Here Are the 5 US States With the Most Olympic Athletes In the Winter Olympics


More American athletes will compete in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this month during the 2018 Winter Olympics than in any previous winter games as fans on the other side of the world unite to support their efforts.

As a recent Time article suggests, however, some regions of the U.S. might be cheering a bit more enthusiastically than others.

Though the U.S. Olympic Committee sent a record 241 competitors to the games, the majority hail from just a handful of states.

Colorado, a state immediately associated with skiing, stood out front by sending 31 competitors to the games. With Aspen topping lists of winter sports destinations worldwide, it might not be surprising that the Centennial State leads all others.

The Denver Post put the number even higher, reporting Friday that 36 Olympians currently competing are from Colorado.

Arrest Made in Stabbing of Girls at US Movie Theater, Suspect Reportedly a Trans Activist Who Was 'Laughing the Whole Time'

That article indicated that 23 men and 13 women from the state would compete for the U.S. in 17 disciplines. The 2018 games mark the first Olympic outing for 19 of those athletes.

Even with some fluctuation in the total number of Coloradans representing Team USA, several popular state institutions took the opportunity to recognize the achievement.

California follows, with 22 Olympians calling that state home. Rounding out the top five are Minnesota, New York and Utah, which sent 19, 18 and 16 athletes respectively.

CBS News took a different look at the same statistics, though, putting Colorado at a distant third behind standout Vermont when considering how many competitors each state sent per capita.

Will you be watching the 2018 Winter Olympics?

While Vermont tied for sixth in terms of total athletes represented at the Olympics, its population is also much smaller than Colorado, or any of the others ahead of it on that list.

As a representation of its population, the Green Mountain State towers above the other 49. More than two in every 100,000 Vermont residents are competing in the Winter Olympic Games, nearly twice the rate of Alaska, which ranked second.

The small populations of both Vermont and Alaska, which sent nine Olympians to South Korea, gave greater weight to each competitor they sent.

One consistent theme among states toward the bottom of the list, naturally, is a dearth of snow-capped mountains and long, cold winters. In fact, there are no competitors at all from nearly one-third of the U.S. states, mostly throughout the South and Southwest. Others, including South Dakota and Rhode Island, are among the nation’s most sparsely populated states.

UFC Star Michael Chandler Praises US on Memorial Day, Will 'Proudly' Be Patriotic in Fight Against Ireland's Conor McGregor

Beneath those numbers are statistics about the individual competitors set to represent America on a global stage.

California is home of the youngest U.S. Olympian, 17-year-old figure skater Vincent Zhou. On the opposite coast lives 39-year-old Team USA hockey forward Brian Gionta, a New Yorker who is the oldest competitor representing America.

More athletes are representing the U.S. in ice hockey — 48 — than in any other sport. Alpine skiing, freestyle skiing and snowboarding each accounted for at least two dozen athletes.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment