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Tahoe Life

As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games begin in Pyeongchang, some Tahoe area locals are gearing up for the fierce competition! From Tahoe, we’ll watch television excitedly as we follow these athletes and wish them success: 

  • David Wise, Reno, Freestyle Skiing, Halfpipe: Men’s qualifying airs on Feb. 20. Finals air on Feb. 22
  • Bryce Bennett, Tahoe City, Alpine Skiing: Feb. 11
  • Maddie Bowman, South Lake Tahoe, Freestyle Skiing, Halfpipe: Women’s qualifying airs on Feb. 19. Finals air on Feb. 20
  • Jamie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, Snowboarding, Slopestyle: Women’s qualifying airs on Feb. 11. Finals air on Feb. 12
  • Tim Jitloff, Reno, Alpine Skiing: Feb. 18
  • Mark Engel, Truckee, Alpine Skiing: Feb. 18

Tahoe has proved an excellent training ground for these athletes, with more than a dozen downhill ski resorts and easy access to backcountry terrain. In addition, Tahoe has helped develop the culture of Nordic, or cross-country skiing, making it gain popularity alongside downhill skiing. Some of the competing athletes are excitedly going into their first Olympic games, while others are seasoned veterans.

For Bryce Bennett and Mark Engel, this will be the first year at the Games. Bennet has been skiing since he was two and first dreamed of this moment at eight years old. Off the slopes, he’s into BMX, mountain biking, and fishing. Engel is also notable for being a serious musician, who plays guitar, violin, and banjo. Like Bennet, he also began skiing at two and was on the U.S. National Team from 2011-2013.

Others are returning to the Olympics hoping for success once again. David Wise captured the first-ever gold medal in men’s ski halfpipe at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He has also earned three X Games gold medals and several other notable wins. Out of his Reno home, he enjoys bow hunting, and softball, among other hobbies. Maddie Bowman is also returning, and took home the 2014 gold medal in freeski halfpipe. She also has five X Games wins and is pursuing a degree at Westminster College in Utah. Another returning female, Jamie Anderson, won the gold in slopestyle in 2014. Off the slopes she is a yogi and environmentalist. Returnee Tim Jitloff has lots of competition experience, as a member of the U.S. Ski Team and holding the reputation of being one of the best giant slalom skiers in the world. He’s won five world championships and holds seven U.S. National titles.