The largest group of athletes to represent a single country at next month’s Olympic Winter Games will be wearing red, white and blue in Sochi, Russia.
The United States Olympic Committee announced the 2014 U.S. Olympic team Monday, and the group of 230 athletes is the largest delegation for any nation in the history of the Winter Olympics. Fifteen of those athletes are Utah natives, and there are many more who live and train in the state.
“We are thrilled to announce the 230 athletes who will represent Team USA in Sochi,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “This is the largest team we have ever sent to an Olympic Winter Games, and I’d like to commend all of those who helped support our athletes in the pursuit of their Olympic dreams. Most of all, this is a time to celebrate our athletes, who have made countless sacrifices and dedicated themselves to being their best, both on and off the ice and snow. I am very excited to watch them compete as they represent our nation with excellence and distinction on the world stage.”
The native Utahns are: Park City’s Joss Christensen, slopestyle skiing; Alpine’s Chris Fogt, bobsled; Salt Lake City’s Jared Goldberg, Alpine skiing; Salt Lake City’s Preston Griffall, doubles luge; Cottonwood Height’s Faye Gulini, snowboard cross; Park City’s Sarah Hendrickson, ski jumping; Park City’s Steven Holcomb, bobsled; Park City's Sage Kotsenburg, slopestyle snowboarding; Park City’s Anders Johnson, snowboarding slopestyle; Park City’s Ted Ligety, Alpine skiing; Park City’s Megan McJames, Alpine skiing; Sundance’s Steven Nyman, Alpine skiing; Orem’s Noelle Pikus-Pace, skeleton; Park City's Jessica Jerome, ski jumping; and Park City’s Lindsey Van, ski jumping.
U.S. athletes will compete in all 15 disciplines in hopes of claiming some of the 98 possible gold medals.
Of the 230 athletes — 105 women and 125 men — 106 have competed in the Olympic Games before.
Nordic combined athlete Todd Lodwick is the first American to compete in the Winter Games six times. His teammate, Billy Demong, and Alpine legend Bode Miller are competing in their fifth Olympics.
Miller needs to win three medals to tie short track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno as the most decorated winter Olympian. Alpine skier Julia Mancuso is already the most decorated woman with three medals.
“This distinguished group of athletes represents the largest delegation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games, which is a true testament to the growing number of winter sport opportunities across the United States,” said Alan Ashley, U.S. chef de mission and USOC chief of sport performance. “With 106 returning Olympians, this year’s team is an exceptional blend of youth and experience, and represents the finest our nation has to offer. During the games, we will continue to support our athletes, coaches and national governing bodies in every way possible to succeed.”