The Sochi Games are just days away, and while we'll be rooting hard for every Team USA athlete - from the curlers to the figure skaters - we'll be cheering especially hard for 3 athletes in particular: because they're our very own!
Alpine skier Ted Ligety, slopestyle snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg and slopestyle freeskier Joss Christensen are all Park City locals and all part of our own pro team here at the mountain. All 3 will be in medal contention, and we couldn't be prouder to have them as representatives to the world both of our mountain and their hometown of Park City.
Get to know more about Ted, Sage and Joss below - and join us in cheering them on in Sochi!
No stranger to the Olympic podium, Ted Ligety burst onto the global scene in 2006 when he recorded his first major international win with a gold medal in Men's Combined at the Turin Games. At the ripe old age of 21, Ted was the first American Olympic ski racing gold medalist in a dozen years. Ted continued to add to his trophy case in the ensuing years before putting the world on notice by bringing home 3 gold medals at the 2013 World Championships in Schladming, Austria. Ted was only the fifth man ever to win such a haul at the event, and the first in 45 years. Ted's dominant 2013 season makes him a Sochi medal favorite and one of the most prominently profiled Team USA athletes at Sochi. Ted grew up learning to ski and race on our mountain, and is a common sight on our lifts when he's home between World Cup events.
Spend any amount of time in our terrain parks and there's good chance you'll see Park City All Star Sage Kotsenburg slaying a rail or boosting a jump with his signature style. Born in Idaho and raised right here in Park City, Sage is one of the most well-known members of our pro snow team. Though he's a star in our series of "I Ride Park City" snowboard edits, Sage is equally comfortable on the slopestyle course with silver medals in the X Games and X Games Europe to show for it. Sage punched his ticket for Sochi with a slopestyle win at the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain. We don't think Sage will feel any pressure at slopestyle's Olympic debut, when asked about his standing with the team at Mammoth, Sage replied, "I don't care about that stuff. I'm here to snowboard."
Over the course of competition this winter, a number of names had been tossed out during speculation of who would ultimately represent Team USA on its first ever US Olympic Freeskiing team. Park City All Star Joss Christensen's name wasn't at the center of those early conversations, but he forced his way into the only one that mattered by winning the final Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Slopestyle competition. A few days later, Joss was added to the team by the coaches - a nice reward for throwing down the two biggest scores of that final day of competition. That such a dominant triumph came on his home mountain - right here in our King's Crown terrain park - made it all the sweeter. Joss joins a stacked 4-person US Olympic Men's Slopestyle team and we're thrilled to watch the Park City local drop hammers on the world's biggest stage.
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.
Nicole Roundy is a world class snowboarder on the US Paralympic Team. She is a cancer survivor, inspiration seeker, crossfit training, Park City riding superpower blogger. Follow her adventures right here. You can also spy her on twitter (@nicoleroundy) and Instragram (@nroundy)