With the 2014 Winter Olympics set to start in Sochi, Russia, in just a few days, we wanted to take a look at some of the cooler hometowns of U.S. Olympic athletes, or, in the case of the skiers, their home ski clubs. It may not be practical to visit each one, but if you want to know where Shaun White learned to snowboard, read on.
So how does a kid from always-warm San Diego come to be America’s top snowboarder? With frequent trips to Big Bear Lake and its Bear Mountain Ski Resort! This beautiful resort is one of the largest ski areas in Southern California and is especially known for its excellent terrain parks, which attract snowboarders from all over.
Julia Mancuso is the proud owner of three Olympic medals (one gold and two silver) and she’s looking to continue her streak in Sochi. Originally from Reno, Mancuso skis just down the road at Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley. Literally one of the best ski resorts in the world, visitors can channel their inner Olympian on its 177 ski trails, including one named after Mancuso herself.
Though she’s only 18 years old, Mikaela is one of America’s best prospects for gold in Sochi, as she’s currently the reigning world champion in slalom. With a hometown like Vail, it’s not much of a surprise that she’s such an accomplished skier. Vail, of course, is one of America’s most prestigious ski areas with a big reputation, 193 runs and a vertical of 3,450 feet.
Jamie Anderson is new to the Olympic scene and in Sochi she’ll be competing in women’s slopestyle, which has just been added to the competition this year. Anderson’s career has certainly been helped by her hometown of South Lake Tahoe. Surrounded by fantastic ski resorts on all sides, there are not many better places in the world to practice winter sports.
Jamaica might dominate the headlines when it comes to the bobsleigh at this year’s Olympics, but Steve Holcomb and the United States have a much better chance at winning the gold – like they did in 2010. Of course, Holcomb’s hometown is Park City, Utah, which is a pretty famous ski destination, so you could say that he has a bit of an advantage over the Jamaicans when it comes to winter sports.