The Leadville Connection to the Sochi Olympics
Olympic fever is starting to grow as The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics officially kicked off this past weekend. It’s great to see the athletic competitions underway, taking center stage over politics and other gate-jumping news stories.
To that end, did you know that there is a Leadville connection to the Sochi Winter Games? A Lake County High School graduate, in fact!
While there’s been a lot of Colorado news coverage about Steamboat Springs’ athletic connection to the Winter Games, the Leadville connection comes as a journalist. And a good one at that! Meet Luke Graham!
Jamie and Kevin Graham have lived in Leadville for 38 years, raising two fine sons, both graduates of Lake County High School: Luke (’02) and Matthew (’13). Their older son Luke is a Steamboat Springs journalist, a sports writer/editor for Steamboat Today.
Luke got his journalism beginnings in high school, as what retired LCHS journalism teacher Sue Jewell described as “my right hand man for the school newspaper and yearbook.” After high school, Luke went on to study journalism at the University of Colorado and has worked for the Steamboat Today newspaper since July 2006.
“There are a lot of athletes from Steamboat (at Sochi),” said Graham’s Mom Jamie in an interview with Leadville Today. “But it’s mostly the Nordic Combined that he’ll be covering. He’s just thrilled to be there. He’s having a great time.”
But the XXII Winter Games isn’t Luke Graham’s first Olympic assignment. He also covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010.
However the Sochi games seem to be a bit different, if you listen to the nightly news. There’s been a lot of hype about security, although Jamie didn’t seem to have any doubts about her son’s call to be there.
“You know, people have asked me if I was worried about Luke. I am not worried.” She added. “I know that anything can happen, anywhere.”
Jamie did share a funny story Luke relayed about his trip to the Olympics. It seems that after an exhaustive flight around the world through New York and Moscow, Luke and his team finally arrived in Sochi. From there, it was time to board a bus to take them to their hotel, none of which were marked by any signs.
“They ended up taking one bus and then, changing buses several times, loading and unloading their luggage and equipment,” Jamie continues the story. “And by the time they got to their hotel, they realized it was about a 10 minute walk from where the originally boarded the bus! They could have walked there!”
Sounds like they got on the Sochi tourism bus! You can keep up with Luke Graham’s reports, including how he got upstaged by the prime minister, HERE.
Another Leadville Ring in the Olympic Arena?
Leadville Today did spot another possible localconnection to the Sochi Winter Games. Maybe LT readers can help.
Senator Gail Schwartz posted on her Facebook Page that there were several Colorado Mountain College graduates at the Sochi Winter Games. Here’s that list:
Winter 2014 Olympic athletes who have taken classes at or completed a degree or certificate at Colorado Mountain College.
2014 athletes who also competed in the 2010 Winter Games:
- Bill Demong – Nordic combined
- Taylor Fletcher – Nordic combined
- Simi Hamilton – Cross-country skiing
- Katie Uhlaender – Skeleton
- Chris Del Bosco – Ski cross (on Canadian team)
Additional 2014 Olympic athletes:
- Heidi Kloser – Freestyle skiing
- Bryan Fletcher – Nordic combined
- Justin Reiter – Snowboarding
There was no indication as to what CMC campus they attended, but it’s hard to imagine that at least one wasn’t enrolled in Leadville’s Timberline Campus. If you know, let us know by dropping a note to email@example.com or connect on the Leadville Today Facebook Page.
Special Olympics at Ski Cooper This Friday
Ski Cooper will host the 2014 Special Olympics Colorado SE & Western Area Winter Games this Friday, Feb. 14. It’s an all day celebration on the mountain as 200 Special Olympics athletes and 40 coaches compete in Alpine Skiing, Cross Country, Snowboarding and Snowshoeing. The day kicks off with breakfast in the lodge, followed by opening ceremony at 8:45 a.m. For a complete details and competition timeline: LINK.
Special thanks to the local volunteers that really make this event special. For more information please contact Georgeann Kulton, SE Area Manager at 719-574-8480 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can always talk to Becca out at Ski Cooper: 719-486-3684.