Steamboat’s Olympic Ties
Steamboat Springs has a deep-rooted connection to the Olympics, and has produced more winter Olympians than any other town in the U.S.A. This year, 13 athletes with ties to Steamboat are competing in Beijing, which brings the number of Steamboat athletes that have competed in the Olympics to a record 100 and counting!
My family and I have been watching the Olympics since the start, and it’s always special to hear the commentators announce an athlete from Steamboat Springs. Living in this town, we have friends who are Olympians and our kids often ski with Olympians in the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club (SSWSC). It is certainly a unique connection to the Olympics, but whether you have your own Olympic ties or none at all, Steamboat Resort offers tributes to several past Olympians on the mountain.
One of Steamboat’s most famous and popular runs is Buddy’s Run, located on Storm Peak. Wallace “Buddy” Werner, native of Steamboat Springs, was an internationally renowned ski racer who competed in the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics, before tragically dying in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps in April of 1964. At the top of Buddy’s Run you can find a statue of Buddy Werner to learn more, and don’t forget to tap Buddy’s statue for good luck!
Also located on Storm Peak is Nelson’s Run, which pays tribute to Steamboat Olympian Nelson Carmichael, a mogul skier, who won a bronze medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. If you’re up for a challenge and like to ski moguls, check out Nelson’s Run located just below Four Points Lodge.
If you want to learn a little more about Nelson and other Steamboat Olympians, make sure to ski the Sunshine Olympian Trail located on Sunshine Peak and to the skier’s right of Quickdraw. This trail has signage leading you down through to trees that features several other Steamboat Olympians, and provides a little information about them. If you are skiing with your kids, this is a great place to take them to learn about local Olympians while also skiing some really fun and mellow trees.
Located in Gondola Square is another statue of note, this one of Olympian Billy Kidd who along with his teammate, became the first American men to win Olympic medals in alpine skiing at the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. And better than a statue, you can often find Billy Kidd on the slopes, or perhaps even join a group to ski with him yourself!
Steamboat’s Olympic heritage runs deep, and with tributes spread across the mountain, it’s fun and easy to learn more and pay tributes yourself to these amazing and inspiring athletes. What will also hopefully run deep is the snowfall that Steamboat is currently receiving. Snow is expected to continue Wednesday, bringing 6-8 inches to the higher elevations before sunshine returns into the weekend. Another storm is expected Monday into Tuesday, so keep doing your snow dance, it looks like it’s finally starting to pay off!
Ski and ride with care and have a great day on the mountain!
Erin Campbell, Alpine Skier & Snowboarder