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.

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Road to Sochi
5:20 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Road to Sochi: U.S. Cross Country Team "Strongest Ever"

In late December, cross country skier Simi Hamilton had a career first. He claimed victory at a World Cup "stage race."
Credit nordic.usskiteam.com

History could be made at next month’s Winter Olympics in cross country skiing. Ski experts say the United States’ cross-country skiing team is the strongest it’s ever been. And, two of its members are from Aspen. This month, Noah Hoffman and Simi Hamilton learned they’re heading to Sochi. Hoffman specializes in distance racing. Hamilton excels in sprints. The United States hasn’t picked up a medal in cross-country skiing since 1976. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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Road to Sochi
5:17 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Road to Sochi: Documentary Highlights Dangers of Extreme Sports

A new documentary called The Crash Reel opened in theaters in December. It details the crash and recovery of pro snowboarder and 2010 Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce.
Credit The Crash Reel

As the Olympic Games get closer, the competitions are heating up. The Aspen-area athletes competing in ski racing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, snowboarding and freeskiing will find out soon whether they’ve made Team USA. Some local athletes compete in the halfpipe like snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler and freeskiers Torin Yater-Wallace and Alex Ferriera. Skiing Halfpipe is a new discipline at the upcoming Olympics. Just like many competitions, this event can be dangerous and even fatal. A new documentary features 2010 Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce who crashed during training and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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Road to Sochi
5:35 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Road to Sochi: Knee Injury Takes Aspen Ski Racer Out of Olympic Trials

Aspen resident and ski racer Wiley Maple is out for the season. He was working toward competing in the Olympics but an old knee injury flared up.
Credit alpine.usskiteam.com

The Aspen area athletes vying for a spot on Team USA are competing in Olympic qualifying contests. Months of training lead up to this time of the year when athletes throw their best tricks and ski as fast as they can. But for some, the season is cut short because they get hurt. That’s the case for ski racer Wiley Maple. The 23-year-old was anticipating competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. As he explains, the setback is difficult but somewhat common in the world of sports. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with Maple.

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Road to Sochi
4:34 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Road to Sochi: Abbott Credits Family for Figure Skating Success

Figure skater and Aspen native Jeremy Abbott is working hard to get to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. He's a three-time national champion.
Credit Leary O'Gorman

As the Olympic Games get closer, athletes like figure skater Jeremy Abbott are working hard to make Team USA. The three-time U.S. champion and Aspen native has yet to deliver on the world stage. Abbott wants 2014 to be the year he takes a medal. With only two spots open on the U.S. men’s figure skating team, the competition is tough. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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Road to Sochi
5:21 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Road to Sochi: Aspen's Olympic History Stretches Back Decades

The 1959 U.S. Ski Team includes athletes with Aspen connections. Chuck Ferries and Max Marolt are two of them.
Aspen Historical Society/Tony Gauba collection

Over the last several weeks, we’ve heard from nearly a dozen athletes working toward competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics. That’s a big number and it isn’t uncommon. For decades, Aspen’s been either a hometown or training grounds for Olympic athletes. Since the 1930s, nearly thirty athletes with ties to Aspen have competed in the Olympic Games. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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