Peak Performers nominee: Matt Dayton, Nordic skiing |

Peak Performers nominee: Matt Dayton, Nordic skiing

Matt Dayton grew up in Summit County's first family of Nordic skiing and continues to give back after a career that included competing in the 2002 Olympics.
Summit Daily file

Editor’s note: Readers nominated their all-time favorite Summit County athletes for Peak Performers: The Mount Rushmore of Summit County athletes. Voting begins Sunday, Feb. 23, at

Nominee: Matt Dayton
Sport: Nordic skiing

A 1996 graduate of Summit High School, Matt Dayton was born and raised in the county. The son of Gene Dayton, one of the pioneers of Nordic skiing in Summit, Matt soon followed closely in his father’s footsteps as an avid and accomplished Nordic skier.

At Summit High, Dayton was an All-American skier, winning various top medals in state Nordic competitions, including earning the state championship in the Nordic Classic in his junior year.

After graduation, Dayton pursued his Olympic dreams via moving to Steamboat Springs to train as a ski jumper. Around that time, Dayton joined the development team of the U.S. Ski Team, eventually becoming a member of the U.S. Ski Team in 1999, competing in World Cup Nordic combined competitions. Dayton’s top World Cup finish was fifth.

Dayton achieved his Olympic dreams at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, representing Team USA in the individual and team events in Nordic combined. The U.S. team finished fourth with many Summit County family and friends in attendance.

In the time since the Olympics, Dayton routinely has given back to the community, by working with his family at the Breckenridge Nordic Center and coaching Summit High Nordic skiers who have had the same Olympic dreams he once possessed.

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