Our favorite athletes to watch at this year’s GoPro Mountain Games in Vail — and the gear they can’t live without
Photography by Matt Nager
Sports: Mountain biking and cyclocross
Training spot: Fort Collins, Colorado
Championships/titles: 7-time national champion, 2-time Olympian, 2012 Olympic bronze medal.
Proudest moment: Winning the bronze at the 2012 London Olympics — such an honor to represent the USA!
Goals for the near future: Qualify for Rio Olympics, win the national championship and podium at a World Cup.
Why you love your sport: There is the physical aspect of pushing yourself and getting stronger. I also love being outside and getting to ride my bike in lots of different environments.
Sports: Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and rafting
Training spot: GOAT Gym in Edwards, Colorado
Recent championships/titles: 2015 Ultimate River Challenge
Proudest moment: Being a dad.
Goals for the near future: Keep pushing it — and enjoy it.
Why you love your sport: I love being on the water and the new challenges that are always in front of you.
Sports: Mountain, road, cross-country and trail running
Training spots: Colorado, Washington and Switzerland
Championships/titles: 2015 USA Mountain Runner of the Year, 2015 U.S. Skyrunner Series Vertical Kilometer Champion, 2015 GoPro Games Spring Run-off 10K Champion.
Proudest moment: Representing Team USA for the 19th time in my career.
Goals for the near future: I want to be better than I was.
Why you love your sport: The freedom it offers is incomparable. Part of my job includes things I truly have a passion for such as exploration, blending with new cultures when traveling, and competing with athletes across the globe.
John Mark Seelig
Sport: Whitewater rafting
Training spot: Owner and trainer at GOAT Gym in Edwards, Colorado
Recent championships/titles: 3-time USA Rafting Champion; captain of the U.S. Men’s Rafting Team.
Proudest moment: Becoming the father of the coolest kid, my 2-year-old, Bowen … oh, and winning nationals last year with a new team.
Goals for the near future: Winning nationals again, training U.S. Sailing One and seeing my athletes at the gym accomplish their own goals.
Why you love your sport: There is nothing like it! You truly rely on each other like no other team sport I have ever been a part of.
Breed: Dutch shepherd
Training spot: Jasper’s Splash Zone, the K9 Body Shop and my own backyard.
Favorite training treats: Zukes
Hometown: Lafayette, Colorado
Championships/titles: 1st Place, Iron Dog Titan at the 2016 World Championships; 2015 Big Air top-ranked Dutch Shepherd; DockDogs Iron Dog Titan.
Proudest moment: Placing 4th overall at the 2016 World Championships in the Big Air Super Elite, achieving a new personal best of 29 during the competition.
Goals for the near future: Achieving an Iron Dog Spartan title and completing narcotics detection training.
Sports: Rock climbing and bouldering
Training spot: Sport Climbing Center, The Pit and ABC in Colorado Springs, Colorado
Recent championships/titles: 1st place Vail 2015 Bouldering World Cup; 5th overall 2015 Bouldering World Cup Series; 1st 2015 ADIDAS ROCKSTAR competition in Stuttgart, Germany.
Proudest moment: 1st Vail World Cup! Climbed 5 v12’s in 2015 and my first ever v13 in Switzerland this year.
Goals for the near future: Compete in the full 2016 World Cup Series and compete in the World Championship, climb a v14.
Why you love your sport: I enjoy the movement and problem solving climbing offers. It also has a great community of people. Climbing has taken me around the world and to new places I would probably have never seen.
Sport: Mountain biking
Training spot: Vail, Colorado
Recent championships/titles: None. That’s not why I do it.
Proudest moment: Finishing the Leadville 100 with a personal record after crashing at 60 miles in and tearing my rotator cuff (surgery required).
Goals: Complete Mountain Games Ultimate Mountain Challenge and the Leadman series.
Why you love your sport: Because it provides a necessary connection to nature and the benefits associated with the realization that I am a small part of a very large existence.