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Meet the Twenty Colorado Men in the 2018 Winter Olympics

Hagen Kearney's caption on this photo reads, "Knocking the rust off."
Hagen Kearney's caption on this photo reads, "Knocking the rust off." Facebook
The opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics got under way today, Friday, February 9, in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Colorado is definitely present and accounted for. As we noted in a previous post, eleven women members of the U.S. Olympics team currently live in the state, with many of them having been born here. And Colorado men are even more heavily represented. Twenty have ties to our fair state. Meet all of them here.

In all, 31 Coloradans will be competing in Pyeongchang — by far the most from any state. The next closest is California, with 22, just two more than the number of Colorado men alone.

There are certainly big names among the female athletes from Colorado, including Lindsey Vonn, who's appeared in a slew of NBC promos for the games for weeks and weeks, and Mikaela Shiffrin, an incredibly accomplished skier seemingly ready to take her fame to the next level.

But there are also plenty of Colorado men of note — among them snowboarders such as Aaron Blunck, who took first in the superpipe at X Games Aspen circa 2017. Others offer a slew of great stories. The Nordic Combined squad includes a set of brothers, Brian and Taylor Fletcher, while bobsledder Nathan Weber is an active duty Green Beret and freestyle skier Torin Yater-Wallace descends from surfing royalty.

And then there's Gus Kenworthy, a silver medalist in the 2014 Winter Olympics who's both the first openly gay member of the U.S. Olympic team and a man not shy about speaking his mind. During an appearance on Ellen this week, Kenworthy ripped homophobic vice president Mike Pence, who represented the United States at the opening ceremonies. which began at 4 a.m. Mountain Standard Time today. "To have someone leading the delegation that's directly attacked the LGBT community...it just seems like a bad fit," he said, adding, "I feel like the Olympics is all about inclusion and people coming together, and it seems like it's not really doing that."

Plenty of people would like to give Kenworthy a medal for these words alone. Below, see photos of each Colorado competitor and learn more about them from their Team USA biographies.

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Casey Andringa is from Milwaukee but now makes his home in Boulder.
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Name: Casey Andringa
Sport: Freestyle Skiing
Event(s): Moguls
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 180 lbs.
DOB: 10/6/1995
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hometown: Boulder, Colorado
College: University of Colorado Boulder, Marketing
Team/Club: Ski Club Vail

Olympic Experience

• Olympian (2018)

Other Career Highlights

• 2015 FIS Junior World Championships, 3rd (dual moguls)

Personal: Son of Jeff and Pam ... Has on older sister, Heidi, and one brother, Jesse ... Is a drummer in a local band, Salty ... Hobbies include surfing, climbing and photography.

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Ben Berend just made his first Olympics team.
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Name: Ben Berend
Sport: Nordic Combined
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 145 lbs.
DOB: 6/29/1995
Birthplace: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Hometown: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
High School: Steamboat Springs High School, ’13
College: University of Utah
Team/Club: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Olympic Experience

• Olympian (2018)

World Championship Experience

• Most recent: 2017 — 8th (team normal hill/4x5K), 40th (large hill/10K), 41st (normal hill/10K)
• Years of participation: 2015, 2017
• Top finish: 8th (team normal hill/4x5K) – 2017

Other Career Highlights

• 2015 FIS Junior World Championships, 7th (team normal hill/4x5K)
• 2014 FIS Junior World Championships, 9th (team normal hill/4x5K)
• 2013 FIS Junior World Championships, 9th (team normal hill/4x5K)

Personal: Son to Hans and Heidi Berend ... Has one sister, Sabina ... Hobbies include mountain and road biking, running, reading, hiking and board and card games.

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Aaron Blunck doesn't let a lack of snow stop him from training for the halfpipe.
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Name: Aaron Blunck
Sport: Freestyle Skiing
Event(s): Halfpipe
Height: 6'
Weight: 165 lbs.
DOB: 4/12/1996
Birthplace: Englewood, Colorado
Hometown: Crested Butte, Colorado
High School: Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (Vail, Colorado)
Team/Club: Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

Olympic Experience

• Two-time Olympian (2014, 2018)
•  Sochi 2014, 7th (halfpipe)

World Championship Experience

Most recent: 2017 — gold (halfpipe)
Years of participation: 2013, 2017
Medals: 1 (gold)
Gold — 2017 (halfpipe)

Youth Championship Experience

•  Winter Youth Olympic Games Innsbruck 2012, bronze (halfpipe)

Other Career Highlights

• 2017 FIS World Cup Standings, 3rd (halfpipe)
• 2017 X Games Aspen, 1st (superpipe)
• 2016 FIS World Cup Standings, 2nd (halfpipe), 7th (overall)
• 2014 FIS World Cup Standings, 2nd (halfpipe)
• 2013 FIS World Cup Standings, 4th (halfpipe)

Personal: Son of Lisa and Michael Blunck ... Has one brother, Nolan ... Began skiing when he was eighteen months old ... First competed in freestyle skiing at age eight ... Hobbies include skateboarding, biking, fishing, camping and snowboarding.

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David Chodounsky celebrates at his first Olympics games: Sochi in 2014.
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Name: David Chodounsky
Sport: Alpine Skiing
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 185 lbs.
DOB: 6/25/1984
Birthplace: St. Paul, Minnesota
Hometown: Crested Butte, Colorado
High School: Crested Butte Academy (Crested Butte, Colo.) ’03
College: Dartmouth College ’08, Engineering and Earth Sciences

Olympic Experience

• Two-time Olympian (2014, 2018)
• Sochi 2014, DNF (slalom)

World Championship Experience

• Most recent: 2017 — 11th (giant slalom), 12th (slalom)
• Years of participation: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
• Top finish: 11th (giant slalom) — 2017

Personal: Son of Anna and Martin Chodounsky ... Married to Ramsay ... Began skiing at the age of two, when his parents pushed him down the hill in the front yard ... Hobbies include fly fishing, biking and spending time outdoors with his dog.

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A portrait of Chris Corning as a young snowboarder.
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Name: Chris Corning
Sport: Snowboarding
Event(s): Slopestyle, Big Air
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 165 lbs.
DOB: 9/7/1999
Birthplace: Silverthorne, Colorado
Hometown: Silverthorne, Colorado
Team/Club: Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club

Olympic Experience

• Olympian (2018)

World Championship Experience

• Most recent: 2017 — silver, bronze (slopestyle)
• Years of participation: 2017
• Medals: 2 (1 silver, 1 bronze)
• Top finish: Silver — 2017 (slopestyle)
• Top finish: Silver — 2017 (big air)

Other Career Highlights

• 2017 FIS World Cup Standings, 9th (slopestyle), 10th (big air), 10th (overall)
• 2016 FIS World Cup Standings, 1st (slopestyle), 2nd (freestyle overall)
• 2016 FIS Junior World Championships, 1st (slopestyle), 1st (big air)

Personal: Son of Brook and Laura Corning ... Started snowboarding at age seven ... Hobbies include dirt biking and camping ... Hopes to one day go to culinary school.

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Snowboarder Mick Dierdorff from a peak perspective.
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Name: Mick Dierdorff
Sport: Snowboarding
Event(s): Snowboardcross
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 185 lbs.
DOB: 4/30/1991
Birthplace: Bellevue, Washington
Hometown: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
High School: Steamboat Springs High School (Steamboat Springs, Colorado)
College: University of Utah, Business
Team/Club: Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Olympic Experience

• Olympian (2018)

Other Career Highlights

• 2017 FIS World Cup Standings, 5th (snowboardcross)

Personal: Son of Mary and Skip Dierdorff ... Has one sister, Molly ... Started snowboarding at age ten ... Frames houses part-time ... Hobbies include camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, mountain biking and playing golf.

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Freestyle skier Alex Ferreira is all smiles.
Name: Alex Ferreira
Sport: Freestyle Skiing
Event(s): Halfpipe
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 140 lbs.
DOB: 8/14/1994
Birthplace: Aspen, Colorado
Hometown: Aspen, Colorado
College: Westminster College
Team/Club: Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club; Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

Olympic Experience

• Olympian (2018)

Other Career Highlights

• 2017 FIS World Cup Standings, 6th (halfpipe)
• 2016 FIS World Cup Standings, 6th (halfpipe)
• 2016 X Games Oslo, 2nd (superpipe)
• 2015 FIS World Cup Standings, 5th (halfpipe)
• 2015 X Games Aspen, 3rd (superpipe)
• 2014 FIS World Cup Standings, 7th (halfpipe)
• 2014 X Games Aspen, 3rd (superpipe)
• 2013 FIS World Cup Standings, 9th (halfpipe)

Personal: Son of Marcelo, a former professional soccer player ... Began skiing at the age of three ... First skied moguls before switching to halfpipe ... Enjoys trampolining, hiking, biking, running, traveling and woodworking.

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Bryan Fletcher is one of four Coloradans on the five-man Nordic Combined team at the 2018 games.
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Name: Bryan Fletcher
Sport: Nordic Combined
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 140 lbs.
DOB: 6/27/1986
Birthplace: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Hometown: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
High School: Park City Winter Sports School (Park City, Utah) ’04
College: Westminster College and Utah State University

Olympic Experience

• Two-time Olympian (2014, 2018)
• Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, 6th (men's team), 22nd (large hill/10km individual), 26th (normal hill/10km individual)

World Championship Experience

• Most recent: 2017 — 8th (team normal hill/4x5K), 9th (team sprint large hill/2x7.5K), 14th (normal hill/10K), 31st (large hill/10K)
• Years of participation: 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
• Medals: 1 (1 bronze)
• Bronze — 2013 (team normal hill/4x5K)

Personal: Son of Tim and Penny Fletcher ... Has one younger brother, Taylor, who is also a member of Team USA ... Has a daughter, Ellery, with wife Nikki ... Is a cancer survivor ... Co-founded ccThrive, a charity that aims to help young cancer survivors thrive after cancer ... Hobbies include mountain biking, camping, kayaking and hiking ... Began skiing at age four.

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Taylor Fletcher, younger brother of Nordic combined teammate Bryan Fletcher, was amazed to be in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
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Name: Taylor Fletcher
Sport: Nordic Combined
Height: 6'
Weight: 155 lbs.
DOB: 5/11/1990
Birthplace: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Hometown: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
High School: Steamboat Springs High School (Steamboat Springs, Colorado) ’08
College: Westminster College

Olympic Experience

• Three-time Olympian (2010, 2014, 2018)
• Sochi 2014, 6th (men's team), 20th (large hill/10km individual), 33rd (normal hill/10 km individual)
• Vancouver 2010, 11th (large hill team ski jumping), 45th (large hill/10 km individual)

World Championship Experience

• Most recent: 2017 — 8th (team normal hill/4x5K), 9th (team sprint large hill/2x7.5K), 21st (normal hill/10K), 36th (large hill/10K)
• Years of participation: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
• Medals: 1 (1 bronze)
• Bronze — 2013 (team normal hill/4x5K)

Personal: Son of Tim and Penny Fletcher ... Has one older brother, Taylor, who is also a member of Team USA ... Enrolled at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club at age four... Hobbies include cycling and cooking.

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Snowboarder Red Gerard is going to make like a tree and leaf.
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Name: Red Gerard
Sport: Snowboarding
Event(s): Big Air, Slopestyle
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 116 lbs.
DOB: 6/29/2000
Birthplace: Westlake, Ohio
Hometown: Silverthorne, Colorado
Team/Club: Burton Global Team

Olympic Experience

• Olympian (2018)

Other Career Highlights

• 2017 FIS World Cup Standings, 1st (slopestyle), 4th (overall)
• 2015 FIS Junior World Championships, 4th (slopestyle)

Personal: Son of Conrad and Jen Gerard ... Has four brothers, Brendan, Creighton, Malachi and Trevor, and two sisters, Asher and Tieghan ... Began snowboarding at age to ... Has his own trick park at his house ... Hobbies include skateboarding and golf.
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