Feb 5, 2022 - Axios Denver

Colorado's Nick Shore goes for hockey gold at Winter Olympics

Nick Shore in 2020. Photo: Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

When one door closes, another opens — and this year it opened in a big way for Nick Shore, a Denver native who's going for gold on the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team.

Driving the news: After the NHL decided to keep players from competing in the 2022 Games to avoid COVID-19 and play catch-up thanks to matches postponed by the virus, Shore got a call.

  • It was his agent, who happens to be his older brother, telling him to get ready for Beijing.

What he's saying: The Olympics are "something that everyone grows up watching," he said, and "getting a chance to be a part of that is a dream come true."

Catch up quick: The 29-year-old star forward played at the University of Denver and makes his Olympic debut this year.

  • He joins Team USA as the lead scorer in the Kontinental Hockey League and is one of the most experienced members of the group, whose average age is 25.
  • Shore played with the Littleton Hawks and Colorado Thunderbirds as a kid — and much of his family still lives in Denver, including two of his three brothers.

Shore told Axios his hockey career has kept him away from his hometown for most of the past eight years, but he returns to Denver in the summers.

  • "I'm obviously a bit biased because I'm from here, but it's hard to beat Denver for a lot of reasons," he said. "When the sun's out almost every day, it's tough to have bad days here."

State of play: Nerves had yet to kick in as Shore packed his bags for Beijing — but he expected that to change once he got to China.

  • "It'll be a little nerve-wracking. But at the same time, I think that's good. It's mostly just excitement." Plus, the support he has from family and friends is "incredible."

What's next: Shore hopes to secure the gold, and said the team is strong enough to get there. But, for now, he told Axios his plan is to focus on the present.

  • "Without looking too much forward, I'm just going to take everything in stride, really enjoy the moment and soak it all in while I'm here."

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

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