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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:
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