The competitors for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing have been announced, and five local Olympians are also SNOW Sports Museum Athlete Ambassadors.

Just by qualifying as Olympians—some as veterans and some as new team members—these athletes have already earned their places in history and in the SNOW Sports museum. As Olympian (Innsbruck 1964) and Athlete Ambassador Star Walton-Hurley always says: “Once an Olympian, always an Olympian.”

Alpine Ski: Tahoe City’s Speed Specialist Travis Ganong, of Team Palisades Tahoe, will race in the downhill. Ganong competed in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and he finished 7th last weekend at Kitzbuhel’s challenging Hahnenkamm downhill race.

Cross Country: First-time Olympians JC Schoonmaker and Hannah Halvorsen were tapped for the U.S. Cross Country team. Truckee native Halvorsen, who had a career-best 7th finish earlier this season, will race in the freestyle sprint. Tahoe City’s Schoonmaker, who will compete in the men’s freestyle sprint, grew up racing in Tahoe City Cross Country’s Strider Glider program and then competed for the Far West Nordic Team.

Freestyle: The SNOW Sports Museum’s newest Athlete Ambassador, Eileen Gu, grew up skiing in Truckee on the Northstar Freeski team. Eileen recently won her 4th straight gold medal at the FIS Freestyle Halfpipe World Championships and is a favorite to medal in Beijing for Halfpipe, Slopestyle, and Big Air competitions. Holding dual U.S. and Chinese citizenships, Gu will complete for China’s Olympic team.

Snowboard: Two-time Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson will defend her title by competing in her third Winter Games. The South Lake Tahoe native is the winningest female snowboarder in history, and she recently earned her 20th X-games career medal, tying Canada’s Mark McMorris for the most medals in history.

In addition to our athlete ambassadors, the Sierra region is well represented in this Winter Olympic Games by an impressive number of competitors with training, racing, and competition links to Heavenly, Mammoth, Northstar, Palisades Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Sugar Bowl.

Truckee’s Bryce Bennett, who won his first World Cup downhill race at Val Gardena, Italy, earlier this season, will race in his second Olympics. Bennett finished 17th in the downhill at the 2018 Winter Games Pyeonchang (Korea)
Another Palisades Tahoe team member, AJ Hurt, earned World Cup points in four skiing disciplines during the 2020-21 season
Vermonter Nina O’Brien is originally from San Francisco and honed her ski racing chops at Palisades Tahoe.
Reno’s David Wise is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Freestyle Halfpipe and will attempt to become a three-time Olympic champion.

Keely Cashman, a Palisades Tahoe ski racer from Strawberry, CA, will be one of three U.S. female racers competing in both technical and speed events.

Hailing from Truckee, speed specialist Maureen “Mo” Lebel’s mother taught skiing at Northstar, and “Mo,” the 2018 U.S. National Downhill Champion, skied on both the Sugar Bowl and Mammoth ski teams.
Slalom specialist Luke Winters grew up skiing in Oregon, but he attended Sugar Bowl Academy in Truckee.

The SNOW Sports Museum is proud of its ambassadors and congratulates all of these Sierra-trained Olympians!

The museum board of directors and advisors will be following their events during the Winter Games, which kick off on February 3rd (Pacific Standard Time—Beijing, China, is 16 hours ahead, so the official date is February 4th) and run through February 20th. Television coverage is on NBC and live-streamed on Peacock. Ambassador and Sierra-based athlete results will be updated on this page as they happen.

Additional Information and Resources

For more details about the SNOW Sports Museum’s Athlete Ambassadors:

Click on this Sierra Sun link for a more in-depth look at the Tahoe/Sierra-based athletes:

For more information about all of the U.S. Olympic competitors check out this article in Ski:

To view the official team announcements and complete team rosters:

For the complete schedule of Beijing 2022 Olympic events:

Join Us on Social Media

As part of our 2021 goals, we will be increasing our communication to everyone as we have more stories to share and projects in the works. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our weekly posts about iconic Tahoe athletes and the historical artifacts we have collected for the museum.

Thank you from the SNOW Sports Museum Team!

The SNOW Sports Museum (dba SVSMF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The foundation mission and objectives are to build a world class museum to offer cultural, historical and educational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, especially youth. All purchases and donations support these efforts. Rights Reserved, SVSMF.

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