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A look at athletes with Utah ties at 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening ceremony was held Friday — though no spoilers will be posted here, as it will be aired on tape delay at 6 p.m. — and there’s plenty of athletes with Utah ties at this year’s Games.

Here’s a look at some of the big names competing this year with ties to Utah:

Nathan Chen ===========

Chen struggled in his first Olympic performance Thursday but is one of the most popular athletes entering this year’s Games. He’ll still have at least two more skates during the Olympics.

Though he fell short Thursday, he had about 400 fans rooting for him at his old elementary school in Salt Lake City. His five quadruple jumps at the U.S. national championship in January led him to a title there.

The Westminster 18 ==================

Westminster College located in Salt Lake’s Sugar House neighborhood is a hidden Winter Olympics powerhouse, with 18 currently enrolled students competing in this year’s Games. There were 23 in the 2014 Sochi Games and 14 students competed in 2010.

They claimed two gold, one silver and two bronze medals during those two previous Games. Maddie Bowman, one of those gold medalists in 2014, is competing again in 2018. She is also a junior biology student at the college.

Jerica Tandiman ===============

Tandiman, of Kearns, has been skating for more than 15 years, as she grew up in a home across the street from the Olympic Oval — the site used for speed skating competitions during the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. She is competing in her first Olympics this year.

“The whole theme of ‘Light the Fire Within’ during the Olympics — I think it did light the fire within a lot of people,” Tandiman told KSL in January. “That Olympic spirit, it’s like contagious. Once you get a taste of it, you want more.”

Lone representatives ====================

There are two athletes who live in Utah but represent another country. In fact, they are the only representatives of their countries. Akwasi Frimpong, a Utah Valley University alumnus, is not only the only Ghana competitor in the skeleton, he’s the only skeleton competitor from the entire Africa continent.

“Which is 1.2 billion people, so talk about pressure,” Frimpong told KSL in January, laughing.

There’s also Sebastian Uprimny, of Salt Lake City, who is the first cross-country skier to represent Colombia in Olympic history. Uprimny moved to Utah in 2000 and said he fell in love with the 2002 Games, which inspired him to compete in the Olympics one day.

From Colombia to SLC to Pyeongchang:

Military ========

There are seven U.S. Army members competing in this year’s Olympics, including two from Utah. Capt. Chris Fogt of the U.S. bobsledding team resides in Alpine. Fogt won a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Games. Sgt. Taylor Morris, from South Jordan, will compete in singles luge. This will be Morris’ first Olympics.

Nonathlete ties ===============

The Utah Junior Grizzlies amateur hockey team are featured in a Ford ad running during the Olympics. A cover of U2’s “With Or Without You” by April Meservy, a Provo musician will also be used during an ice skating performance by Canadian athletes Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford.

Athletes from or with ties to Utah:

Bryce Bennett — Alpine skiing

Ben Berend — Nordic Combined

Kevin Bickner — Nordic Combined

Maame Biney — Short Track

Rosie Brennan — Cross-country skiing

Mac Bohonnon — Aerials

Brittany Bowe — Long Track Speedskating

Maddie Bowman — Ski Halfpipe

Ashley Caldwell — Aerials

Ryan Chochran-Siegle — Alpine skiing

David Chodounsky — Alpine skiing

Jonathan Cheever — Snowboardcross

Nathan Chen — Figure skating

Shani Davis — Long Track Speedskating

Dominic Demschar — Alpine skiing

Snorri Einarsson — Nordic skiing

Mark Engel — Alpine skiing

Alex Ferreira — Ski Halfpipe

Bryan Fletcher — Nordic Combined

Taylor Fletcher — Nordic Combined

Akwasi Frimpong — Skeleton

Jonathan Garcia — Long Track Speedskating

Lana Gehring — Short Track

Jasper Good — Nordic Combined

Jared Goldberg — Alpine skiing

Kimani Griffin — Long Track Speedskating

Faye Gulini — Snowboarding

Sarah Hendrickson — Ski jump

Erin Jackson — Long Track Speedskating

Tim Jitloff — Alpine skiing

Breezy Johnson — Alpine skiing

Nolan Kasper — Alpine skiing

Jaelin Kauf — Moguls

Casey Larson — Nordic Combined

Jonathon Lillis — Aerials

Ted Ligety — Alpine skiing

Devin Logan —Snowboard/Slopestyle and Halfpipe

Eric Loghran — Aerials

Ben Loomis — Nordic Combined

Mia Manganello — Long Track Speedskating

Joey Mantia — Long Track Speedskating

Wiley Maple — Alpine skiing

Keaton McCargo — Moguls

Megan McJames — Alpine skiing

Alice McKennis — Alpine skiing

Kiley McKinnon — Aerials

Troy Murphy — Moguls

Abby Ringquist — Ski jump

Roni Remme — Alpine skiing

Will Rhoades — Ski jump

Morgan Schild — Moguls

Carlijin Schoutens — Long Track Speedskating

Brita Sigourney — Ski Halfpipe

Jessica Smith Kooreman — Short Track

Liz Stephen — Cross Country Skiing

Darian Stevens — Ski Slopestyle

Resi Stiegler — Alpine skiing

Jerica Tandiman — Long Track Speedskating

Aaron Tran — Short Track

Sebastian Uprimny — Cross-country skiing

Maggie Voisin — Ski Slopestyle

Andrew Weibrecht — Alpine skiing

Kendall Wesenberg — Skeleton

Mitch Whitmore — Long Track Speedskating

Jacqueline Wiles — Alpine skiing

Bradley Wilson — Moguls

Torin Yater-Wallace — Ski Halfpipe

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.


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