Going for the Gold: One Current Ute, Two Formers Will Ski in the Games

Two former U skiers and one current member of the U team will don the red, white and blue to represent the United States in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Cross country stalwarts Torin Koos, Kristina Joder and Justin Wadsworth were named to represent the U.S. Jan. 21.

For Koos, a pre-architecture junior on Utah’s ski team and the only current Ute competing in the Olympics, a spot on the team was expected.

Koos has been skiing as a member of the U.S. Ski Team all season, racing in four cross country meets overseas. Koos placed first at the Fairbanks, Alaska First Snow Classic Nov. 3, and secured a spot with a third-place showing in the freestyle discipline Jan. 5.

For Joder, a fifth-year assistant for the U ski team studying parks recreation and tourism, a spot on the team was doubtful just weeks ago.

Even she was openly skeptic about her inclusion to the Olympic team. But a quartet of “really good races” from Dec. 29 to Jan. 10 changed her standing.

Joder placed fourth at the U.S. Ski Team Gold Cup, held at U training ground and Olympic venue Soldier Hollow. Next up were races at Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Center in Bozeman, Mont. In the first of four Chevy 2002 U.S. Cross Country Championship races, Joder matched her Soldier Hollow finish with another fourth place.

After a 25th-place showing in the freestyle, Joder skied to 10th place in the classic. She finished with a ninth place in the freestyle to conclude racing. The results placed her seventh and the top eight were selected.

“I’ve been telling everyone it’s something I’ve been working toward for a long time,” a jubilant Joder said. “It’s a dream come true.”

U alum Justin Wadsworth was an All-American at Utah in 1988, and he has competed at the last two Olympic games.

Wadsworth has dominated competition on the U.S. Ski Team this year, earning first place finishes in freestyle at races at Soldier Hollow and Silver Star, Canada. He added a trio of second place finishes at races in Bozeman, Mont.

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