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Olympians with Texas ties hope to strike gold in China

Ashley Cain Gribble and Timothy LeDuc.
Mark Zaleski
Associated Press
Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc compete in the pairs free skate program during the U.S. Figure Skating Championships Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.

From bobsledding to figure skating, a handful of athletes that are from Texas — or have Texas ties — are competing in this year’s Olympics.

Although the Texas sports landscape is dominated by football, baseball and basketball, the state is also home to athletes who prefer snow and ice over the gridiron or hardwood.

A handful of Winter Olympians from or with ties to the Lone Star State are hoping to make their marks during this year’s competition.

The athletes will compete in contests ranging from figure skating to bobsledding. The trip to Beijing also marks the first Olympic competition for most members of the group.

Here’s who to root for these next few weeks:

Ashley Cain-Gribble is a pairs figure skater who was born in Carrollton and now calls Coppell home. This is the first Olympic Games for Cain-Gribble and her skating partner Timothy LeDuc. The pair are two-time national champions and LeDuc is the first nonbinary athlete to compete in the Olympics, CNN reported last week.

At 37, Katie Uhlaender is a Team USA veteran. This year marks her fifth Olympic competition as a member of the three-person skeleton team. Uhlaender, who was born in Colorado but raised in Central Texas, has more than a dozen world championship competitions under her belt, where she won gold twice. With Beijing, Uhlaender will tie the Olympic record for most appearances, according to her Team USA biography.

Sylvia Hoffman, 32, is a native of Arlington and this year’s games will mark the first for the American bobsledder. She has also competed in two North American Cup and two World Cup competitions. Hoffman credits the program Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful for her rise in the sport.

Collinsville native Kellie Delka will represent Puerto Rico in skeleton, where she has lived for several years. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas and has represented Puerto Rico the past four seasons, according to NBC news.

Figure skater Mariah Bell, 25, was born in Oklahoma but her parents live in Dallas. The first-time Olympian will skate in the women’s singles event.

Ashley Caldwell, 28, was born in Maryland and calls Virginia her home, but her parents live in Houston. The four-time Olympian will compete in the freestyle skiing event, where she has earned three medals in five previous world championships.

A daily schedule of Olympic events can be found here.

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Got a tip? Email Julián Aguilar at can follow Julián on Twitter @nachoaguilar.