Nation & World

Americans to watch at the 2018 Winter Games

Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy: “I’m definitely like ‘the gay skier’ now, and that’s fine. I knew I was stepping into that role when I did it.”  CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Toni L. Sandys
Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy: “I’m definitely like ‘the gay skier’ now, and that’s fine. I knew I was stepping into that role when I did it.” CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Toni L. Sandys
/

Gus Kenworthy

Freestyle skiing: Kenworthy was a silver medalist in slopestyle four years ago in Russia, but he made as many headlines for adopting some of Sochi’s stray dogs. And though he worried that it would hurt his sponsorships, he came out, and that boosted his marketability even more. Now he will be one of two openly gay U.S. athletes competing in PyeongChang.

Jamie Anderson

Snowboarding: Anderson, who will defend her slopestyle gold medal from Sochi, is third in the World Cup standings in that discipline, behind Reira Iwabuchi of Japan and New Zealand’s Christy Prior. Anderson has a shelf full of X Games medals; she won her first, a bronze, in 2006 when she was just 15.

Maddie Bowman

Freestyle halfpipe: Bowman returns to defend her 2014 gold medal, but she will face tough competition from Kexin Zhang of China and Cassie Sharpe of Canada, not to mention her U.S. teammates, Brita Sigourney, who leads the World Cup rankings; Devin Logan (fifth); and Annalisa Drew (seventh).

Nathan Chen

Figure skating: The 18-year-old Chen already is a two-time U.S. champion, and he won two gold medals in 2017 - in the ISU Grand Prix and the Four Continents Championship. Though young, Chen has a powerful repertoire that few can match: He performs five quads - jumps that include four revolutions - in his free skate and two in his short program. None of the three men on the U.S. skating team have Olympic experience. Vincent Zhou is even younger than Chen - 17 - and Adam Rippon is a rookie at age 28.

Ted Ligety

Skiing: Ligety, 33, had not made a World Cup podium for three years before winning a bronze at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in late January. That sends the two-time Olympic gold medalist (the combined in 2006 and the giant slalom in 2014) to PyeongChang on a high note.

Alex Rigsby

Hockey: Rigsby will make her Olympic debut at goalie for the women’s team, which is seeking its first Olympic gold medal since 1998. Rigsby has played in four world championships for the United States, winning four gold medals. She has played the past three seasons for the Minnesota Whitecaps professional team.

Katie Uhlaender

Skeleton : In her third Olympics in 2014, Uhlaender finished off the podium, 0.04 seconds behind Russia’s Elena Nikitina. For a while, it looked as if she would move up to third and earn a bronze when Nikitina was stripped of her medal and banned from the Olympics in the wake of the scandal surrounding state-sponsored doping in Russia. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned Nikitina’s ban last week.Uhlaender is the top-ranked American woman (12th) in the World Cup standings.

David Wise

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Freestyle skiing: Wise enters the Olympics on a roll, winning gold at the Winter X Games after performing four doubles in four different directions on his final run. Wise will defend the halfpipe gold medal he won four years ago in Sochi.

Nina Roth

Curling: Roth will be the skip for the U.S. women’s team at her first Olympics. In fact, none of her curling teammates - Tabitha Peterson, Becca Hamilton, Corey Christensen and Aileen Geving - have Olympic experience, either. Roth, who placed fifth at the world championships in 2017, has a nursing degree and works as a nurse in the Madison, Wis., area.

Mikaela Shiffrin

Skiing: At 18, Shiffrin became the youngest skier to win gold in the slalom at the 2014 Games. At 22, she will try to become the first skier, male or female, to repeat as Olympic slalom champion. Shiffrin is the best skier in the world. She has nearly twice as many overall points in the World Cup standings as her next competitor. She ranks first in slalom, third in giant slalom and fifth in downhill. At the 2017 world championships, she became the first woman to win three consecutive slalom world titles in 78 years.

Elana Meyers Taylor

Bobsled:After a bronze at the Vancouver Games in 2010 and a silver four years later in Sochi, Taylor hopes the progression continues with a gold in PyeongChang. She ranks second in the World Cup standings with 1,591 points, behind Canadian Kaillie Humphries’s 1,631.

Jessie Diggins

Cross-country skiing: Diggins, third in the overall World Cup standings, could become the first American woman to medal in an Olympic cross-country event. At the 2017 world championships, Diggins won silver in the sprint freestyle event and bronze in the team sprint classic competition and finished fourth in the 4x5-kilometer relay and fifth in the 30K mass start.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

MORE Nation & World ARTICLES TO READ NEXT ...

Spoiler Alert.'Avengers: Infinity War' makes its predecessors seem like small potatoes. The 19th film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it combines nine franchises and more than 30 major characters. Audiences now have a decade ...

PARIS - Global wine output fell to its lowest level in 60 years in 2017 due to poor weather conditions in the European Union that slashed production in the bloc, international wine organization OIV said.Wine production totaled 250 ...

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.