Winter Home :: luxury vacation rental homes and chalets Steamboat A Brief History of Steamboat Springs Olympians
Steamboat is known around the globe simply as Ski Town, U.S.A.® and has produced more winter Olympians than any other town in North America, now a record 76 and counting. Including the 17 Steamboat athletes that competed at the 2010 Games, Steamboat's Olympians have represented five different countries, and made 120 Olympic appearances during 17 Winter Games.
Steamboat's tradition dates back to the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, at which the Valley's first Olympian, John Steele, placed 15th in Nordic jumping.
Nelson Carmichael became the first Steamboat Olympian to win an Olympic medal, a bronze in moguls at the 1992 Games.
During the 1998 Nagano Games, Steamboat Olympian Shannon Dunn-Downing became the first American woman to win a medal in snowboarding.
In 2002, Travis Mayer rocketed onto the scene and brought home the silver medal in mogul skiing.
In Vancouver 2010 Billy Demong won gold Johnny Spillane took two Silver medals in the Nordic Combined event and the US Team, including Steamboat native Todd Lodwick, took Silver in the team event.
Steamboat is also home to the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, one of the country's oldest and most successful clubs, as well as Howelsen Hill, which dates back to 1914 and is the oldest continuous operating ski area in Colorado. Steamboat is not only considered the birthplace of freestyle skiing in the hotdog days of the 1970s, but also Nordic jumping in Colorado going way back to the early 1900s.
The Olympic tradition is alive and well with many stars of the future now training in Steamboat for the Winter Games that will be held in Vancouver / Whistler in 2010 where Steamboat will be again represented in large numbers.