Get to know the Olympic athletes with Colorado ties

There are 20 Olympic athletes who are either from the state or live here now.

CHRISTIAN-lighter
Missy Franklin

Four-time gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin is one of several Olympic athletes with Colorado ties. (Jeffrey Beall/Flickr)

The 2016 Olympic Games are almost here. We have less than two weeks until competition kicks off on Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Colorado will be well represented when the Games finally do start. There are 20 athletes who are either from the state or live here now who are supposed to participate. Some of the names (like Missy Franklin) might look familiar; other might not.

We hope the list below helps you get familiar with all of the athletes who have ties with The Centennial State before the Games get going.

Mara Abbott

From: Boulder

Sport: Cycling

Interesting fact: Abbott is one of the most accomplished female cyclists in the world. That doesn’t mean she’s profiting much from that, though. Abbott makes ends meet by working in a farmer’s market in Boulder.

Boris Berrian

From: Colorado Springs

Sport: Track and field (800 meters)

Interesting fact: Berian briefly worked at a McDonald’s while he was training by himself.

Hillary Bor

From: Colorado Springs

Sport: Track and field (steeplechase)

Interesting fact: The Kenyan-born Bor is one of the shortest male athletes to ever participate in an Olympic steeplechase. He stands just 5-foot-6.

Emma Coburn

From: Boulder

Sport: Track and field (steeplechase)

Interesting fact: On race days, Coburn tries to zone out by binge-watching episodes of “Law and Order.”

Janay DeLoach

From: Fort Collins

Sport: Track and field (long jump)

Interesting fact: DeLoach, a bronze medalist at the 2012 games, grew up in a military family. She graduated high school in Alaska.

Mason Finley

From: Buena Vista

Sport: Track and field (discus)

Interesting fact: At 6-foot-8 and 345 pounds, Finley is a very, very large man. He broke the U.S. National High School record in the discus with a throw of 236 feet and 6 inches.

Missy Franklin

From: Centennial

Sport: Swimming (200 free, 200 back, 4 x 200 free relay)

Interesting fact: Franklin, who won four gold medals in 2012, wears size 13 shoes and has hands big enough to palm a basketball.

Adeline Gray

From: Denver

Sport: Freestyle wrestling

Interesting fact: The 25-year-old Denver native learned wrestling from her father. Gray routinely competed in and won boys wrestling tournaments growing up.

Howard Grotts

From: Durango

Sport: Mountain biking

Interesting fact: Grotts lives with his mother inside a 1,200-square foot cabin in a secluded area of Durango. He saws down trees himself for firewood to heat the place.

Lindsey Horan

From: Golden

Sport: Soccer

Interesting fact: Upon finishing high school, Horan became the first women’s soccer player ever to skip college and become a professional right away. Horan had a full-ride scholarship offer from North Carolina but chose to play with Paris Saint-Germain in France instead.

Leonard Korir

From: Colorado Springs

Sport: Track and field (10,000 meters)

Interesting fact: Korir, who, like Bor, is a Kenya native who’s now an American citizen, didn’t start competitively running until he was 20 years old.

Taylor Phinney

From: Boulder

Sport: Cycling

Interesting fact: Phinney’s cycling career was put on hold two years ago when a motorcycle swerved in front of him and he crashed into a guardrail on his bike. The accident left him with a broken tibia and severed pattelar tendon.

Ben Pinkelman

From: Centennial

Sport: Rugby

Interesting fact: The 22-year-old Pinkelman is the youngest player on Team USA’s rugby squad. Rugby is an Olympic sport again for the first time since 1924.

Jillion Potter

From: Denver

Sport: Rugby

Interesting fact: The Denver resident has overcome a broken neck and cancer to participate in the 2016 Games.

Ben Provisor

From: Colorado Springs

Sport: Greco-Roman wrestling

Interesting fact: Provisor’s father, Dennis, played keyboard for the American folk rock band The Grass Roots in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

Mallory Pugh

From: Highlands Ranch

Sport: Soccer

Interesting fact: The 18-year-old Pugh scored a goal in the U.S. Women’s Team’s tune-up match against Costa Rica over the weekend. She figures to play an enormous role with Team USA in Rio and in the years to come.

Jenny Simpson

From: Boulder

Sport: Track and field (1,500 meters)

Interesting fact: This marks Simpson’s third Olympics. She competed in the steeplechase at the 2008 Games in Beijing, where she finished ninth. She has since switched to the 1,500 meters.

Clark Smith

From: Denver

Sport: Swimming (4 x 200 relay)

Interesting fact: Smith is 6-foot-9 and has a 7-foot-2 wingspan.

Robby Smith

From: Colorado Springs

Sport: Greco-Roman wrestling

Interesting fact: Smith is a capable dancer, particularly at the Texas Two-Step, which he likes doing with his girlfriend.

Chloe Woodruff

From: Boulder

Sport: Mountain biking

Interesting fact: Woodruff had plenty of chances to mountain bike growing up in Boulder, but she didn’t get into the sport until she took a class trip to Moab, Utah, in 7th grade.