Winter Olympics: 10 U.S. States Sending Most Athletes to Sochi
At 230 members, the team the United States is sending to Sochi is the largest winter delegation of any nation ever. All 15 disciplines will be represented by Team USA in 94 of the 98 medal events. The Olympians hail from all over the country, but some states are more heavily represented than others. Keep reading to find out which 10 states are sending the most athletes to Sochi in 2014, which winter sports they participate in, and other Olympics-related information.
10. Illinois: 10 athletes [tie]
Long track speedskating led the way for U.S. Winter Olympics athletes, with five of the 17 total having Illinois ties. Athletes train in centers all around the country. In all, there are 15 Olympic training sites in 13 states across the U.S., but none call Illinois home. When an athlete is training at an Olympic facility, there are dorm or suite-style accommodations available. Athletes also receive nutritional guidance, training, and can consult sports psychologists.
Ice hockey: Megan Bozek, Kendall Coyne
Figure skating: Jason Brown
Speedskating, long track: Shani Davis, Brian Hansen, Jonathan Kuck, Emery Lehman, Patrick Meek
Bobsled: Aja Evans
Curling: Ann Swisshelm
10. Massachusetts: 10 athletes [tie]
Over in Massachusetts, members of the ice hockey team comprised more than half (NYSE:SIX) of that state’s 10 delegates. There is also one member of the bobsled portion of the U.S. delegation. Bobsled, or bobsleigh, has been an event at the Winter Games since 1924. For the event, four runs will be held over a two-day period, and the winners will be the teams with the lowest times in their category.
Ice hockey: Kacey Bellamy, John Carlson, Alex Carpenter, Meghan Duggan, Michelle Picard, Molly Schaus
Skiing, freestyle: Emily Cook, Annalisa Drew
Bobsled: Steve Langton
Figure skating: Simon Shnapir
8. Michigan: 13 athletes [tie]
There was more diversity of sports from Michigan, but figure skating had the most representatives, with five total. Michigan is also home to an Olympic training facility. Northern Michigan University in Marquette is a designated site. Mainly used for wrestling, the facility has also hosted training for 28 other sports, as well.
Ice hockey: Cam Fowler, Ryan Kesler, Ryan Miller
Speedskating, long track: Jilleanne Rookard
Figure skating: Evan Bates, Meryl Davis, Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, Charlie White
Snowboarding: Nick Baumgartner, Danny Davis, Karly Shorr
Speedskating, short track: Jessica Smith
8. Vermont: 13 athletes [tie]
Every single Vermont athlete will be hitting the slopes at Sochi. With four apiece, cross-country skiing and snowboarding are the most popular sports. While many people may have tried their hand at skiing or snowboarding, it is unlikely they have ever attempted the biathlon, a combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Biathlon has been part of the Winter Olympics since 1960, and there are five different events athletes can compete in.
Biathlon: Hannah Dreissigacker, Susan Dunklee
Snowboarding: Kelly Clark, Alex Deibold, Jacqueline Hernandez, Ty Walker
Skiing, alpine: Nolan Kasper
Skiing, cross-country: Sophie Caldwell, Andy Newell, Ida Sargent, Liz Stephen
Skiing, freestyle: Hannah Kearney, Devin Logan
6. Wisconsin: 15 athletes [tie]
Wisconsin, like Michigan, has a designated training facility in Milwaukee with the Pettit National Ice Center. The ice rink is fitting because only one Wisconsin member partakes in an event that is not held on the rink. Specifically, the center is used for training speed skaters. Every speed skater who has participated in the last five Winter Games has trained there, and it is the only indoor sea-oval track in the United States.
Curling: Craig Brown, Erika Brown, Debbie McCormick
Ice hockey: Brianna Decker, Amanda Kessel, Phil Kessel, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, Jessie Vetter
Skeleton: Matt Antoine
Speedskating, short track: Alyson Dudek
Speedskating, long track: Tucker Fredericks, Maria Lamb, Sugar Todd, Mitch Whitmore
6. Utah: 15 athletes [tie]
The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation is located in Park City and is a designated training facility. The center was established after the close of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Park City. It is a nonprofit that has the goal of using the Olympic facilities to foster engagement in sports, creating opportunities for people of any age or skill to partake.
Skiing, freestyle: Joss Christensen
Bobsled: Chris Fogt, Steve Holcomb
Skiing, alpine: Jared Goldberg, Ted Ligety, Megan McJames, Steven Nyman
Luge: Preston Griffall
Snowboarding: Faye Gulini, Sage Kotsenburg
Ski jumping: Jessica Jerome, Anders Johnson, Sarah Hendrickson, Lindsey Van
Skeleton: Noelle Pikus
4. New York: 18 athletes
The Empire State doesn’t only boast 18 Olympians, it is also home to a training facility in Lake Placid, New York. The most popular sports at the site are biathlon, bobsled, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, skiing, and speed skating. The facility was established in 1982, but the current site opened in 1989. Two Winter Games have been held here, in 1932 and 1980.
Biathlon: Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Annelies Cook
Bobsled: Jamie Greubel
Ice hockey: Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Jimmy Howard, Brooks Orpik, Josephine Pucci, Patrick Kane
Luge: Erin Hamlin, Aidan Kelly, Chris Mazdzer, Matt Mortensen
Nordic combined: Billy Demong
Skeleton: John Daly
Ski jumping: Peter Frenette
Skiing, alpine: Andrew Weibrecht
3. Colorado: 19 athletes [tie]
Along with 19 Olympians, Colorado has the World Arena Ice Hall in Colorado Springs. The hall has two sheets of ice, one for the Olympics and one for the NHL. Even though the site is used for figure skating by the U.S. team, there is only one figure skater in Colorado’s lineup. The majority of athletes from Colorado are involved in skiing. Colorado Springs is the home of another site as well, the U.S. Olympic Complex, where swimming and shooting are headquartered.
Biathlon: Lanny Barnes
Figure skating: Jeremy Abbott
Nordic combined: Bryan Fletcher, Taylor Fletcher, Todd Lodwick
Skiing, alpine: David Chodounsky, Mikaela Shiffrin
Skiing, cross-country: Simi Hamilton, Noah Hoffman
Skiing, freestyle: Aaron Blunck, Bobby Brown, Lyman Currier, Keri Herman, Gus Kenworthy, Heidi Kloser, Torin Yater-Wallace
Snowboarding: Arielle Gold, Taylor Gold, Justin Reiter
3. Minnesota: 19 athletes [tie]
A whopping 11 of the 19 athletes are members of the men’s or women’s ice hockey team. At the 2010 games in Vancouver, both the men’s and women’s hockey teams brought home silver medals. The women’s team has its eyes on gold this year. ”You don’t train this hard for second place; gold has been on our minds since day 1,” the U.S. women’s Olympic captain Meghan Duggan told the NHL on Wednesday during a USA Hockey conference call.
Biathlon: Leif Nordgren
Curling: Jeff Isaacson, John Landsteiner, Allison Pottinger, John Shuster, Jared Zezel
Ice hockey: David Backes, Justin Faulk, Paul Martin, Gigi Marvin, Ryan McDonagh, T.J. Oshie, Zach Parise, Anne Schleper, Lee Stecklein, Derek Stepan, Blake Wheeler
Skiing, cross-country: Jessie Diggins
Speedskating, long track: Anna Ringsred
1. California: 20 athletes
Although California’s designated Olympic training venues are related to summer sports, the state has a facility in Chula Vista and another in Carson. The Chula Vista facility reportedly serves 1,000 meals per day. There are strict rules that govern the designation process of the centers. In addition to having a three-year business plan — including how they plan to support the athletes — facilities need letters of recommendation, a marketing plan, and proof of financial stability.
Bobsled: Cory Butner, Nick Cunningham
Figure skating: Polina Edmunds, Gracie Gold, Madison Chock
Luge: Kate Hansen
Snowboarding: Jamie Anderson, Greg Bretz, Nate Holland, Trevor Jacob, Hannah Teter, Shaun White
Skiing, alpine: Stacey Cook, Travis Ganong, Julia Mancuso, Marco Sullivan
Skiing, freestyle: Brita Sigourney, John Teller, David Wise, Maddie Bowman