The countdown has begun for the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in host city PyeongChang, South Korea. PyeongChang 2018 kicks off on Thursday, February 8, 2018 with two events: curling and ski jumping. The Olympic torch will complete its journey to PyeongChang Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony on February 9. Over the 17 days of competition, athletes will compete in 102 events across 15 sports with the festivities concluding with the closing ceremony on Sunday, February 25.
Cheer on these talented young athletes who have qualified for Team USA and are going for the gold in PyeongChang:
- Seventeen-year-old Chloe Kim is the gold medal favorite in women’s halfpipe snowboarding. Kim took home the gold in halfpipe at the 2015 and 2016 X Games, and won in both halfpipe and slopestyle at the 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games.
- Fan favorite Shaun White earned a perfect score at the 2018 U.S. Grand Prix to secure a spot on Team USA. White is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in halfpipe. He competed at Torino in 2006, Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. After a disappointing fourth place finish in Sochi, victory at PyeongChang would make White the first snowboarder to win three gold medals.
- Lindsey Vonn is back for her fourth Olympics after a knee injury left her sidelined for Sochi 2014. The Vail, Colorado native made her Olympic debut in 2002. She won the gold in downhill at Vancouver in 2010.
- On January 9, 2018, Mikaela Shiffrin won her fifth straight World Cup victory, the first Alpine skier in 20 years to do so. The 22-year-old champion from Eagle-Vail, Colorado will compete in her second Olympics, having won the gold medal in slalom at Sochi in 2014.
- Ski jumper Michael Glasder of Cary, Illinois got an early start in the sport at age five. After failing to make the team in both 2010 and 2014, Glasder prevailed to become the 2015 national champion. He was the first ski jumper to qualify for the PyeongChang games with a win at the U.S. Olympic Trials in December 2017.
- High-flying Nathan Chen of Salt Lake City, Utah is known for his quadruple jumps—four rotations in the air before hitting the ground. At the 2017 U.S. National Figure Skating Championship, Chen became the first man to land five quadruple jumps in a single performance. He went on to win his second straight national title in 2018.
- The 2018 Team USA women’s figure skating team features Bradie Tennell of Carpentersville, Illinois, who won her first national title in 2018. Joining her will be Mirai Nagasu of Arcadia, California, who placed fourth in the 2010 Winter Olympics but did not make the team in 2014. Also competing will be Karen Chen of Fremont, California. Chen, the 2017 U.S. national champion, won fourth place at the World Championship in 2017.
- Joey Mantia is a 32-year old speedskater from Ocala, Florida. Mantia will compete in his third Olympics in three events: the 1000 meter, 1500 meter and the mass start. In the mass start, a new Olympic event in 2018, skaters will race against each other in a pack rather than competing in pairs in a timed race.
- 28-year-old Heather Bergsma from High Point, North Carolina is a contender in four speedskating events: the 500, 100 and 1500 meter as well as the mass start. This is Bergsma’s third Olympic games. She competed in Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 with a best finish of sixth place.