Athletes from across Colorado are ready to represent Team USA and compete on the world stage at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
In total, 222 people will represent Team USA at the Winter Olympics, with more than 30 from Colorado. The Opening Ceremony will start Feb. 4, with competitions running from Feb. 2-20.
Coloradans will compete in sports ranging from figure skating and snowboarding to the biathlon and hockey.
Meet the Coloradans representing Team USA in the 2022 Winter Olympics below.
Editor's note: While some of the featured athletes below are currently training or temporarily living out of state, all of them have submitted Colorado towns and cities as their recognized hometown or birthplace, or train in Colorado long-term, but have a permanent home elsewhere. A separate story featuring Colorado's Paralympic athletes will publish once that list is finalized and closer to the start of those Games on March 4.
Mariah Bell | Figure skating | Monument
Bell, 25, is headed to her first Olympic Games in 2022 after practicing figure skating since she was 3 years old. Her hometown is Monument, and she now lives in Irvine, California.
She won her first U.S. title in January when she was 25 amid a pool of teenagers who typically dominate the sport. This makes her the oldest U.S. women’s champion since 1927, according to Team USA.
“In Beijing, she will look to challenge younger skaters with the quality of her elements as well as mature presentation,” Team USA reported after she was officially named on the USA Figure Skating team.
She graduated from Ralston Valley High School in 2014 and is now a member of the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
UPDATE: Bell, as part of the team figure skating competition, won silver. She finished 10th in women's single skating.
Aaron Blunck | Freestyle skiing | Crested Butte
Blunck, 25, was born in Englewood and lives in Crested Butte, where he has easy access to training in freestyle skiing.
In 2020, he landed on the lip of the halfpipe during a competition in Switzerland lacerated his kidney, broke six ribs, fractured his pelvis and bruised his heart in the crash, according to the AP. Now fully recovered, he's a strong medal contender heading into the Beijing Games.
Beijing will mark his third Olympics. He placed 7th in the halfpipe in both 2018 and 2014, according to Team USA.
According to his bio on Team USA's website, he started skiing at 18 months old and first competed when he was 8 years old. He attended Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy and is now a member of Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
On Jan. 23, 2022, he almost won the X Games gold in men's halfpipe skiing, but an athlete from New Zealand managed to win. However, Blunck came away with a silver medal. This marked his third time as the runner-up in the X Games. He won it in 2017.
UPDATE: Blunck finished 7th in the men's freestyle halfpipe.
Chris Corning | Snowboarding | Silverthorne
Corning, 22, was born and raised in Silverthorne, so mountains have always been a part of his life. The Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club member won 4th at the 2018 Winter Olympics in big air and 9th in slopestyle.
Corning started snowboarding when he was 7 years old, according to Team USA.
He said he hopes to go to culinary school.
UPDATE: Corning finished 6th in the men's slopestyle final. He finished 7th in snowboard big air.
Mick Dierdorff | Snowboarding | Steamboat Springs
Dierdorff, 30, was born in Bellevue, Washington and calls Steamboat Springs home.
He competed in PyeongChang in 2018.
When Dierdorff isn't strength training, he frames houses for a living, according to US Ski and Snowboard.
He went to Steamboat Springs High School and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in business.
He is a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
UPDATE: Dierdorff placed 15th in men's snowboard cross.
Hanna Faulhaber | Freestyle skiing | Basalt
Faulhaber, 17, has been skiing since she was just 3 years old. As she grew up, she was inspired to try the halfpipe after watching the X Games in Aspen.
In 2021, she finished in fourth place in the second elite-level final of her career at the Aspen 2021 FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Championships, according to US Ski and Snowboard. She earned her first major podium by placing third at the Dew Tour recently.
She will make her Olympic debut this year.
She is a member of Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club and graduated from Basalt High School.
UPDATE: Faulhaber finished 6th in the women's freestyle halfpipe.
Alex Ferreira | Freestyle skiing (halfpipe) | Aspen
c collected a pair of world cup podium finishes in Alberta in early January, securing his spot at the Winter Olympics. He was the 2018 Olympic silver medalist in PyeongChang.
According to Team USA, the 27-year-old won the U.S. Grand Prix and then the Dew Tour, both at Copper Mountain.
He is a member of the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club and Ski & Snowboard Club in Vail.
UPDATE: Ferreira finished 3rd in the men's freestyle halfpipe.
Taylor Fletcher | Nordic combined | Steamboat Springs
Fletcher may be known as the “Old Man” among his USA Nordic teammates, but he’s a fierce competitor, according to Team USA. The 31-year-old won the Nordic Combined Olympic Trials on Dec. 24 in New York, earning him his fourth Olympic Team spot.
Fletcher graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 2008. He went on to compete in Vancouver in 2010, Sochi in 2014, and PyeongChang in 2018.
His brother, Bryan Fletcher, is also on Team USA and a two-time Olympian in Nordic combined.
UPDATE: Fletcher placed 24th in the Individual Gundersen Normal Hill/10km. He placed 23rd in the Individual Gundersen Large Hill/10km.
Lucas Foster | Snowboarding | Telluride
Foster, 22, grew up riding slopestyle for most of his career and while he says it took some time for him to find his groove on the halfpipe, he eventually fell in love with it.
He is a newcomer to the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team and while he has never competed at an international championship, he has placed as high as fifth in a world cup event, according to Team USA.
In his spare time, he coaches skateboarding.
UPDATE: Foster placed 17th in the men's halfpipe.
Brandon Frazier | Figure skating (pairs) | Colorado Springs
Frazier, along with his pair Alexa Knierim, are heading to the Winter Olympics as a favorite among the figure skating pairs. The two train in California and Frazier’s hometown is Colorado Springs.
The road to the Olympics was bumpy for the couple — he tested positive for COVID-19 and they had to withdraw from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and petition for a spot at the Winter Games.
“I never imagined it like it actually went down last night,” Frazier told the Associated Press four days after testing positive.
That petition was granted, and Frazier said he “hugged the crap” out of a pillow in his hotel room.
UPDATE: Frazier, as part of the team figure skating competition, won silver. He and Knierim finished 6th in pair skating.
Stacy Gaskill | Snowboarding | Golden
Gaskill was born and raised in Colorado and started hitting the slopes on skis when she was just 2 years old. By the time she was 8, she started snowboarding and now, at 21, she's headed to her first Olympic Games.
According to her website, she says she stayed focused and consistent during the pandemic and ended up having a great 2020-2021 season. She ended up placing in the top 10 in five of the seven World Cups she competed in.
She also plays ultimate frisbee for the University of Colorado's Women's Ultimate A Team.
UPDATE: Gaskill finished 7th in women's snowboard cross.
Red Gerard | Snowboarding | Silverthorne
Twenty-one-year-old Gerard was born in Ohio and calls Silverthorne home, where he is a member of the Burton Global Team.
He competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics, where he won gold in slopestyle and 5th in big air.
Most recently, he took home gold in the slopestyle finals at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain in early January.
Gerard started snowboarding when he was just 2 years old. Today, he has his own trick park at his house, according to Team USA.
UPDATE: Gerard of Silverthorne earned 4th in the men's slopestyle final. He finished 5th in snowboard big air.
Taylor Gold | Snowboarding | Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs resident Taylor Gold is heading to the Winter Olympics in Beijing to compete in the halfpipe.
He finished 14th at the Sochi Winter Games in 2014 but missed the 2018 season due to injuries, according to Team USA.
He recently won second in men’s halfpipe snowboarding at the Dew Tour in Copper Mountain in December 2021.
UPDATE: Gold earned 5th in the men's snowboard halfpipe.
Jasper Good | Nordic combined | Steamboat Springs
Good, 25, will return to the Winter Olympics this year after competing in PyeongChang in 2018.
He is a solider assigned to the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program in Colorado Springs.
“I am incredibly honored and excited to be named to the 2022 U.S. Olympic Team,” Good said in an interview with the program. “Representing Team USA at the Games means even more to me as a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. The support and camaraderie I have gained has helped me reach new levels.”
UPDATE: Good placed 34th in Individual Gundersen Large Hill/10km. He placed 6th along with his teammates in the large hill 4.5km.
Nicole Hensley | Hockey | Lakewood
This 27-year-old from Lakewood started playing hockey when she was 7 years old after seeing her neighbor play in the street. Now, she’s returning for her second Olympics with the USA Hockey Team after winning gold in 2018.
In the 2018 final against Canada, the U.S. women won 3-2 in a shootout.
Hensley started as a player and after a few times trying goalie, realized she loved that position the most, according to Team USA.
She said she loves competing against the best players in the world and keeping the puck out of her net.
Hensley was born in Littleton.
UPDATE: U.S. women lost to Canada in the gold medal match. They will bring home the silver medal.
Birk Irving | Freestyle skiing | Winter Park
Irving, a 22-year-old Colorado native who was born in Englewood and now lives in Winter Park, is headed to his first Olympics.
He comes from a family who has always loved skiing — his father works for ski patrol, his mother is a former alpine racing coach, and his sister competes in halfpipe and slopestyle, according to Team USA.
He signed with his first sponsor for skiing when he was just 7 years old. He won gold in the 2016 Youth Olympics when he was 16 years old.
UPDATE: Irving finished 5th in men's freestylle halfpipe.
Jaelin Kauf | Freestyle skiing | Vail
Kauf, who was born in Vail and now calls Wyoming home, competed in her first Olympic Games in 2018 in PyeongChang, where she placed seventh, according to Team USA.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club member is an expert in moguls and comes from a family that knows the terrain well. Both her parents were previously on the pro mogul tour.
In 2016, she was named the rookie of the year during the 2016 World Cup tour.
UPDATE: Kauf finished second Sunday in freestyle moguls and will bring home a silver medal.
Hagen Kearney | Snowboarding | Norwood
Kearney, 30, calls Norwood his hometown and went to high school at Telluride Mountain School, where he graduated in 2010. He competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics, where he placed 13th.
According to Team USA, he started skateboarding before he picked up snowboarding, which he started after he turned 9.
When he was officially named as part of the U.S. Olympic Snowboardcross Team, he wrote on Instagram, "It’s official, I am heading into my 2nd Olympics!! The hard work has not stopped since the first one," along with several photos of those who have helped him along the way.
UPDATE: Kearney finished 17th in men's snowboard cross.
Alysa Liu | Figure skating | Colorado Springs
California-born Liu became the youngest U.S. champion ever at age 13 for figure skating, and last year she became the youngest ever two-time champion, according to Team USA.
She is the first woman ever to land a triple axel and quadruple jump in the same program, which she accomplished at the 2019 Junior Grand Prix in New York.
Now, at the age of 16, she is taking her talents to new heights, which included a move to a new coaching team in Colorado Springs.
She had to withdraw from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Jan. 7 after she tested positive for COVID-19, but still made the three-woman team.
UPDATE: Liu, as part of the team figure skating competition, won silver. She finished 7th in women single skating.
Leif Nordgren | Biathlon | Colorado Springs
Nordgren, 32, was born in Colorado Springs and most recently called Hinesburg, Vermont home.
He competed in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games and is prepared to return in 2022. His best finish at the Olympics was 44th in the sprint in Sochi in 2014.
He was named as a member of the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team on Jan. 9. He finished as the top American at both IBU World Cup sprint races that weekend, Team USA reported.
His love for skiing was born during his time in Colorado and evolved into the biathlon after a move to Minnesota, according to Team USA.
In his Team USA bio, Nordgren said if he was not an athlete, he would be “lost and confused.” He said he could not live without winter activities. He has a long-term goal of becoming a pilot.
UPDATE: Nordgren placed 87th in the men's 20K biathlon. He placed 83rd in the men's 10km sprint and 13th in the team 4x7.5km relay.
Nina O'Brien | Alpine skiing | Denver
Twenty-four-year-old O'Brien was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and now calls Denver her home.
According to Team USA, she started ski racing at the Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont as a high school student. She ended up competing in the 2016 Killington World Cup.
She is currently majoring in economics and learning German at Dartmouth, according to US Ski and Snowboard.
"OLYMPICS! What a wild ride," she wrote in an Instagram post. "I’m so honored to be representing @teamusa in Beijing! Thank you to everyone who’s helped me along the way. The list is long and I couldn’t do it without you. Biggest thanks goes to Mom and Dad for teaching me to dream big, can’t believe this one is actually coming true."
UPDATE: O'Brien fell on the giant slalom and was carried off of the slope.
Kai Owens | Freestyle skiing | Vail
Owens, who specializes in mogul skiing, made her Olympics earlier this year.
The 17-year-old will return to Beijing, where she was born and abandoned in a town square as an infant. She was then adopted by a couple from Colorado when she was about 16 months old.
At 14, she became the youngest American to win a NorAm moguls competition. She was named the women’s 2020-21 moguls rookie of the year as part of the freestyle & freeski World Cup awards.
The family had plans to travel to China last summer for a visit. It would’ve been a way to reduce some of the anxiety over her possible return for the Olympics. But the restrictions due to the pandemic nixed that idea. So she may be heading to China — without her family because of COVID-19 but hardly feeling alone.
“My parents have done an incredible job of making sure that we know we’re well loved,” Kai told the Associated Press before officially qualifying. “I think it will just be really cool to go back there.”
UPDATE: Owens finished 10th in women's moguls.
River Radamus | Alpine skiing | Edwards
Radamus was born in Steamboat Springs and now calls Edwards home. The 29-year-old competes in the super giant slalom (Super-G), slalom, giant slalom, and parallel mixed team.
His father is the former US Ski Team coach and the former director of Ski and Snowboard Club Vail, according to Team USA. Radamus is a strong supporter of the Protect Our Winters foundation, which focuses on creating non-partisan policies to protect the natural world.
He is in the process of creating his own foundation in hopes of improving access and affordability to the sport of ski racing, according to Team USA.
UPDATE: Radamus finished 15th in the men's Super-G. He finished 4th in the men's giant slalom.
Joanne Reid | Biathlon | Grand Junction
Reid, 29, was born in Wisconsin and calls both Grand Junction and Palo Alto, California, home. She went to school at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she graduated in 2013, according to Team USA.
She is returning to the Olympic stage for the second time after competing in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, where she finished 86th in sprint, 22nd in individual, 15th in mixed relay, and 13th in relay.
She told Team USA that when she travels for competitions, she misses Colorado’s craft beers. She is the daughter of 1980 Olympic bronze speedskating bronze medalist Beth (Heiden) Reid and the niece of five-time Olympic gold medalist and speed skating legend Eric Heiden, according to Team USA.
She is a member of the Colorado Biathlon Club.
UPDATE: Reid finished 57th in the women's 15km biathlon. She finished 34th in the 7.5km sprint and 29th in the women's 10km pursuit. The U.S. team, including her, finished 11th in the team 4x6km relay.
Mikaela Shiffrin | Alpine skiing | Vail
This popular two-time Olympian and three-time medalist is returning to the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. In late November, she nailed her 46th career win in World Cup slaloms.
She shot to stardom in 2014 when she was 18 years old, as the youngest person ever to win an Olympic gold in slalom. Shiffrin was introduced to skiing when she was just 2 years old skiing down her family’s driveway, according to Team USA.
Growing up in Vail only kicked the hobby into high gear.
She told Team USA she wants to go further than anybody ever has in the sport, and hopes to elevate it to a new level.
UPDATE: Shiffrin crashed in her first event, the giant slalom and missed a gate early in the first run of the slalom. She finished 9th in the women's Super-G. She finished 18th in the women's downhill.
Nicholas Shore | Hockey | Denver
Shore, 29, currently plays on the Hockey Club Sibir Novosibirsk Oblast, which is a Russian professional ice hockey team based in Novosibirsk.
According to Sports Illustrated, he leads the team with 299 career NHL games and helped the United States win gold at the 2010 International Ice Hockey Federation World U18 Championship.
"His ability to win face-offs, especially key draws in the defensive zone, will help Team USA protect leads throughout the Olympics," Team USA wrote about Shore when the team was announced.
He is the only male hockey player from Colorado.
UPDATE: The U.S. men's hockey team finished 5th after losing to Slovakia.
Hailey Swirbul | Cross-country skiing | El Jebel
Swirbul started her skiing career on moguls, and added mountain biking in during the snow-free months in Aspen, where she grew up. Her older brother convinced her to try cross-country skiing to stay fit for cycling. She gave it a go and was hooked after finishing on the podium in her first race.
In 2017, she helped the U.S. make history in the 4 x 3.3km relay at the world junior championships, according to Team USA. The following year, became the first U.S. woman to win two individual medals at junior world championships.
In 2021, she landed on the podium in her second World Cup in the 10K freestyle.
Now 23, she's ready for her first Olympics.
"I feel honored that I've been given this chance to show how competitive the U.S. is in cross-country skiing beyond our amazing World Cup team," she told U.S. Ski and Snowboard.
UPDATE: Swirbul finished 40th in the women's 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon for cross-country skiing, and 32nd in the women's 10km classic. The U.S. women's team, including her, finished 6th in the 4x5km relay.
Meghan Tierney | Snowboarding | Eagle
Tierney, 25, is returning to the Olympics after placing 17th in PyeongChang in 2018. She says her hometown is Eagle, but she also lives in Rumson, New Jersey.
She started snowboarding when she was 10 years old, Team USA reported.
In her free time, she also enjoys surfing and skateboarding.
"Want to say thank you to all those who have supported me and helped me get to where I am today," she posted on Instagram. "My family, friends, coaches/ techs and sponsors I couldn’t do it without you all!"
UPDATE: Tierney placed 12th in the women's snowboard cross.
Katie Uhlaender | Skeleton | Breckenridge
Born in Vail, Uhlaender now calls both Breckenridge and McGregor, Texas, home. The 37-year-old is no stranger to the Olympic stage, having competed in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018. She has been competing in the World Championships since 2003.
No other U.S. woman in a sliding sport has ever competed in five Olympics, Team USA reported.
According to Team USA, she started skeleton after falling in love with skiing, snowboarding, and kiteboarding.
She is one of three members on the U.S. Olympic skeleton team, which is the smallest delegation Team USA has sent to the competition since 2002, the team reported.
Skeleton is a sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled — known as a skeleton — down a frozen track while lying face down.
UPDATE: Uhlaender finished 6th in skeleton.
Dylan Walczyk | Freestyle skiing | Blue River
Walczyk, now 28, started skiing for fun with his parents as a child in New York, but the love for the sport grew and as he picked up racing and mogul skiing, his parents decided to move to Summit County for him to pursue a career in skiing.
Beijing will be Walczyk's first time on the Olympic stage.
UPDATE: Walczyk finished 16th in men's moguls.
Cody Winters | Snowboarding | Steamboat Springs
If your last name is Winters, it must be hard not to enjoy the season, right? This 21-year-old is a member of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and calls the city home.
In an interview with Olympics.com, he said he went down his first black diamond on a snowboard when he was 4 years old.
When he started pursuing his Olympic dream, he also had to brainstorm how he'd make it happen financially. He saw his competition with their multiple coaches, unlimited budgets and travel expenses covered. But his entrepreneurial mind helped keep him in the game, and he started his own company called Winters Window Washing.
"Steamboat is a tiny town, and word of mouth is really big," he told Olympics.com. "A lot of people in Steamboat love winter sports, and they try to support me. My business is the only reason I can come over to Europe, stay here and compete. Having to pay for everything makes me even more grateful for what I do have."
UPDATE: Winters ended up in 29th for giant slalom snowboarding.
Vincent Zhou | Figure skating | Colorado Springs
Zhou calls California home, but trains alongside his coaches long-term in Colorado Springs and graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School.
The 21-year-old competed in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018, where he placed 6th.
In 2013, he became the youngest U.S. junior champion and won the world junior title in 2017, according to Team USA. Most recently, in 2019, he won bronze at the world championships.
Zhou started skating when he was 5 years old at a friend’s birthday party, according to his Team USA bio. He has enjoyed hiking since he moved to Colorado to train.
UPDATE: Zhou announced on his Instagram that he tested positive for COVID-19 and will have to withdraw from the individual event competition. Zhou, as part of the team figure skating competition, won silver.