Team U.S.A. is expected to send 240 athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea this month. As of January 26, nine athletes from Utah had been selected to represent the United States at the Olympics.
At the age of 21, Ligety was the youngest American male to earn an Olympic gold medal in Alpine Skiing. His career has only progressed from there. In 2015, he became the first skier to earn three consecutive World Championship titles in giant slalom.
A North American Cup champion of giant slalom, McJames has competed in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. She placed 30th in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. In her spare time, McJames runs a cake decorating business with her friend called Sister’s Sweet Tooth.
A captain in the U. S. Army, Fogt competes in the Olympics in between his tours of active duty. As a member of Team Night Train, he took home a bronze medal from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
After her first attempts to ski at 14, Brennan won a race at a community event. This win excited her competitive nature and lead her to competitions in Canada. During the summer months, she trains in Alaska where she has grown to love the community. She volunteers with Skiku, a program to teach young children to ski, and Fast and Female, a group that empowers young women through sports.
Salt Lake City
At the age of 18, Chen is heading to his first Olympics this year. He originally tried ice skating to become a hockey goalie, but found his place in figure skating instead. In December, he was the champion of the 2017-18 Grand Prix Final in Japan.
Long Track Speedskating
Tandiman began skating after the 2002 Olympics because the Utah Olympic Oval was built next to her house. She still practices there today. In 2014, she was the all-around champion at the U.S. Junior Nationals. She recently took time off of skating to earn her associate’s degree, but is now dedicated to skating full time to achieve her olympic dream.
Salt Lake City
A sergeant in the U.S. Army, Morris is headed to his first Olympic Games after missing the qualification for the 2014 Olympics by four one-thousandths of a second. In 2017, Morris finished 5th in men’s sprint during the world championships. This earned him the top result for a U.S. athlete.
During her first World Cup competition in 2012, Hendrickson dominated her competitors by winning nine competitions. In 2014, she was the first woman to compete in ski jumping at the Olympics after women were permitted to start competing in the event.
Salt Lake City
At the age of 14, Gulini left her home and family in Salt Lake City to attend the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy in Colorado. During the 2014 Olympics, she earned fourth place in snowboarding. Off of the slopes, Gulini is working toward a degree in accounting, enjoys riding her motorcycle and completed her first marathon in 2016.
Jenna Chapman for SUU News
Featured Photo by Kipras Štreimikis on Unsplash