COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. — The 2022 Winter Olympics are in China, but hundreds of athletes got there by spending a lot of time in Colorado.
In the months leading up to the Games, Copper Mountain hosted Team USA athletes and those from around the world who were looking to earn spots on their Olympic teams.
In November, U.S. Ski Team athletes like River Radamus, who’s from the Vail area, spent a lot of time training on downhill speed courses at Copper, along with athletes from other countries.
“We’re here doing early season prep, along with the French and Germans and the Italian teams,” Radamus said. “The whole world is coming here to prepare right now, and the fact I can drive 30 minutes from my home and be here is super fortunate.”
In December, hundreds of athletes on skis and snowboards took part in Olympic qualifying events with the Toyota Grand Prix and Dew Tour that had athletes like Red Gerard, of Silverthorne, in slopestyle competition just before the Olympics.
“I feel they always set up the most unique and different courses,” Gerard said.
Along with downhill speed courses, slalom training, halfpipe and slopestyle, Copper Mountain also hosted athletes in snowboard cross who trained there before the Games.
Even up to the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics, some athletes were on the snow at Copper. A handful of free skiers like Devin Logan trained as long as they could before heading to the strict pandemic protocols in China.
“Just getting some last-minute training in, which has been awesome,” Logan said.
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