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Utah has 5th highest number of athletes represented in the Olympics

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Utah is the nation’s the fifth biggest contributor of athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

A total of 16 Olympians who call Utah home have been scheduled to contend for gold in the Pyeongchang Olympics: the youngest 18 years old, and the oldest 36 years old.

This year, Team USA sent a delegation of 244 athletes – the largest in Olympic Winter Games history – comprised of Olympians from 31 states.

Colorado produced the most Olympians, 31, followed by California (22), Minnesota (20), and New York (19), according to the census bureau.

An analysis reveals that most Olympians came from less populous states. About 7 in 10 athletes come from states with fewer than 10 million residents.

Utah ranked fourth in terms of winter Olympians per million population. Vermont and Alaska ranked No.1 and No.2 per million population.

Among the top winter Olympian producers, New York and California both boasted an abundance of sports facilities. As of 2015, California was home to 3,788 sports and fitness establishments, the largest number in the nation. New York ranked second with 2,362 such facilities, according to the census bureau.

Colorado, No.1 winter Olympian producer, might not have a significant number of sports centers, but it owned the nation's most sports skiing facilities: 40 as of 2015.

Utah, on the other hand, did not stand out in either the number of skiing facilities or sports centers. Data shows the Beehive State had 13 skiing facilities and 253 sports facilities.

Despite the low numbers of the sports facilities, Utah still produced 16 homegrown Olympians this year. Half of them come from Park City, which beat out the rest of cities across the nation as the biggest contributing city of winter Olympians, according to TeamUSA.org.

Unfortunately, skier Steven Nyman, 36, the oldest Utah Olympian, announced he had to miss his fourth Olympics this year due to a torn ACL just days before the games, the Associated Press reported.

Meanwhile, two of the seven U.S. Army athletes competing this year are from Utah: bobsledder Chris Fogt and luge athlete Taylor Morris.

The two soldiers and their fellow Utah athletes are contending in eight sports events: alpine skiing, bobsled, figure skating, freestyle skiing, luge, ski jumping, snowboarding and long track speed skating.

Meet Utah's 2018 Olympians

ABBY RINGQUIST

Ski Jumping
6/21/1989
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Park City, Utah
High School: Park City High School (Park City, Utah) '07
College: Westminster College
Team/Club: Women's Ski Jumping USA

Alex Hall, Madison Olsen, McRae Williams

Freestyle Skiing (From left to right)
Alex Hall
9/21/1998
Birthplace: Fairbanks, Alaska
Hometown: Park City, Utah
High School: The Winter Sports School (Park City, Utah) ‘16
College: University of Utah

Madison Olsen
Event(s): Aerials
DOB: 4/7/1995
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Park City, Utah
High School: Park City High School (Park City, Utah)
College: Utah State University and Westminster College
Team/Club: Fly Freestyle

McRae Williams
Event(s): Slopestyle
Birthplace: Park City, Utah
Hometown: Park City, Utah
College: Salt Lake Community College

Chris Fogt

Bobsled
5/29/1983
Birthplace: Orange Park, Fla.
Hometown: Alpine, Utah

TAYLOR MORRIS

Luge
Position: Singles
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah

Faye Gulini

Snowboarding
Event(s): Snowboarcross
3/24/1992
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
High School: Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy (Minturn, Colo.)
College: Westminster College, Accounting
Team/Club: Ski & Snowboard Club Vail

Ted Ligety, Jared Goldberg, Megan McJames

Alpine Skiing (From left to right)
Ted Ligety
8/31/1984
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Park City, Utah
High School: The Winter Sports
School (Park City, Utah) '02
Team/Club: Park City Ski Team

Jared Goldberg
6/17/1991
Birthplace: Boston, Mass.
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
College: Westminster College
Team/Club: Snowbird Sports Education Foundation

Megan McJames
9/24/1987
Birthplace: Park City, Utah
Hometown: Park City, Utah
College: Westminster College
Team/Club: Park City Ski Ed Foundation

Carlijn Schoutens, Jerica Tandiman

Long Track Speed Skating (from left to right)
Carlijn Schoutens
12/12/1994
Residence: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Heemstede, Netherlands

Jerica Tandiman
11/2/1994
Hometown: Kearns, Utah

Abby Ringquist, Sarah Hendrickson, Sarah Hendrickson

Ski Jumping (From left to right)
Abby Ringquist
6/21/1989
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Park City, Utah
High School: Park City High School (Park City, Utah) '07
College: Westminster College
Team/Club: Women's Ski Jumping USA

Sarah Hendrickson
8/1/1994
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Park City, Utah
High School: The Winter Sports School (Park City, Utah) ‘12
College: Utah State University
Team/Club: Women's Ski Jumping USA

Will Rhoads
6/8/1995
Birthplace: Concord, N.H.
Hometown: Park City, Utah
High School: Park City High School (Park City, Utah) ‘13
College: DeVry University

Nathan Chen

Figure Skating
Nathan Chen
5/5/1999
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
High School: West High School (Salt Lake City, Utah); Rim of the World High School (Lake Arrowhead, Calif.); Connections Academy (online)
Team/Club: Salt Lake Figure Skating
Coach(es): Rafael Arutunian

Visual editor Sarah Welliver contributed to this story.

Contact Reporter Sheila Wang at 801-625-4252 or swang@standard.net. Follow her on Facebook @JournalistSheilaW or on Twitter @SheilaWang7.

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