It’s no secret that Colorado is the home to some greatest athletes in the world. The extreme elevation, active outdoor environment and 300 days of sunshine make Colorado a perfect place to perfect athletic prowess. Over the past 100 year, Colorado has been home to some incredible athletes. Below is a list of our Top 10 Favorite Athletes from Colorado.
1. John Elway
Sport: Football, Quarterback
Team: Denver Broncos
Awards: NFL MVP (1987), MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII, UPI AFC Offensive Player of the Year (1987 and 1993), AP NFL All-Pro Team (five times), NFL Pro Bowl (nine times).
Elway, who currently lives in Englewood with his family, spent his entire NFL career in Colorado. He led the Broncos to two NFL Super Bowl wins (Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII). He was inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame (1999), College Football Hall of Fame (2000) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2004). Elway is considered one of the best quarterbacks of all time and will forever be remembered as one of Colorado’s greatest athletes.
2. Jack Dempsey
Awards: #10 on The Rings list of all-time heavyweights and #7 among its Top 100 Greatest Punchers, Member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame
Jack Dempsey was a boxer who held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. Born in Manassa, Dempsey’s aggressive style quickly made him one of the most popular boxers. He was the first man to draw a $1 million gate and set numerous other financial and attendance records in the world of heavyweight boxing. He ended his career with a 66-6-11 record and 51 knockouts.
3. Jeremy Bloom
Sports: Mogul Skiing (USA). Football, Wide Reciever.
Teams: Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburg Steelers
Awards: Three-time World Champion, Two-time Olympian, Eleven-time World Cup gold medalist (Skiing)
Born in Loveland, Jeremy Bloom is a true Colorado athlete. Bloom became the youngest male freestyle skier to ever make The United States Ski Team at the age of 15. His skiing career just took off from that point to eventually include numerous World Championships and Olympic medals. But Bloom is not only a Gold Medal winning mogul skier; he was also a successful NFL Wide Receiver playing for both the Eagles and the Steelers. Colorado athletics wouldn’t be the same with out Jeremy Bloom.
4. Goose Gossage
Sport: Major League Baseball, Relief Pitcher
Teams: Chicago White Sox, Pittsburg Pirates, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners.
Awards: Member of MLB World Series Champion Yankees team in 1978, Twelve-time MLB All-Star Game player, 1978 Al Rolaids Relief Man of the Year, National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee (2008).
“Goose,” whose nickname is a play on his last name, hails from Colorado Springs. During his 22-year baseball career he pitched for nine different teams, led the American League in saves three times and ranked second in major league history in career saves by the end of 1987. He remains third in wins in relief (115) and innings pitched in relief (1,566).
5. Chauncey Billups
Sport: Basketball, Point Guard
Teams: Detroit Pistons, Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks
Awards: Member of NBA finals champion Piston team, MVP of NBA finals (2004), MVP of NBA All-Star Game (2006, 2007, and 2008)
Born and raised in Denver, Chauncey Billups is a truly native Colorado athlete. He attended George Washington High School and went on to score major points at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After playing for the Pistons for a time, Billups made his much-anticipated return to Denver as a Nuggets point guard. He was the fifth player to have his jersey (number 4) retired at the University of Colorado and shaped Colorado basketball history for years to come.
6. Roy Halladay
Sport: Major League Baseball, Pitcher
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Awards: Seven-time All-Star player, AL Cy Young Award (2003), NL Cy Young Award (2010)
Roy Halladay is one of the greatest baseball players, period. On May 29, 2010, Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history. On October 6, 2010, Halladay threw the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history. As his second no-hitter of the year, this game made Halladay the fifth pitcher in major league history (and the first since 1973) to throw multiple no-hitters in the same season. He may play for the Phillies, but we will always know and respect him as a native Coloradoan.
7. Eddie Eagan
Awards: Gold Medal in Boxing at the 1920 Olympic games and Gold Medal in Bobsledding in the 1932 Olympic Games
This unique athlete was born in Denver. Eddie Eagan is one of only two persons to ever have won a gold medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympics and one of only four to medal in both Winter and Summer games. This man is one of the fore-fathers of Colorado athletics.
8. Amy Van Dyken
Awards: Six-time Olympic gold medalist, Three-time FINA World Championship gold medalist (1998), three-time Pan American Games gold medalist
Born in Englewood, CO, Van Dyken is a six-time Olympic gold medalist for swimming. She graduated from Colorado State University and was named NCAA Female Swimmer of the Year in 1994. Four of her six medals came in the 1996 Summer Olympics, making her the first American woman to accomplish such a feat and the most successful athlete in the 1996 Summer Olympics.
9. Dutch Clark
Sport: Football, Quarterback
Team: Detroit Lions
Awards: Six-time All-Pro selection, Three-time league leading scorer, NFL Hall of Fame Charter Member (1963), Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee (1963)
Hailing from Fowler, CO, Dutch Clark began his football career at Central High School in Pueblo. He attended Colorado College where he earned 12 letters and was All-Conference in football, basketball, baseball and track. After graduating from CC., Clark went on to quarterback for the Detroit Lions where he not only was selected for the All-Pro and All-Decade teams but also set a team rushing record in 1936 that stood for 36 years.
10. Dave Logan
Sports: Football, Basketball and Baseball
Teams: Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos.
This University of Colorado grad was drafted to three professional sports (football, basketball and baseball). He eventually chose to play wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns for eight years and for the Denver Broncos the final year of his NFL career. After his NFL career, he coached high school football for Arvada West High School, Chatfield Senior High School and Mullen High School (where he currently coaches).
Written by Amber Klein
Edited by Ryan Park