Olympic Heritage

Ski Town USA® is alive with Olympic spirit. From Lake Placid to Sochi, Steamboat’s athletes have represented 12 different countries and made 151 appearances during 19 winter games.

Steamboat Springs has produced more winter Olympians than any other town in North America: 88 in total.

The Beginning

Steamboat’s first Olympian, John Steele, placed 15th in Nordic jumping in the 1932 Winter Olympics, representing a skiing discipline that still burns bright with tradition in Steamboat Springs.

Ever since Carl Howelsen brought the art of “ski flying” to Steamboat Springs in the early 1900s, downtown’s Howelsen Hill – the oldest continuously operating ski area in Colorado – has served as a training ground for Nordic skiing and jumping along with freestyle skiing, alpine racing, snowboarding, aerials and more.

Our Olympians

In the 2014 Sochi games, Steamboat native and Nordic combined competitor Todd Lodwick carried the American flag at the opening ceremonies of his sixth Winter Games. Siblings and Sochi competitors Bryan and Taylor Fletcher will continue to carry the torch of Nordic combined excellence into the future.

Another sibling pair, Arielle and Taylor Gold, are making waves in snowboarding halfpipe competitions around the world, and their passion for the outdoors embodies the Steamboat lifestyle.

Watch the video below featuring Arielle Gold to find out why she loves to call Steamboat Springs home.

Olympians like the Fletchers, the Golds and many other children before them honed their skills on little Howelsen Hill under the lights after school, and took pride in getting towed down Lincoln Avenue on horses during the annual Winter Carnival, a tradition more than a century old. 

Perhaps best known is Buddy Werner, a three-time Olympian alpine skier and namesake of Steamboat Ski Area’s Mount Werner. While Buddy is gone, his legacy lives on as Mount Werner watches over the friendly western town he called home.

Celebrate Steamboat Olympic Heritage

So when you pat the Buddy Werner statue atop Storm Peak or gaze up at the Nordic ski jumps at Howelsen Hill,  Steamboat’s Olympic tradition will course through you. You’ll feel a connection to the Yampa Valley and its natives’ passion for winter sports, international competition and hometown spirit.

Events

Celebrate Steamboat Springs Olympic heritage at the Ski Jumping Extravaganza during the Fourth of July Cowboys' Roundup Days.

Ski Jumping Extravaganza

Tour

Join the Tread of Pioneers for an easy walking tour that explores Steamboat's Olympic heritage, Carl Howelsen, and the history of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Winter Carnival, Howelsen Hill, and ski jumping.

View Tour