Seven enthusiasts head to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics

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BOULDER, Colo. – Seven athletes tied to the University of Colorado Boulder, including six who are or were members of the Colorado Buffaloes ski team, will travel to Beijing to represent five countries at the XXIV Olympic Winter Games from July 4 to February 20, 2022.

Current enthusiasts Weonika Kaleta (Poland, cross-country skiing) and Madeleine Luczak (Poland, Alpine Skiing), along with Cass Gray (Canada, Alpine Skiing), who is taking a year off from CU to do her Olympic push, represent the ninth, 10th and 11th female skiers in CU history to make it to the Olympics as an active member of the CU Ski Team or take this season to compete in the Olympics before returning to CU.

Another of those 11 is Petra Hyncicova, who returns to the Olympics in 2022 after representing the Czech Republic in cross-country skiing in 2018 in Beijing, her senior season at CU. Hyncicova is one of three former Buffs to compete in their second Winter Olympics along with Joanne Reid (USA, Biathlon), who also competed in PeyongChang 2018, and Taylor Gold (USA, Snowboard Half Pipe listen)), a non-college athlete who also competed. in 2014 in Sochi.

Alongside Gray, Kaleta and Luczak, Alvar Alev, who will compete in cross-country skiing for Estonia, will join the list of Olympic buffs for the first time.

With six of the seven having competed for the CU Ski Team, this brings the number of Olympians for the program to 36 athletes who have competed in 49 Olympic Games. Overall, CU Boulder now has 109 Olympians making 162 total appearances and 63 Olympians making 96 Winter Olympics appearances.

Olympic calendar

  • Opening Ceremonies – February 4
  • Alpine Skiing – Feb 6-11, 13, 15-17, 19
  • Nordic Skiing – Feb 5-6, 8, 10-13, 16, 19-20
  • Biathlon – February 5, 7-8, 11-13, 15-16, 18-19
  • Snowboarding – February 5-12, 14-15
  • Closing Ceremonies – February 20

Brief biography

Alvar Alev makes his first Olympic appearance for Estonia and will compete in cross-country skiing in Beijing. Originally from Parnu, Estonia, he graduated from CU with a degree in Ethnic Studies. He skied for the Buffs for two seasons in 2018-19 and was a three-time All-American and two-time All-RMISA selection and won the team’s Lucie Hanusova Award his first season. He was a finalist for CU Male Career Athletic Achievement for the 2019 CUSPYs despite only competing for two seasons with the Buffs.

Taylor Gold is making her second Olympic appearance for Team USA, her first in 2014. Her sister, Arielle Gold, is also a two-time Olympian, a former CU student and won bronze in 2018 in Snowboard Halfpipe, the same discipline as Taylor to compete in Beijing. Gold finished 14th in Half Pipe snowboarding in 2014 at the Olympics and has been competing internationally since 2011.

Cass Gray makes his first Olympic appearance for Canada and will compete in alpine skiing in Beijing. Originally from Panorama, BC, she is studying integrative physiology in Colorado. She’s taking a season off for her Olympic push. A freshman on last year’s team, she split her time between Team Canada and the Buffs, but nonetheless made a big impact by winning the Individual National Championship and earning First-Team All-Star honors. America in the process. She was named collegiate skier of the year in the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and won CU’s CUSPY for female freshman of the year.

Petra Hyncicova made his second Olympic appearance for the Czech Republic in cross-country skiing in Beijing. Originally from Liberec, Czech Republic, she graduated from CU with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in integrative physiology. She skied for the Buffs from 2015-2018 and won two individual national championships, sweeping races at the 2017 NCAA championships. Seven-time All-American, won seven races at CU, was named 2017 RMISA Skier of the Year and won CUSPYs for both Female Athlete of the Year and Female Career Athletic Achievement. His Olympic appearance in 2018 came his senior season at CU. Since leaving CU, she has made more than 50 World Cup starts and competed in two other World Championship events.

Weronika Kaleta will make his first Olympic appearance for Poland in cross-country skiing in Beijing. Originally from Kasina Weilka, Poland, she earned degrees in math and psychology in Colorado. She is in her second season with the Buffs and as a rookie earned All-America honors and won CU’s Outstanding Nordic Woman award. This season, she raced in four races for the Buffs before heading to the Olympics with two top five finishes and a podium appearance. Between semesters, she was in Europe to compete in the World Cup qualifying for the Olympics.

Madeleine Luczak will make his first Olympic appearance for Poland in alpine skiing in Beijing. Originally from Lodz, Poland, she is a first year CU student at the Leeds School of Business. She has spent the majority of this ski season in Europe competing on the World Cup and European Cup circuits. She finished 20th in the GS World Cup in Courchevel in December and at the 2021 World Championships last spring she finished 19th in the GS race.

Joanne Reid will make his second Olympic appearance for the United States in biathlon in Beijing. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, she grew up in Palo Alto, California, and now resides in Grand Junction, Colorado, and earned a bachelor’s degree in math and a master’s degree in engineering – technology, media, and society in Colorado. She skied for the Buffs from 2010 to 2013 and earned seven All-America and four All-RMISA honors. She was the 2013 NCAA individual champion in the freestyle discipline and helped the Buffs win two NCAA team championships in her four years. After earning her master’s degree at CU, she turned to biathlon and has competed in the Biathlon World Cup since 2015. She and Team USA are coming into the Olympics strong, having finished fifth in the Biathlon World Cup. world in the women’s relay, one of the top five finishes for the US team in world-class competition in a long time.

Olympic notables

  • Adding Alev, Gray, Kaleta and Luczak, all of whom are competing in their first Olympics, makes CU’s Olympics count:
    • 36 Winter Olympians who were members of the CU Ski Team
    • 63 Winter Olympians by current UC students or alumni
    • 109 Olympians by current UC students or alumni
  • With Gold, Hyncicova and Reid all competing in their second Olympics, as well as the four above, this brings CU’s Olympics to:
    • 49 Olympic appearances by members of the CU Ski Team
    • 12 CU Ski Team members with multiple Olympic appearances
    • 96 Winter Olympics appearances by current UC students or alumni
    • 25 current UC students or alumni who have made multiple Olympic appearances
    • 162 Olympic appearances by current UC students or alumni
  • The 2022 Beijing Olympics will be only the second time three “current” enthusiasts have gone to the Winter Olympics since 1964, when Alpine skiing’s Bill Marolt and Jimmie Heuga and Nordic skiing’s Mike Gallagher all competed. All three canceled the 1964 season, but competed for the Buffs in 1963 and 1965.
  • John Dendahl, nordic skier in 1960, Ron Yeager, nordic skier in 1972, Ondrej Valenta, nordic skier in 1998 and Tahir Bisic, alpine skier in 2002.
  • CU has had current student or alumni representation at every Winter Olympics since 1988, or 10 consecutive Winter Games, and since 1960, representation at 16 of the last 17 Winter Olympics.
  • Gray (Canada), Kaleta and Luczak (Poland) and Alev (Estonia) are the first current or former Buffs to represent their country at the Olympics, bringing UC’s total to 22 countries represented by Olympians.
  • Gold and Reid will bring the total to 128 Olympic appearances for the Team USA Buffs.
  • Hyncicova representing the Czech Republic will bring the total to seven Olympic appearances for the Buffs, second only to Team USA.
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