We don’t want to jinx anything, but we’re going to go ahead and predict that you’re going to see a lot of American women on the Olympic podium in PyeongChang’s downhill-oriented events.
From ski jumping to snowboard halfpipe, the U.S. Women’s team is stacked with athletes who are progressing their sports, and breaking records.
They’re competing in multiple events, and they’re just old enough to make the Games for the first time. Know their names, because you’re going to see them in 2018, and for years to come.
Skier Mikaela Shiffrin has said that she wants to win five gold medals in PyeongChang.
For those counting along at home that’s one in every downhill ski event. That’s not an outrageous claim, because 22-year-old Shiffrin, who is currently the best all-around skier in the world, has already won 10 World Cup Races this season, putting her on track to break all kinds of records, is one of the winningest, and hardest working skiers in the world. Even if she doesn’t sweep, odds are good she’ll be on the podium.
To get to her medal goal, Shiffrin will have to work past her teammate Lindsey Vonn, who currently holds the record for number of women’s World Cup victories – she’s second overall.
She’s battled through a series of injuries to make it to her fourth Olympics (she had to sit out 2014), but Vonn won a Super G race in Val D’Isere in December and she says she’s mentally stronger than ever.
Four years ago snowboarder Chloe Kim made the Olympic team, but she didn’t get to go to Sochi because, at 13, she was too young to legally compete.
Now, she’s 17, and fresh off a win at the X Games she’s going into the Olympics ready to throw back-to-back 1080s. The Games are also special for her as a first-generation Korean American. Her grandmother still lives in South Korea, and she’s excited Chloe is coming to compete.
Bowman, who won the first-ever women’s ski halfpipe gold medal in 2014, is the most dominant athlete in the sport. She’s knowing for going bigger and throwing more tricks than her competition.
In addition to the Sochi gold, she won X Games gold four years in a row, from 2013 to 2016, and then won again this year. She’s had several knee surgeries since Sochi, but she’d still like to continue her winning streak.
South Lake Tahoe’s Jamie Anderson has been comfortable standing on the podium since 2006, when she became the youngest X Games medalist by snagging slopestyle bronze at age 15. From there, she went on to become the most-medaled X-Games Athlete in the sport, male or female. The reigning Olympic slopestyle Gold Medalist, she’s heading to PyeongChang Games off of a slew of ESPY wins, as well.
Logan, who won silver in slopestyle at the Sochi games, is the only athlete who is competing in two sports at the 2018 games. In addition to making the slopestyle ski team, like she did four years ago, she also made the halfpipe team, where she’ll compete against Bowman, her friend and teammate for almost a decade.
Hendrickson was the first ever women’s ski jumping world champion in 2012, but she tore her ACL and MCL just before the Sochi Games-the first where women were allowed to compete in ski jumping.
She still jumped, but she came in a disappointing 21st, and was plagued by the injury for years. But now she’s strong again, and 2018 is her year to be on top.
2018 marks Kelly Clark‘s fifth Olympics. She’s been on the team since 2002, when she won gold.
She’s medaled twice since then, earning bronze in both 2010 and 2014, and she was just edged into fourth in 2006. As the elder statesman of the team, Clark brings focus and experience and she’s dedicated to bringing up teammates, and mentoring younger athletes through her self-titled foundation.
More about the 2018 Winter Games from ASN