Winter Olympic fever has once again arrived in the US as it does every 4 years. Athletes are elevated to rock star status and have the power to exhilarate or devastate us based upon their performance. Here in Vermont, we are even more invested, with 28 athletes from Vermont or with links to the state competing in the games.
VPR online reports, “Over the past two Winter Olympics, Vermont has become a bigger factor in cross-country skiing and biathlon while dropping back in alpine and snowboarding. A third of our Olympians are Nordic skiers while biathlon (4) now almost as many competitors as alpine (4). Vermont was once the epicenter for snowboarding but that has shifted to California and Colorado. This year only two members of the US snowboarding team – Kelly Clark and Lindsey Jacobellis – have ties to Vermont.” (Another tie to Vermont is that a number of the athletes that use Burton Snowboards, developed and manufactured in Vermont!)
In addition, the University of Vermont is alma mater to four athletes who are competing for other countries – Canada, Sweden and Norway.
Overall, Vermont is 6th in the number of Olympians participating in the games, but it does hold the record for more participants per capita than any other state. VTDigger.org also notes, “Vermont boosters who are so-inclined also can boast the state has produced the fifth-highest number of total Winter Olympic gold medalists overall.”
If watching and cheering for your favorites create a desire to get out on the slopes yourself, CNN has posted an article entitled, “10 places where you can live your Winter Olympics dreams.” Number 8 on their list is Stowe, Vermont with recommendations for Stowe Mountain Resort and Smugglers’ Notch Resort.
So, immerse yourself in the Winter Olympics for the next two weeks. Then head to the mountains of Vermont and go for your personal best!