100 days of the 2022 Beijing Olympics: fifteen American team athletes to watch | Winter Olympics
The 26-year-old is one of the best skiers of all time and is no stranger to setbacks. After losing her father in early 2020 and battling a string of back injuries, Shiffrin became the first skier to win gold at five consecutive world championships earlier this year. She begins the Olympic season with 106 career World Cup medals, including 69 gold. Its material collection also includes two Olympic gold medals and one silver. She only needs one more gold medal in Beijing to claim the most Olympic wins from an American alpine skier, the mark she currently shares with Ted Ligety and Andrea Mead.
Currently on leave from Yale, the 22-year-old from Salt Lake City is known to be the first figure skater to complete five different types of quadruple jumps. Chen won three world titles, three Grand Prix final titles and five US national titles. Chen competed in the 2018 Olympics as one of the favorites for the gold medal, but despite winning the free skate, he finished on the podium due to major errors in the short program. The Beijing Olympics will be his chance for redemption.
One of the most successful women’s ice hockey teams on the international stage, the American women have finished on the podium in the last six Olympics. At 32, Knight is a veteran and one of the team’s most decorated athletes with eight world championship gold medals and one Olympic title. Knight, who plays forward, courageously pleaded for better terms and better payout for women’s hockey. Knight has scored two goals and obtained five assists in Pyeongchang and is set to produce even more attacks in Beijing.
The 18-year-old quickly made a name for himself in snowboarding after becoming Youth Olympic Champion in slopestyle in early 2020 and winning two gold medals at the Winter X Games in Aspen earlier this year. One of his victories was in slopestyle, making him the first American to accomplish this feat since Shaun White won 12 years ago. The Californian, who is also knowledgeable in surfboard and skateboarding, is set to make his Olympic debut in Beijing with a good chance of reaching at least one podium.
After winning bronze at Turin 2006, the US men’s curling team finished on the podium for the next two Olympics. In 2018, Shuster finally led his team to the United States’ first Olympic curling gold medal, making him an instant hero on Team USA. Since recovering from Covid-19, which also infected his wife and two children, the 38-year-old from Minnesota plans to become a five-time Olympian in Beijing.
Hoffman caught the attention of the US bobsleigh team playing in NBC’s second season of The Next Olympic Hopeful. Although she didn’t win the reality show, she did secure an invitation to the national bobsleigh training camp. Prior to the unlikely start of her Olympic run, the 32-year-old Texan had athletic experience playing basketball for LSU Sheveport and representing the U.S. team at international weightlifting competitions. Hoffman proved himself quickly, winning his first World Cup title with Kaillie Humphries last year.
After bursting onto the scene becoming the youngest woman to win a national figure skating title at age 13, the young Californian’s Olympic debut was eagerly awaited. A year later, she landed a triple axel and a quadruple jump in the same program at the US national championships, making her the first skater to do so. The weather included Liu on the Next 100 list, with Michelle Kwan calling him “the future of figure skating.” This year, she started the season by winning two international gold medals, one of which helped American women secure a third Olympic spot which she is likely to fill.
Four years ago, Kim made a name for herself winning gold in the halfpipe snowboard at just 17, making her the the youngest woman to do so at the Olympics. That same year, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Now 21 and enrolled at Princeton, Kim returned to the pipes earlier this year after a 22-month absence. She is entering her second Olympic Games with six X Games gold medals, the current World Championship title and many major sponsors like Toyota, Nike, Oakley and Monster Energy to her credit.
So far, the United States has only three certain Olympians for hockey next year and this Chicago Blackhawks defenseman is one of them. The 27-year-old Texas was traded to the Blackhawks this summer, where he signed an eight-year, $ 76 million contract. Playing for the United States, Jones won two gold medals at the under-18 world championships, one gold at the world junior championships and one bronze at the world championships. The United States men’s hockey team has not won an Olympics since 1980 and has not finished on the podium since 2010, but is hoping for a medal with Jones, Patrick Kane and Auston Matthews already named to the team. .
The first woman to land a 1080 in a full competitive halfpipe, Sigourney has competed in two Olympics and is looking to add a third. After finishing sixth in Sochi, the now 31-year-old freestyle skier won the bronze medal in Pyeongchang. Her medal collection also includes four from the Winter X Games and one from the 2019 World Championships. Sigourney spent three years at UC Davis, where she also trained in water polo.
The 25-year-old Colorado hit the slopes for the first time at just 18 months old and competed in freestyle skiing at the age of 8. In 2017, Blunck won a gold medal at the X Games in the superpipe and two years later he became the world champion in the halfpipe. The two-time Olympian survived a near-fatal crash during training last year resulting in numerous serious injuries. He recovered quickly, returned to competition in Aspen earlier this year and is focused on enjoying the sport ahead of the season.
Thirteen years ago, Jones made her Olympic debut in Beijing as the world champion in the 60m hurdles, favorite to win the 100m hurdles until a mistake put her in seventh place. Now 39, the sprinter and bobsledder have competed in two other Olympic Games since, one summer and one winter, but both without a podium. Earlier this year, she won her second gold medal at the world bobsleigh championships with her partner Kaillie Humphries. Now she hopes to qualify for one last Olympics, return to Beijing and redeem herself with a medal.
After finishing 13th in his first two Olympics, the 33-year-old lugger won a historic silver medal at Pyeongchang 2018, making him the first American luger to win an Olympic medal. A veteran, Mazdzer has competed in nine world championships and won ten World Cup medals, including four gold. Preparing for his fourth Olympics, he broke his foot last month but still aims to compete in singles, doubles and team relay in Beijing. If successful, he will be the first luger to participate in the three events.
At five, Vinecki ran a 5 km. At eight, she ran a 10 km. At fourteen, she completed a marathon across all seven continents, making her the youngest person to accomplish such a feat. The child prodigy is also the founder of Team Winter, a nonprofit that has raised over half a million dollars for prostate cancer research. A recent college graduate, the 22-year-old aerial skier won her first World Cup in January of this year, giving her a good chance of claiming one of the four Olympic spots for women’s aerial skiing.
With three Olympic gold medals, 23 X Game medals and 11 ESPYs to his name, this Californian snowboarder has been one of the most watched athletes in the last four Olympic Winter Games, in which he has all competed. Now he’s aiming for a fifth. White’s talents extend far beyond winter sports, having won two of his X Games gold medals in skateboarding, being part of an electronic rock band who have performed at Lollapalooza and are familiar with the bike of Mountain. This season, he is one of the oldest athletes expected in Beijing but remains one of the favorites for a medal.