The greatest display of athletic competition will soon be back to entertain us. PyeongChang opening ceremonies take place on Friday, February 9th and closing ceremonies on Sunday, February 25th.
The competitions are always edge-of-your-seat electrifying, and we’re expecting the same excitement in South Korea. Four new events have been added this winter: big-air snowboarding, freestyle skiing, mass-start speed skating, and mixed doubles curling. There are 102 medals up for grabs (the most ever) for 2500 athletes from 90 nations. Team America is bringing about 240 of those athletes.
As one of the few times when it’s perfectly acceptable to spend days on your couch bingeing drama-fueled TV, we’ve done our homework on the PyeongChang schedule. Here are the top competitions and American athletes we can’t wait to watch during those two and a half weeks:
Snowboarding: Chloe Kim
With athletes getting big air and pulling off even bigger tricks, the halfpipe is one of the most addicting events to watch. Who should you keep your eye on? Chloe Kim is a snowboarding phenom and current U.S. gold-medal favorite for the halfpipe event. Just 17 years old, Kim’s ranked #1 in the world and was the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s.
Figure Skating: Nathan Chen
A long-running favorite event, figure skating has been part of the winter schedule since 1924. And the U.S. is bringing an 18-year-old ringer to PyeongChang. Nathan Chen is the current U.S. champion and recently won the ISU Grand Prix Final — the unofficial warm-up for PyeongChang – beating the reigning Olympic and World champions. He’s the first skater in history to land five quadruple jumps in a single program.
Speed Skating: Shani Davis
Another sport that has been part of the competition schedule since 1924, speed skating is a display of pure leg power. American Shani Davis will be ready to play in PyeongChang after not reaching the podium in Sochi. This might be the last appearance in the Games for the 35-year-old veteran and he’ll want to add to his collection of two gold and two silver medals.
Alpine Skiing: Mikaela Shiffrin
The events within the alpine skiing event all combine breakneck speeds and fine-tuned strength, keeping your eyes glued to the athletes as they fly down the mountain. Reigning Olympic gold medalist and world champion Mikaela Shiffrin will be trying to grab the top spot on the podium again for the slalom event. She’ll be up against veteran teammate Lindsey Vonn, the winningest female Alpine skier, who’s making a big comeback from knee injuries.
Ice Hockey: U.S. Women’s National Team
This will be one of the top competitions to watch! Team USA won silver in Sochi after a heartbreaking 3-2 overtime loss to Canada. Over the past four years, the nations have traded wins in international matches and the rivalry will be at an all-time high in PyeongChang.
We’ll be proudly waving the stars and stripes as we root for all the American athletes. Go TEAM USA!
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