Vermont’s Athletes Of The Year: 2016

They came, they saw, they podiumed. These pros put the world on notice in 2016 by winning events in national and global arenas. 

For a state whose entire population is roughly the same as that of Denver, Colo., Vermont turns out some pretty amazing athletes. This past year was no exception, with Vermonters taking the podium at world championships around the globe and performing some impressive feats of endurance from Hawaii to the Czech Republic.

We asked both readers and coaches to nominate Vermont’s top athletes of 2016. Here are our favorite stories and  performances—from both full-time pros and weekend warriors.

2016 Toyota U.S. Grand Prix - Copper, CO Halfpipe skiing qualifiers Photo: U.S. Freeskiing

The Most Versatile World Champion: Devin Logan

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The Off-Road Pioneer: Lea Davidson

 

After finishing second twice, Mat Fraser finally lifted his way to winning the title "Fittest MAn On Earth" and took home the $275,000 prize purse. Photo 2017 CrossFit Inc. Used with permission.

The Fittest Man In The World: Mat Fraser

 

Winters are spent racing the European circuit. Photo courtesy of Elle Anderson

Cyclocross Champ: Elle Anderson

 

2016 U.S. Cross Country Ski Team Alaska Camp Photo: Matt Whitcomb/U.S. Ski Team

The Nordic Speed Demons: Sophie Caldwell, Liz Stephens and Ida Sargent

 

Ski Jumper Tara Geraghty-Moats. Photo by Oliver Parini.

The High Flyer: Tara Geraghty-Moats

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Fast Trackers To Watch: They may not have made the national and international podiums this year, but watch out: these six are just getting started.

**HOW WE CHOSE OUR ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

In addition to asking you, our readers, for suggestions for our Athletes of the Year, Vermont Sports reached out to some of the top athletes and coaches in the state for nominees. Among the criteria: Athletes had to either live in Vermont or have family here and continue to spend a significant amount of time doing their sport here. We also looked to recognize a variety of sports and achievements. Many thanks to Jess Cover of Run Vermont; Bud Keene (freestyle ski and snowboard coach and 2006 Olympic Coach of the Year); backcountry skier, photographer and adventurer Brian Mohr; Tao Smith, headmaster of Killington Mountain School; Peter Vollers of the Killington Mountain School and Overland Tours; Andy Weinberg, founder of the Endurance Society and Phil White, organizer of the Kingdom Games events. Think we missed an athlete? Send us an email at editor@vtsports.com.

Emma Cotton

Emma moved to the Green Mountain State a year ago, but has felt at home here for 20. Find her exploring the mountains when she's not posted up with a good book.

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