in, including hockey, skeleton, and nordic combined.

Here’s a detailed look at the local talent competing on the slopes and ice this month.

Aaron Blunck

Born: Englewood
Age:
25
Sport:
Freestyle Skiing
Currently Living:
Crested Butte
Social Media: @aaronblunck

Aaron started skiing at only 18 months old and was competing by 8 years old. He won a bronze in the Youth Olympic Games at 15 years old. In 2017, Aaron had a great year when he took gold at the FIS World Championships, gold at the X Games, and was second in the World Cup in Pyeongchang, Korea. He’s coming back this year to compete after a major crash in 2020 where he landed on the lip of the halfpipe during competition and lacerated his kidney, broke six ribs, fractured his pelvis, and bruised his heart.

Tune in on February 18th to watch Aaron crush it on freestyle skiing!

Chris Corning

Born: Silverthorne
Age:
22
Sport:
Snowboarding
Currently Living:
Silverthorne
Social Media: @chriscorning

Chris started snowboarding at 7 years old and won his first World Cup by 15 years old! In 2017, Corning won two medals during the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, and by 2018, he made his first Olympic debut. He missed the medals with a 4th place finish in big air snowboarding and 9th in slopestyle.

Chris came in 6th place for this year’s slopestyle with a score of 65.11, putting his best run down on his final attempt. Next up, he is competing in big air snowboarding starting February 13th.

Hanna Faulhaber

Born: Basalt
Age:
17
Sport:
Freestyle Skiing
Currently Living:
Basalt
Social Media: @hanna_faulhaber

Hannah is making her debut competing in the Olympics for the first time this year. She started skiing at 3 years old and was inspired to ride the halfpipe after watching the X-Games, which took place next to her hometown in Aspen.

Hanna finished fourth place in the second elite-level final of her career at the Aspen 2021 FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Championships. She landed all three runs and showcased serious amplitude. Check her out on February 16th as she competes in the women’s skiing halfpipe!

Alex Ferreira

Born: Aspen
Age:
27
Sport:
Freestyle Skiing Halfpipe
Currently Living:
Aspen
Social Media: @alexferreiraski

Alex started skiing at 3 years old on the slopes of Aspen. In 2018, he won an Olympic silver medal silver X Games medal and finished second in three World Cup events. He recently won back-to-back events at Copper Mountain – 2021 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix and the Dew Tour.

Alex is making his Beijing debut on February 16th when he competes in the qualifying event for the men’s skiing halfpipe.

Lucas Foster

Born: Telluride
Age:
22
Sport:
Snowboarding
Currently Living:
Telluride
Social Media: @lucasfoster_

Lucas is a newbie to the USA Olympic Snowboard team and competes for the first time in Beijing! In 2019 and 2020, he finished in 3rd place at Copper Mountain’s NorAm Cup. In 2021, Lucas placed 6th in the U.S. Grand Prix in Aspen. He says, “It took me a really long time to find my groove competing with no halfpipe where I grew up. It required a lot of patience and resilience to finally make things click.”

Lucas currently sits at 17th place for the men’s halfpipe competition which means he will not be competing in the final men’s halfpipe.

Taylor Fletcher

Born: Steamboat
Age:
31
Sport:
Nordic Combined
Currently Living:
Steamboat
Social Media: @tfletchernordic

Taylor Fletcher has been representing the U.S. National Nordic Combined team since 2009. Both Taylor, and his brother, Bryan, spent the better part of their 20s competing on the international stage. Taylor is now a four-time Olympian, having competed in 2010, 2014, and 2018. He started ski jumping, and Nordic combined at 4 years old in his hometown of Steamboat. He has been involved with the Steamboat Ski Club and was trained by former Olympians. He says he prefers the thrill of ski jumping more but says he’s better at cross-country skiing.

Taylor finished 24th overall in the cross-country Normal Hill/10km.

Stacy Gaskill

Born: Golden
Age:
21
Sport:
Snowboarding
Currently Living:
Golden
Social Media: @stacy_gaskill

Stacy started on skis at 2 years old but switched to snowboarding at age 8. She entered her first Boardercross (SBX) race in 2014 and never looked back! This is her first year competing in the Olympics. When she’s not training or competing in snowboarding, she also plays Ultimate Frisbee for the University of Colorado’s Women’s Ultimate A-Team.

Stacy competed in the semi-finals snowboard cross and placed 3rd in the Small Finals. Her USA team member Lindsey Jacobellis took the Gold in the Women’s Snowboard Cross Final.

Jasper Good

Born: Steamboat
Age:
25
Sport:
Nordic Combined
Currently Living:
Steamboat
Social Media: @jaspergoody

Jasper made his Olympic debut at the 2018 Games. He’s currently a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, allowing top-ranked soldier-athletes to perform at the international level while serving in the military. Jasper started as a freeskier, but at 9 years old, he discovered the sport of nordic combined, which blends ski jumping with cross-country skiing, and he has been hooked ever since. He enjoys the sport because he gets to fly and feel fast.

Nicole Hensley

Born: Littleton
Age:
27
Sport:
USA Women’s Hockey (Goalie)
Currently Living:
Lakewood
Social Media: @nichens29

Nicole already owns Olympic Gold- she played on Team USA that won the women’s hockey tournament at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games. But she’s back this year to defend her medal! Nicole is a three-time World Championship medalist winning two gold medals and one silver medal.

She is competing tonight against Czech Republic in the knockout round. Watch the game and cheer her on as she defends the goal against Czech Republic!

Birk Irving

Born: Englewood
Age:
22
Sport:
Freestyle Skiing
Currently Living:
Winter Park
Social Media: @birkirving

Birk started his skiing career at an early age, doing his first 360 at 5 years old and landing his first sponsor at only 7 years old! He won gold in the 2016 Youth Olympics when he was 16 years old and is now competing for the first time in the Winter Olympics. But Birk is no stranger to competition. He has participated in the World Championships, World Cup, X-Games, and other international competitions.

Birk is scheduled to compete in the qualifying men’s halfpipe on February 16th.

Kai Owens

Born: Beijing
Age:
17
Sport:
Freestyle Skiing
Currently Living:
Vail
Social Media: @_kaiowens

Kai may not be a true born-in-Colorado native, but once you hear her story, you’ll understand why we consider her one anyway! She was born in Beijing and abandoned in the Town Square as a newborn. A Colorado family adopted Kai (meaning victorious) around 16 months old. By the time she was 3 years old, Kai could navigate the moguls like a pro! She became the youngest American to win a NorAm moguls competition at 14 years old and is the youngest American mogul skier to start in a World Cup Competition.

This year, heading to the Winter Olympics in Beijing was very emotional for Kai. She was returning to her birthplace and the place where she was abandoned. But as a strong and motivated athlete, she didn’t let that stand in her way. Kai also suffered a brutal fall in training, competed with a partially swollen eye and rough rotator cup, and placed just short of a medal. She came in 6th place in the freestyle skiing women’s moguls. Her tenacity has proven her to be a true Olympian, and her inspirational story has impacted people worldwide. Kai hopes to continue learning about her heritage and return to Beijing again in the future.

River Radamus

Born: Steamboat
Age:
29
Sport:
Alpine Skiing
Currently Living:
Edwards
Social Media: @riverradamus

River is a three-time Youth Olympic gold medalist, the first to achieve this feat. River also won two Junior World Championship gold medals in Super G and Giant Slalom and one silver medal in 2019. This year he’s moving up from the youth competitions to participate in the Winter Olympics for the first time. In the past, he has donated his prize winnings from certain races to the organization Protect Our Winters. They are a non-profit dedicated to climate advocacy. He says, “I think as an athlete and appreciator of the outdoors, it’s important for me to work to preserve the natural wonder I get to enjoy and make sure it’s around to be enjoyed by future generations.”

River placed 15th in the Super G and is scheduled to compete in the Giant Slalom on February 13th and Slalom on February 16th. Be sure to watch him compete and cheer him on!

Mikaela Shiffrin

Born: Vail
Age:
27
Sport:
Alpine Skiing
Currently Living:
Edwards
Social Media: @mikaelashiffrin

Mikaela started skiing down her driveway at 2 years old and has always dreamed of being a ski racer. Her ultimate goal in the sport is to be the best in the world for as long as possible and elevate the sport to a new level. We’d say she has done her goals justice! She became the youngest woman in US history to win a World Championship and the youngest athlete (male or female) to win an Olympic slalom gold medal in 2014. With her first super G win in December 2018, Mikaela became the first FIS Ski World Cup to win in all six disciplines. Year after year, Mikaela has been the skier to watch as she continues to set world records.

This year, she did not finish her first run in women’s giant slalom and women’s slalom and was unable to advance because of it. This was a disappointing upset for her as she was considered the best slalom skier in the world when she competed in the Olympics at only 18 years old in 2014. Last year, while competing in Europe, her father unexpectedly passed away. He was one of her biggest supporters, and it took Mikaela 9 months to ski again, and even then, it was hard for her to focus on the hill. At the Olympics this year, she slid off the hill and was not able to finish the event she once won and then placed 9th in the super G. Show her your support and cheer her on as she competes in the women’s combined downhill and women’s combined slalom on February 16th!

Hailey Swirbul

Born: Carbondale
Age:
23
Sport:
Cross-Country Skiing
Currently Living:
El Jebel
Social Media: @hai.swirl

Hailey began skiing with her brother to stay fit for mountain biking through the winter. She fell in love with the sport and pursued skiing instead of biking. Hailey recently graduated from the University of Alaska-Anchorage with a Civil Engineering degree and is participating in the Olympics for the first time this year! But she has competed prior and was the first woman to win two individual medals at the Junior World Championships.

Hailey competed strongly in the women’s 15km skiathlon and women’s 10km individual but wasn’t strong enough for a medal. Continue to cheer her on as she goes for gold in the Women’s 4x5km Relay scheduled for February 12th!

Cody Winters

Born: Steamboat
Age:
21
Sport:
Snowboarding
Currently Living:
Steamboat
Social Media: @_cody_winters_

Cody says he went down his first black diamond run on a snowboard when he was only 4 years old. Making the 2022 Olympic Team fulfills a lifelong dream for Cody, and when he started to pursue his dream seriously, he knew that he had to brainstorm a way to make it happen financially. His entrepreneurial spirit helped him start his own company called Winters Window Washing. It has been successful enough to bring him to Beijing this year!

Cody competed in the qualifying elimination round in men’s parallel giant slalom, but unfortunately, didn’t advance any further.

Katie Uhlaender

Born: Vail
Age:
37
Sport:
Skeleton
Currently Living:
Breckenridge
Social Media: @kateu11

Katie is no stranger to the Olympic stage. She previously competed in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018. No other US woman in a sliding sport has ever competed in five Olympic Games! She has also competed in the World Championships since 2003. She has won six medals at the World Championships with two gold, one silver, and three bronze. Katie loves to ski, snowboard, kiteboard and craves speed, which is one of the reasons she began skeleton.

Katie is currently sitting at 16th place for the women’s individual skeleton but is competing again in Run 3 and Run 4 on February 12th.


We’re proud to support our Colorado athletes giving it their all on the world stage in Beijing. Follow along on their Olympic journey’s and don’t forget to cheer them on as they go for gold!

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