There must be something in the water in Lake Tahoe. How else you can explain the abnormally high percentage of Olympic gold medalists and world champion athletes that call Lake Tahoe home? We shared a chairlift with a few of them recently to find out just what it is that makes Lake Tahoe so extraordinary.
Discipline: Freestyle Mogul Skiing
Career Highlights: Olympic Gold Medalist, TV Host, Voice of Warren Miller Movies
How did you end up in Tahoe? “My parents starting bringing us to Squaw every weekend when we moved back to the bay from Puerto Rico in 1977.”
What makes Tahoe unique as a winter destination? “The topography. The incredible rock formations coupled with the exotic trees against a backdrop of the lake make the skiing even on an average day different than any other place. Then of course there is the potential for an epic Tahoe storm which is a unique experience physically and culturally.”
One “must-do” experience in Tahoe? “Jump in the lake. It is the fountain of youth.”
Discipline: Ski Racing
Career Highlights: Olympic Gold/Silver/Bronze Medalist, 35 World Cup Medals, 8-time World Cup Champion
How did you end up in Tahoe? I grew up in Squaw Valley.
For fans hoping to share a high five, what’s your favorite chairlift? KT-22 at Squaw Valley.
What makes Tahoe unique as a winter destination? The lake is beautiful and there is so much to do in the mountains! It also has a great climate – great snow with so many days of sunshine.
One “must-do” experience in Tahoe? Whether you ski or not, a trip to the top of the tram at Squaw Valley is a must, especially in the spring when the hot tubs are open!
Discipline: Snowboard Slopestyle
Career Highlights: Olympic Gold Medalist, 11-time Winter X Games Medalist, 4-time ESPY winner
How did you end up in Tahoe? “Thankfully my parents raised me and my siblings here!”
What is your favorite thing about Lake Tahoe? “Lake Tahoe is so magical! Between the insanely beautiful lake, the mountains surrounding it, all the good vibes, restaurants, giant trees…Tahoe is just a great place to be!”
For fans hoping to share a high five, what’s your favorite chairlift? “Look for me making laps on Grandview at Sierra!”
Discipline: Snowboard Cross
Career Highlights: 8-time Winter X Games medalist, Husband/Father
How did you end up in Tahoe? “I moved to Tahoe in 1999 to pursue my professional snowboard career. My first job was a lift op at Squaw Valley.”
What makes Tahoe unique as a winter destination? “Conditions and views. Tahoe is famous for getting dumped on and then going bluebird, combine that with a view of big blue Tahoe, makes for a special day.”
For fans hoping to share a high five, what’s your favorite chairlift? “Ever heard of KT-22? I like that one.”
Discipline: Snowboard Halfpipe
Career Highlights: Olympic Gold/Silver Medalist, 8-time Winter X Games medalist
How did you end up in Tahoe? “One of the first times I came to Tahoe I slept on my brother’s couch and woke up to deep fresh powder almost every morning! This was a big change from growing up riding in Vermont where a foot of fresh happened only a few times during the whole winter. I ended buying the house across the meadow from my bros!”
Best way to spend a day on the slopes in Tahoe? “Usually when I’m home between contests I like to just have fun, and ride with family/ friends. Nothing better than pillow lines and hot toddies!”
What makes Tahoe unique as a winter destination? “There is a special brew of storms that generally hit Tahoe harder than most all other resorts in the USA. This last winter I rode some of the deepest champagne powder almost every time I was home! Its amazing cause generally in Tahoe it will dump snow all night and then clear up to be bluebird and beautiful the next day.”
Discipline: Ski Halfpipe
Career Highlights: Olympic Gold Medalist, 4-time Winter X Games Medalist, Dew Tour Champion
How did you end up in Tahoe? “Born and raised in Tahoe.”
Best way to spend a day on the slopes in Tahoe? “My favorite way to spend a day on the mountain is with good friends and on great snow!”
What is your favorite thing about Lake Tahoe? “Tahoe is unique in how everyone is welcome no matter who you are or your ability level.”