6 Reasons Why Vermont is the Top Breeding Ground for Winter Olympians
Sarah Wojcik, email@example.com
Vermont produces more US Winter Olympians per capita than any other state by a long shot. Nineteen athletes with Vermont ties made their way to Sochi in February to compete for their country. That said, it’s not only the number of Olympians from Vermont that is impressive, it’s the quality. Six Vermont athletes took home medals from the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi. That is 6 out of 28 total medals for the USA, meaning 21% of the winning athletes have Vermont roots. Not bad for a little New England state of only 625,000 inhabitants.
Here are the winning facts:
- Mikaela Shiffrin, a graduate of Burke Mountain Academy, won Gold in the Women’s Slalom.
- Devin Logan, a Mount Snow Academy graduate, won Silver in the first ever Olympic Women’s Ski Slopestyle competition.
- Kelly Clark, another Mount Snow Academy graduate, won the Bronze in the Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe.
- Hannah Kearney, a Norwich, VT native, former Gold Medalist and 2-time World Cup champion, brought home the Bronze in Women’s Moguls.
- Alex Deibold, a Stratton Mountain School graduate, won Bronze in the Men’s Snowboard Cross.
- Nick Goepper, yet another Mount Snow prodigy, competed in his first Olympics bringing home a Bronze in Men’s Ski Slopestyle.
And there is more.
Shiffrin is one of four US women to ever stand at the top of the Olympic podium for the Slalom race. Two of the other 3 also hail from Vermont: Andrea Mead Lawrence of Pico Mountain in 1952 (She took home the GS title, too.) and Barbara Ann Cochran of Cochran’s Ski Area in 1972.
Kelly Clark of Mount Snow is the most decorated snowboarder in the history of snowboarding, male or female. A now three-time Olympic medalist, Kelly has had over 60 career wins, and over 100 podium visits in her career.
Clearly Vermont’s ski and snowboard academies and terrain are putting athletes to the test and preparing them for high level competition, but the strong ski and snowboard community is also to credit for instilling pride and positivity that these athletes can take anywhere in the world.
Take it from Silver medalist, Devin Logan. "Skiing in Vermont builds a great strong foundation to become a skier (or snowboarder) that can handle any kind of conditions. Without my Vermont skiing roots, I wouldn't be where I am today. If you can ski the east, you can ski anything! Vermont is my home and it is always the best to come home to, and I have felt an overwhelming sense of love and support coming out of Vermont the last month and beyond."
Photo: Devin Logan reacts to winning a Silver medal in the Women’s Ski Slopestyle; Nick Goepper goes big at Sochi, taking home Bronze in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle.
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