Utah man goes from Olympian to advocate for country of Colombia

Feb 15, 2022, 5:23 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Dozens of Utah athletes are representing Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but we also have a lot of International athletes competing as well.

KSL’s Alex Cabrero spoke with a Utah man who is helping his home country produce even more Olympians.

WATCH: Utah man helps build Colombian Olympians

Sebastian Uprimny competed in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics as a cross-country skier for his home country of Colombia, but he has lived in Utah for more than a decade, running a successful translation – interpretation business.    

Colombia isn’t well known for its winter athletes, but with Utah’s help, maybe one day, it will.

There’s a lot of yelling skeleton, but for as fast as sliding sports are, Sebastian Uprimny knows he has to be patient.

“That’s something new for me that I wasn’t expecting, but it’s really fun,” he said.

Competing for Colombia in the 2018 Olympic Games was a dream come true for Uprimny.

“As you know, it was my last shot,” he said. “I was kind of active in the older age trying to qualify, and I made it and it was super exciting.”

Now, though, his dream is even bigger.

He and Olympic committee members from Colombia used that moment to get Colombians interested in the Winter Olympics.

Since Uprimny lives in Utah, it’s the perfect place to help train Colombians in those sports, and build a winter team from the bottom up.

“Now, we have some, some opportunities for Colombia as a country, but it’s in our plan that we have for 2026 is to get a bobsled team, where the brakeman will come from track and field, from weightlifting in Colombia,” Uprimny said.

Uprimny has become kind of Colombia’s winter sports team captain.

He was helping Colombian skeleton athlete Laura Vargas in Park City just before the Olympics, and although she just barely missed qualifying for Beijing, she’s excited about Colombia’s future in Winter Sports.

“We’re recruiting all the time,” Uprimny said. “We’ve got speedskaters now, downhill skiers, snowboarders. We’re just growing, like, we have a new athlete pretty much every year. So, it’s amazing.”

That’s where the patience comes in — it takes time to get Olympic-level good, especially for an entire country.

For Uprimny, though, his transition from athlete to advocate is a challenge he’s enjoying almost more than competing himself.

“Maybe more fun than I get to go to everywhere, but I don’t have to train that much” he said laughing.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Olympic Utah

FILE: PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn of the United States at...
Matt Rascon, KSL TV

Bid for SLC Olympics gets boost from Lindsey Vonn at meeting in Switzerland

The bid to bring the Olympics back to the state got a boost Wednesday, as Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn joined officials for a meeting with the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland.
13 days ago
ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA - FEBRUARY 18: Gold medallist Ailing Eileen Gu of Team China poses with their me...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Olympic Champion Eileen Gu will represent Salt Lake City for Olympic bid

Olympic athlete Eilee Gu will serve as the global ambassador for Salt Lake City's bid to host either the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games.
20 days ago
Utah team in Special Olympics...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Wasatch represents Utah at National Special Olympics with cheers, fun

The Wasatch High School Unified Basketball team competed Tuesday at the National Special Olympics in Orlando. One of the athletes had everyone cheering her on, even though she didn't make a single basket.
21 days ago
USA Climbing competition in SLC on May 21st, 2022...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

World’s best climbers in SLC for competition

It's the perfect time for Salt Lake to be at the forefront of the sport’s popularity.
1 month ago
Nathan Chen of Team United States reacts during the Men Single Skating Short Program on day four of...
Morgan Wolfe, KSL TV

Gold medalist Nathan Chen returns to the ice at Maverik Center

Salt Lake City showed Nathan Chen they’ll always support him.
1 month ago
Nathan Chen at Utah Capitol (KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

‘Nathan Chen Day,’ Olympic gold medalist honored at Utah Capitol

Nathan Chen had been working his whole life for that gold medal moment during the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Today he is back in Utah to celebrate.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Utah man goes from Olympian to advocate for country of Colombia