Many of the best athletes in the world are preparing for thein February. And with all eyes on the Games, here are some of the best to watch.
The world’s top female speed skater will make her second Olympic appearance after her Team USA teammateJackson, 29, is just months away from winning the speed skating World Cup, becoming the first black woman to do so. She is currently ranked No. 1 in the women’s 500 meters by the International Skating Union and will compete in the same event in Beijing.
Will Shiffrin continue her dominance? She won thebefore the Beijing Olympics. It was Shiffrin’s 47th career victory in slalom, making her the first skier in World Cup history to win that many races in a single discipline. Shiffrin, who won gold in slalom at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and giant slalom at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, is expected to be one of the top contenders for this year’s Games.
White will make his fifth Olympics appearance after finishing fourth among the Americans in the world snowboarding points list ahead of Beijing. He has three halfpipe gold medals – from 2006, 2014 and 2018 – making him the most decorated male Olympic snowboarder. This will likely be the curtain call for White’s Olympic career. He told Rolling Stone magazine that he wanted to retire from the Games after Beijing.
The 21-year-old turned heads in PyeongChang four years ago when, aged 17,halfpipe, becoming the youngest American to ever medal in snowboarding. Now she is once again favored to repeat as the Olympic halfpipe champion. Despite her success, she recently shared her mental health struggles and the pressure of expectations as an Olympian. Part of the reason she’s comfortable going out in public is because “people are starting to become more tolerant and talking about these things too.” [mental health] no more problems,” she said.
After a scaryin her last race which eliminated her from the Pyeongchang Olympics, the luge will be back for the next Olympics. The incident broke his neck and back and nearly ended his career. Since then she has documented her recovery and while she admits she is scared at times, she said Beijing would be another chance at a medal. She is also part of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.
Chen, 26, recently won her sixth figure skating championship and is now aiming for gold in Beijing. Predicted to be one of the top contenders for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, he failed to medal in the individual event. However, he won a bronze medal in the team event.
The curling legend will be back for this fifth Olympic Winter Games. After two disappointing back-to-back Olympic appearances in 2010 and 2014, Shuster and his team finally won gold in 2018, a first for the Americans in this event. No one has ever won multiple gold medals in men’s curling, but Shuster and his team want to give it a shot, saying his team is “full of fighters.”
USA women’s hockey team
USA Hockey announced their roster for the women’s ice hockey team this month, and they’re ready to defend their gold medal in Beijing. Of their 23 players, 15 have previous Olympic experience. Among them, striker Hilary Knight returns for her fourth Olympic Games. Team USA’s ongoing rivalry with Canada, which has four gold medals in this event, will be on TV if they meet again in the final.
It will be thewithout NHL players.
Three-time Olympic medalist Elana Meyers Taylor heads to Beijing as a favorite in the monobob, which will make its Olympic debut in February. Meyers Taylor is a women’s monobob World Cup title winner and knows bobsleigh well – she won silver in 2018 and 2014 and bronze in 2010 in the two-man bobsleigh.
The 25-year-old figure skaterthis month, becoming the oldest woman to hold the title since 1927. It was her ninth national championship appearance and her first title. Two-time Olympic medalist Bell now has her sights set on Beijing, where no woman 25 or older has figured to skate for Team USA at the Winter Olympics since 1928.
“Age is literally a number,” Bell told NBC Sports. “It doesn’t mean anything. If you have a dream, there’s no limit to the time you have to fulfill that dream, of course.
The freestyle skier heads to Beijing and is a favorite for Olympic medals. Ferreira, who is the son of an Argentinian professional footballer, won silver after his performance in the skiing halfpipe in PyeongChang and won the X Games Aspen in 2019 and 2020.