It’s not all that uncommon to inherit the athletic gene from your family tree. And therefore, it’s not so far-fetched to witness multiple star athletes all from the same bloodline.
The Olympics is the perfect example. There are a number of notable winter Olympian families - athletes who have parents, siblings or other relatives possessing the same caliber of talent and athletic ability.
The Olympic Games feature some of the most diverse athletes from all around the world. But believe it or not, some of these athletes emerge from the same home.
Check out some of the most notable winter Olympian families and what sports they specialize in.
Who are some noteworthy winter Olympian families and how are they related?
Father and son
During the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, Venezuela’s Werner Hoeger competed in the same luge competition as his son, Christopher Hoeger. They were the only father-son duo to ever compete in the same event in a Winter Olympics.
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Another interesting family connection is between Austria’s Matthias Mayer and his father Helmut Mayer, who both excelled in alpine skiing. Matthias won the men’s downhill event during the 2014 Sochi Games, while Helmut secured a silver medal in Super-G during the 1988 Calgary Games.
The Mayer's aren't the only Austrian skiers with Olympic lineage.
Johannes Strolz won gold in men’s alpine combined claiming Austria's third Olympic gold medal at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Strolz celebrated his feat exactly 34 years after his father clutched a gold medal for Austria in the same event.
Father and daughter
Norway’s Odd Martinsen secured a silver medal in the men’s 30km cross-country race during the 1968 Grenoble Games. His daughter, Bente Skari-Martinsen, won the bronze medal in the same exact event during the 2002 Salt Lake Games.
Mother and son
American alpine skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle won silver Monday in the men's super-G at the 2022 Winter Olympics. He is a member of Vermont’s “Skiing Cochrans” clan; his mother, Barbara Ann Cochran, won the gold in slalom at the 1972 Sapporo Games.
Brother and sister
The Olympics has seen brothers and sisters compete at the same Olympics quite a few times.
The Fernandez Ochoa family consisted of five siblings, including three brothers and two sisters. Their father ran a local ski school in Spain and his five children all participated in alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics. Bianca (one of the sisters) won slalom in the Morzine 1990 Games.
Bianca’s brother, Francisco, clinched the gold for alpine skiing during the 1972 Sapporo Games. The other three siblings – Juan Manuel, Luis and Dolores – also competed in the Winter Olympics. Juan Manual participated in Innsbruck 1976. Luis raced at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo and Calgary 1988. Dolores was also at the 1984 Games with Luis.
Italy’s Fulvio Valbusa and Sabina Valbusa, another pair of Olympic siblings, both competed in five Winter Olympic Games in cross-country skiing.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, three siblings competed in the ice dancing event – Chris, Cathy and Allison Reed. Chris and Cathy competed for Japan, while Allison competed for Georgia.
Alex and Maia Shibutani, otherwise known as the “Shib Sibs,” were the most recent sibling sensation. The duo competed in ice dance during the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
The Brandt sisters competed in ice hockey during the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. Hannah represented Team USA, while Marissa represented Korea.
The Dufour-Lapointe sisters competed in freestyle skiing, women’s moguls, during the 2014 Sochi Games. Justine clinched the gold, her sister Chloe the silver and their other sister Maxime came in 12th place. Unfortunately, Justine was eliminated after falling during the first round of Sunday's final, crushing her medal dreams for the 2022 Games.
France’s Anne-Marie, Marguerite and Therese Leduc, all competed together during the women’s slalom alpine skiing event during the 1960 Games.
Swedish sisters Hanna and Elvira Oberg both went for the biathlon gold this year at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, neither succeeded.
Team USA curling also boasts a pair of sisters -- Tabitha and Tara Peterson.
Team Peterson has helped lead the the American women's team to a 2-0 start in Beijing.
Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe and Tarjei Boe have a brotherly biathlon bond. The two proved successful during the Beijing Games, as Johannes Thingnes or "TJ" placed first with a time of 24:00.4, while his brother Tarjei placed third, only 38.9 seconds later, securing the bronze. History was made as this was the first time the Boe brothers stood together on an Olympic podium for biathlon.
Similarly, the Hirano brothers executed during the Beijing 2022 Games. Ayumu Hirano secured Japan's first-ever gold medal in men's halfpipe, beating USA's very own Shaun White. And though he didn't medal, Kaishu Hirano made history with his record-breaking backside air jump on a superpipe trick, which reached 24 feet. And yes, this was his first Olympic performance.
The record for the most siblings to ever compete in a single Winter Olympic Games event occurred during the 1988 Calgary Games, where four brothers comprised the entirety of Mexico’s 2-man bobsled event. Eduardo, Jorge, Adrian and Roberto Tames competed.
Argentinian brothers Marcos Luis, Martin Tomas and Matias Jose Jerman, all participated in the 1976 Innsbruck Games in men’s 15m cross-country skiing.
The Wells brothers all competed in the Winter Olympics, representing New Zealand. Byron and Beau-James competed in the halfpipe during the 2018 Games, Jackson competed in slopestyle in the same Games, and Jossi competed in the 2014 Games.