Athletes to Watch in the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games

Maggie Mahoney, Assistant Sports Editor

The Winter Olympic games are returning this February just six months after the conclusion of the 2021 Summer games. As Team USA looks to bring home another collection of medals, here are some American athletes to watch out for.

 

Photo/ Getty Images

David Wise

 Since the event’s Olympic debut in the Sochi 2014 games, Wise has been the only man to ever win gold in the freeski halfpipe. Shortly after the 2018 Olympic games in Pyeongchang, Wise shattered his femur in a skiing accident that he has struggled to recover from since, but the 31-year-old from Reno, Nev. remains hopeful heading into this year’s games. Wise is looking for a “three-peat” to add to his two Olympic gold medals in the event and build on his wins in six Grand Prixs, six World Cups, three X Games and one Freeski World Championship in his skiing career. 

 

 

Photo/ Joel Reichenberger

Jamie Anderson

Anderson heads into these games with strong momentum as she was the only Olympian in the 2018 games to leave with 2 medals, silver in the big air and gold in the slopestyle snowboard. Each snowboarding event requires a unique set of skills, so medaling in more than one event is a rare feat. Similar to Wise, Anderson hopes to win her third gold medal in the slopestyle, keeping her title as the only Olympic champion in the event that also debuted in 2014. As the defending Olympic champion and the most decorated female athlete in X Games history with 17 medals, Anderson is currently the woman to beat in the slopestyle. 

 

 

Photo/ Getty Images

Chloe Kim

In her 2018 Olympic debut, Kim made history as the youngest female Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding history at just age 17. As she became an instant celebrity after her 2018 success, Kim suffered from a post-Olympic depression common for athletes that was made even worse by her newfound fame and inability to return to being a normal teenager. To improve her mental health, Kim took a long break from snowboard competition after the last Olympics, but has returned equally as strong as she left. Kim has continued to push the boundaries in snowboarding since she became the first woman to ever land back-to-back 1080s in an Olympic halfpipe in 2018 and hopes to defend her gold medal this year.

 

 

Photo/ Lee Jin-Man

Shaun White

White has been a pioneer in the snowboarding world since his Olympic debut in the Turin 2006 games and has announced that this year’s games will be his last. In his four Olympic games, White has returned with three gold medals in the halfpipe and is hoping to add a fourth to his collection this year. White’s final Olympic medal would join his collection of nearly 20 X Games gold and silver medals that honor his long domination of the snowboarding world starting when he was just 15 in 2002 to now. 

 

 

Photo/ Mike Segar

Mikaela Shiffrin

 After her 47th World Cup Slalom win this winter, Shiffrin is coming into the Olympic games the winningest female skier in a single discipline of all time. These extensive slalom wins come in addition to a gold in the slalom from the Sochi games and a gold in the giant slalom in the 2018 Pyeongchang games. The two-time Olympic gold medalist hopes to be one of many on the USA team to clinch their third gold medal this February.