Meet Eight Colorado Natives Competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics

Today brings the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — and while many will be watching to find out if the games turn into a literal shit show (thanks to reports about water tainted by feces), those of us in Colorado have another reason to tune in: home-state pride.

The presence of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, not to mention mountainous terrain capable of testing even the best distance runners and cyclists, has inspired plenty of great athletes from America and beyond to live and train here.

But the Olympic team also sports a slew of competitors who not only reside in Colorado, but were born here, too.

Surprisingly, this group doesn't include swimmer Missy Franklin, whose performances during the 2012 London Olympics turned her into a national star; although raised in these parts, she was born in Pasadena, California. However, there are plenty of other Colorado natives on the squad, including some with a legitimate chance to medal — among them Mallory Pugh and Lindsey Horan, who'll be playing for the heavily favored women's soccer team, and Boulder cyclist Taylor Phinney, who's competing in his third Olympics.

Meet eight Colorado-born Olympians below, featuring photos and text from

Name: Mara Abbott
Sport: Cycling
Discipline(s): Road Cycling
Event(s): Road Race
Height: 5-4
Weight: 115
DOB: 11/14/1985
Birthplace: Boulder, Colo.
Hometown: Boulder, Colo.
High School: Fairview High School (Boulder, Colo.) ‘04
College: Whitman College ‘08, Economics

Olympic Experience
• Rio 2016 Olympic Games, qualified

World Championship Experience
• Most recent: 2014 – DNF (road race)
• Years of participation: 2007, 2009, 2013-14
• Top finish: 2009 – 18th (road race)

Personal: Daughter of David and Elizabeth Abbott ...Has one brother, Nate...Previously competed in swimming at Whitman College...Took up cycling as a means of cross training for swimming...Practices and teaches yoga in Boulder, Colorado...Writes for the Boulder Daily Camera and sits on the City of Boulder’s environmental board.

Name: Boris Berian
Sport: Track and Field
Event(s): 800-meter
Height: 6-0
Weight: 153
DOB: 12/19/1992
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
High School: Widefield High School (Colorado Springs, Colo.) ‘11
College: Adams State University ‘15, Education and Coaching
Team/Club: Big Bear Track Club

Olympic Experience
• Rio 2016 Olympic Games, qualified

World Championship Experience
• Most recent: 2016 – gold
• Years of participation: Indoor – 2016
• Medals: 1 (gold)
• Gold – 2016

Personal: Son of Larry and Silvia Berian...Has one brother, Curtis, and one sister, Leslie...Favorite food is bacon.

Name: Emma Coburn
Sport: Track and Field
Event(s): 3,000-meter Steeplechase
Height: 5-8
Weight: 120
DOB: 10/19/1990
Birthplace: Boulder, Colo.
Hometown: Crested Butte, Colo.
High School: Crested Butte High School (Crested Butte, Colo.) '08
College: University of Colorado, '13, Marketing
Coach(es): Mark Wetmore

Olympic Experience
• Rio 2016 Olympic Games, qualified
• London 2012 Olympic Games, 9th

World Championship Experience
• Most recent: 2015 – 5th
• Years of participation: Outdoor – 2011, 2015
• Top finish: 5th – 2015

Personal: Daughter of Bill and Annie Coburn...Has two brothers, Joe and Willy, and one sister, Gracie...Married to Joe Bosshard...2011 NCAA outdoor champion...At age 21, was the youngest U.S. runner to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games...Volunteered with Living Journeys Cancer Foundation and the Mountain Adventure Kid’s Camp.

Name: Howard Grotts
Sport: Cycling
Discipline(s): Mountain Bike
Height: 5-7
Weight: 130
DOB: 1/12/1993
Birthplace: Durango, Colo.
Hometown: Durango, Colo.

Olympic Experience
• Rio 2016 Olympic Games, qualified

Other Career Highlights
• 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships U23, bronze
• 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships U23, 12th
• 2012 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships U23, 16th

Personal: Son of Don Grotts and Deborah Williams...Has one sibling, Donnie (deceased)...Brother, Donnie, who passed away in 2016, influenced him to begin mountain biking...Graduated summa cum laude from Fort Lewis College.

Continue to meet four more Colorado natives taking part in the 2016 Rio Olympics.