The Road to Sochi

Over the next few months we’ll Introduce you to home-grown athletes and what it takes to be at the top of their sport.

This year, ten athletes who trained in Aspen are vying to compete in Sochi. All of them are currently on national teams and are alumni of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, which has been training Olympians for decades. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with Mark Cole, Director of the Club.

List of AVSC alumni who are currently competing on national teams. They're working to compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on February 7, 2014.

Alice McKennis

Katie Ryan

Wiley Maple

Jordie Karlinski

Gretchen Bleiler

Torin Yater-Wallace

Alex Ferreira

Noah Hoffman

Simi Hamilton

Michael Ward

Meg Olenick

Jeremy Abbott

Support for the "Road to Sochi Series" on Aspen Public Radio comes from The Ute Mountaineer, a family owned and operated outdoor specialty store serving the Aspen community since 1977. The Ute offers technicalclothing and gear for back country and cross country skiing, alpine touring, telemarking, and snowshoeing, along with advice to select the gear for your needs. More at utemountaineer.com.

Twitter/Alex Ferreira

Aspen native Alex Ferreira was asked to be on the U.S. Ski Team before he graduated high school. The 19-year-old freeskier competes in the halfpipe and the 2014 Olympics would be his first. Right now, he’s splitting his time between training, competing and studying. He’s enrolled in college in Utah, and he says it keeps his life balanced. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

usskiteam.com

With the Winter Olympics less than three months away, local athletes are competing in races that will determine whether they make Team USA. Ski racer Noah Hoffman is the top distance Nordic skier in the country. And, he’s preparing for upcoming races in Norway and Finland. The 24-year-old says he’s ready, after hundreds of hours of training this summer. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

megolenick.com

Twenty-five year-old Meg Olenick  grew up skiing in Aspen, trailing her two older brothers. When they started doing tricks at the terrain park, Olenick followed suit. Soon, she was competing in slopestyle skiing around the world. The discipline is new to the Winter Olympics in 2014 and Olenick wants to be part of history in the making. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

USSA

Nordic ski racer Simi Hamilton is one of the fastest sprinters in the United States. He clocks speeds up to 55 miles per hour when he flies across snowy courses. Since he was named to the U.S. Ski Team in 2010, he’s done well both nationally and in World Cup races. Now, Hamilton is training to make the 2014 Winter Olympic team. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen caught up with the Aspen native during some rare downtime.

Facebook/Michael Ward

Today, we look at one of three Aspen-area athletes who competes in cross country skiing. Michael Ward is one of the youngest on the US Nordic team. He’s just 20-years-old. Still, he’s hoping to beat the older competition so he can land a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

winterolympics.edublogs.org

Not all of the athletes who train in Aspen will be heading to the Olympics, some will compete in the Paralympics, which are also held in Russia. These Games in March feature events like alpine skiing, biathlon and wheelchair curling.

Seven athletes on the U.S. Paralympic National Team train in Aspen. And, they’ve got a good shot at making the Paralympic team. Kevin Jardine works with the U.S. Olympic Committee and helps out in Aspen, with the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s Adaptive Program. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen.

allisports.com

Our Road to Sochi series takes a look at the Aspen-area athletes training and competing this fall in hopes of making the 2014 Olympic team. Today, we take you to an extreme snowsports course, one with rails and big jumps. It’s new to the Olympics, but competing in Snowboard Slopestyle is something Jordie Karlinski has been doing for years. The petite 24-year-old is hoping this year, she’ll be throwing tricks in Sochi, Russia. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

John Ohail/oakley.com

As the Winter Olympics inch closer, we’re continuing to highlight the Aspen-area athletes who are training for the Games. Ski racer and Aspen native Wiley Maple is a speed demon. Last year, he was clocked going 95 miles per hour down a snowy course. But, Maple is more than just a skier, he loves art. During slow times at competitions, you can find him sketching to pass the time. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Oliver Kraus/USSA

Our series continues this week with a look at how winter athletes are chosen for the U.S. Olympic team. The competition is fierce. Athletes who train together often become competitors. There’s a set of guidelines athletes must meet to grab one of a handful of open spots in each event, whether it’s cross-country team sprint, snowboard half-pipe or alpine super-G. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen talked to Tom Kelly with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, or USSA, about the process.

U.S. Ski Team

The Road to Sochi is a look at the ten athletes from the Aspen area who are training with the hopes of making it onto the 2014 Winter Olympic team.

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