Famous Colorado Winter Olympians Past and Present

Colorado is the home of many Winter Olympics athletes including skiers Gretchen Bleiler and Chris Klug (both live in Aspen), Lindsey Vonn and Sarah Schleper (both live in Vail), Taylor Fletcher and Todd Lodwick (both live in Steamboat Springs), and Johnny Spillane (born in Steamboat Springs). Bleiler won a silver medal in the 2006 games. Chris Klug, a liver transplant recipient, has won one Olympic medal. Lindsey Vonn, who has started in 11 Olympic Games and has won two medals, represents Vail Resorts, among her many other sponsors. Sarah Schleper was born in Glenwood Springs and although she has had eight Olympic starts, she has not yet won a medal. Nicknamed “Tam-Tam,” Taylor Fletcher, now 22 years old, has appeared in one Olympic Game but did not win a medal. Although he has appeared in nine Olympic Game starts, Lodwick, who goes by the nicknames “Buckly” and “Little Cheese,” has yet to win a medal. Despite suffering several injuries, Johnny Spillane has won two Olympic medals.

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductees from Colorado or who have lived in Colorado include skiers Marvin Crawford (who attended the University of Denver), Bill Marolt (who attended the University of Colorado), Steamboat Springs residents Billy Kidd, Hank Kashiwa, Gordon Wren,    and Wallace “Buddy” Werner,  as well as Hot Sulfur Springs resident Robert “Barney” McLean. Crawford’s abilities as a skier were quite diverse. He competed in four different types of skiing; downhill, slalom, jumping, and cross-country. Bill Marolt participated in the 1964 Winter Olympics in Austria. He was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association in 1996. Billy Kidd won a silver medal in the 1964 Winter Olympics. Kashiwa was a member of the 1972 U.S. Winter Olympics Ski team. Inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, Gordon Wren appeared in the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Werner, was named to the 1956 and 1964 U.S. Olympic teams. He died in 1964 under an avalanche in Switzerland. Barney McLean appeared in two Olympics and was captain of the 1948 ski team.

The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has also inducted several Colorado-born or past or current Colorado resident Olympic ice skaters including Yvonne Tutt (whose husband is William Tutt, former Chairman of the 1968 U.S. Olympic Committee), Colorado College graduates Hayes and David Jenkins, Scott Hamilton, and Colorado Springs resident Peggy Fleming. Brothers Hayes and David Jenkins, both captured gold medals in Olympic Games; Hayes in 1956 and David in 1960. David also won a bronze medal in 1956. Scott Hamilton, who frequently works for CBS as a sports commentator, won a Gold Medal in the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. The first two years after the Olympics, Hamilton enjoyed success with the Ice Capades tour. He has been inducted into both the U.S. Olympic and World Figure Skating Halls of Fame. Peggy Fleming won a gold medal while competing in the 1968 Winter Olympics in France. She was the only member of the U.S. ice skating team to receive a medal in 1968.

Peter Forsberg played hockey representing the Swedish Olympic team as well as being a retired star player for the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Colorado Avalanche, where he assisted in winning two Stanley Cups. Forsberg appeared in three Winter Olympics in which he won gold medals.

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