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American athletes to watch at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games: part 1

By on November 9, 2021 0

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Shaun White, Halfpipe Snowboard

Now 35 and chasing his fifth Olympic appearance, Shaun White has become the oldest statesman in halfpipe snowboarding. His prolific career, now in its third decade, shows no signs of slowing down, however. White came out of a three-year hiatus last March to finish fourth at a United States Grand Prix event in his first competition since the 2018 Winter Olympics. Known for his huge amplitude and some some of the biggest tricks on the pitch – he landed 1440 back-to-back double corks at the 2018 Games – his return to competition this season is sure to generate a lot of excitement ahead of the Winter Olympics. Even though he will face stiff competition from Yuto Totsuka, Ayumu Hirano and Scotty James, White has a chance of becoming the first snowboarder to win four Olympic gold medals.

With already four Olympics and three gold medals to his name, Shaun White is yet to finish.

NBC Olympics

Chloe Kim, Halfpipe Snowboard

Always at the forefront of women’s snowboarding, Chloe Kim has been advancing this sport since her teenage years. She was 15 when she became the first woman to land a consecutive 1080 in a halfpipe contest, and at 17, she cemented her superstar status by winning a gold medal on her Olympic debut so much. expected. Kim briefly walked away from snowboarding competitions during this Olympic cycle – she attended Princeton University in her freshman year while rehabilitating a broken ankle and relieving the pressures of her sport – but returned to competing afterward. a 22-month hiatus and immediately resumed his means of winning. Now 21, Kim will be the favorite to win a second straight halfpipe gold medal.

READ MORE: Now 21, American snowboarder Chloe Kim is changing her priorities

Jessie Diggins, Cross Country Skiing

Her epic result in the women’s team sprint was one of the highlights of PyeongChang 2018, with the since-retired Kikkan Randall winning the U.S. team’s first ever Olympic gold in cross country. Already a quadruple world medalist, Diggins could have skied until sunset after peaking. She has done everything except continuing her success on the World Cup circuit by winning five races and achieving 22 podiums since those Games. The Saint Paul, Minnesota native’s biggest individual achievements to date came last season when she became the first American to win the Multi-stop Tour de Ski and the second since XC icon Bill Koch in win the World Cup crystal ball.

SEE MORE: Jessie Diggins from USA gives 100% on cross country course

David Wise, Freeski Halfpipe

As for the Olympics, the two-time defending champion showed up when he was counted and executed. Most signs point to another repeat is possible in 2022 as long as Wise can outdo his young compatriots, including 2018 silver medalist Alex Ferreira. Wise, a father of two, fractured his femur in April 2019 but has since recovered. Elsewhere, his record is good: four X Games titles in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018, as well as a silver medal in 2019; only one world title in six appearances; and seven World Cup victories and six Grand Prix on these respective circuits. The Reno, Nevada native started skiing at age 3, won his first national title at age 15 and turned pro three years later. At 31, he is still trying to find his limit.

SEE MORE: Home of American freeskier David Wise is the best place in the world

Alex Ferreira, Freeski Halfpipe

The 2018 Olympic silver medalist could face the challenge of dethroning compatriot David Wise for this winter’s top spot in freeskiing halfpipe. Ferreira, 27, is a six-time X Games medalist; from PyeongChang he won 2019 and 2020 X gold ahead of Wise before finishing on the podium in 2021. Hailing from Aspen, where he learned to ski at the age of 3, the overall winner of the season in 2017-18 World Cup may also have to face another. teammate, 2019 world champion Aaron Blunck, as well as 2021 X Games champion Nico Porteous from New Zealand. Known for his dizzying amplitude, Ferreira brings energy and enthusiasm to his halfpipe descents, making him one of the most exciting skiers to watch.

2018 Olympic silver medalist Alex Ferreira brings amplitude and excitement to all of his halfpipe descents.


Jamie Anderson, Slopestyle / Big Air Snowboard

With 19 career medals, Jamie Anderson is the most decorated woman in Winter X Games history. And with back-to-back wins in slopestyle and a silver medal in the big air at PyeongChang 2018, she also quickly became the most decorated woman in Olympic snowboarding history. The 31-year-old free-spirited South Lake Tahoe has always been known for her consistency and technicality, and her bag of progressive tricks now includes several variations of double corks. Anderson has just completed a 2020-21 season in which she swept the slopestyle and big air events at the X Games, and she will have medal opportunities in both of these disciplines at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. could climb back on the podium in both events, she would become the first snowboarder – male or female – win five Olympic medals.

Jamie Anderson has the chance to make history at the 2022 Winter Games.

NBC Olympics

Gerard Rouge, Slopestyle / Big Air Snowboard

One of the surprise stars of the last Winter Olympics, Red Gerard’s shocked victory in slopestyle snowboarding gave the United States its first gold at PyeongChang 2018 and made the 17-year-old a celebrity of the day. on the next day. Since then he has always been a contender for the podium in competitions – he won slopestyle titles at the Burton US Open (2019) and Dew Tour (2020) and won a bronze medal at the X Games (2020) – but also spent time filming in the backcountry. for projects like “Joy” and “One World” in order to find a balance with his snowboarding career. (2014 Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg, who left the competition scene to focus on filming, was one of Gerard’s co-stars in “Joy.”) Gerard, today the 21-year-old remains one of Team USA’s greatest medal hopefuls in men’s slopestyle.

Red Gerard has remained one of Team USA’s top slopestyle riders.

NBC Olympics

Nick Goepper, Freeski Slopestyle / Big Air

He lacks an Olympic medal color and if proper progression serves him, he is able to win slopestyle gold in 2022. Goepper won bronze in Sochi in an American podium sweep in 2014 and then was the only US medalist of the event at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, taking silver. Despite winning his first medal at the X Games almost a decade ago and having had to overcome a few obstacles, Hoosier, 27, has continued to thrive and position himself as a contender in the race. , winning bronze at the 2019 World Championships and gold at the 2021 X Games.

Nick Goepper of Indiana has been on the Olympic podium twice but is still chasing his first gold.


Ryan Cochran-Siegle, alpine skiing

The maple syrup sprint specialist from Vermont is arguably the US team’s best chance to win a medal in men’s alpine skiing. In December 2021, he became the first American to win a Super-G World Cup event in 14 years. The 29-year-old veteran has Olympic success in his blood; his mother, Barbara Ann Cochran, won slalom gold at the 1972 Olympic Winter Games and taught Ryan how to ski at their family ski area in Richmond, Vermont.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle’s best result out of the four events he competed in at PyeongChang 2018 was an 11th place in the giant slalom.

NBC Olympics

Lindsey Jacobellis, Snowboard Cross

The five-time world and 10-time X Games individual champion is the most dominant female boardercross rider in history, but still chasing Olympic gold some 16 years after making her Games debut in Turin, where an infamous method approached the finish in a shocking manner. cost him the crown. Since then, Jacobellis’ silver medal in 2006 marks her only podium in four Olympic appearances – she placed fifth in Vancouver, seventh in Sochi and fourth in PyeongChang. Can the 36-year-old find any other equipment to claim this elusive feat, against what could be the most competitive field she has ever faced? She can have two chances; if not individually, the new mixed team event offers an additional opportunity.

An Olympic gold medal is one of the few things missing from Lindsey Jacobellis’ historic list of snowboard cross accomplishments.


Winter Vinecki, Antennas

Even though she finished second in the world last season with three World Cup podiums, Winter Vinecki is far from just a skier in jumps. She is one of the most interesting prospects vying for a place on the US Olympic team. The future 23-year-old woman ran her first 5, 10 and 10 mile races at the ages of 5, 8 and 10, respectively; formed the non-profit Team Winter at the age of 9 to raise funds for prostate cancer research and honor his late father, competing in an Olympic distance triathlon that same year; and before she was 15, she became the youngest person to complete a marathon on seven continents, running with her mother Dawn in Eugene, Oregon, then in Kenya, Antarctica, Peru, Mongolia, Nova Scotia. Zealand and Greece.

Winter Vinecki could become the first athlete with the first name “Winter” to compete in the Winter Olympics.


Jaelin Kauf, bumps

A two-time world medalist in parallel moguls, her skills and results since PyeongChang probably give Team USA their best shot at winning Olympic moguls equipment since the peak era of Hannah Kearney, winner of 2010 gold and the bronze in 2014. Kauf made her Games debut in 2018 as a No. 1 ranked mogul skier but took seventh place. In addition to her world medals in 2017 and 2019, the 25-year-old Wyomingite has seven wins and 18 podiums on the World Cup circuit, finishing the last four seasons in the top five overall.

Jaelin Kauf’s recent World Cup rankings: 2nd (2017-18), 2nd (2018-19), 3rd (2019-20), 5th (2020-21).


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