Team USA

Which Team USA Athletes Are Expected to Win Gold at 2022 Winter Olympics?

The U.S. is sending nine defending Olympic champions to the 2022 Games

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Who will be wearing red, white, blue and gold at the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Over 200 athletes will be competing for Team USA in Beijing over the next few weeks as they aim for Olympic glory. The U.S. once again fields the largest team at the 2022 Winter Games, but quantity did not directly translate to quality at the last Olympics.

The U.S. finished fourth in the overall medal count (23) and gold medal count (9) at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. The total medal count fell 16 short of the leading nation, Norway, while the nine golds were well behind Norway and Canada, who each took home 14.

One thing that bodes well for the U.S. in the gold department for the 2022 Winter Olympics is its group of returning athletes. All nine winners – a combination of individual athletes and teams – will be back in their respective events, with many in line to repeat as Olympic champions. On top of that, there are several Americans who are primed to claim their first Olympic gold medals this year.

Here is a look at the defending gold medalists who are back at the Olympics, along with some competitors who could stand atop the Olympic podium for the first time this winter:

Team USA gold medalists returning for 2022 Winter Olympics

Shaun White

White is among the greatest American Winter Olympians of all time, and he is the best men’s snowboard halfpipe athlete ever. He captured his third career gold medal in the event at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics and heads to Beijing looking for a fourth victory.

While this will be White’s fifth trip to the Games, it will be the first time he is not the favorite in the men’s halfpipe. A Japanese triumvirate of Ayumu Hirano, Yuto Totsuka and Ruka Hirano could complete a podium sweep, while Australia’s Scotty James could be in the mix for a second straight medal in the event.

Still, White can’t be counted out in what will likely be his final trip to the Winter Olympics.

Chloe Kim

Kim became a household name at just 17 years old with her performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Her second run in the women’s halfpipe final netted a nearly perfect score of 98.25, close to 10 points higher than the silver-winning Liu Jiayu of China (89.75). With such a staggering margin of victory in the previous Games, it is no surprise that Kim is the favorite entering Beijing.

Growing up in California, Chloe Kim is always asked why she picked snowboarding over surfing or skating. But the Olympic gold medalist says she’s just grateful she found the sport that she loves.

Of the six gold medals handed out since women’s halfpipe became an Olympic event, four have gone to Americans. Kim has a shot to make history by becoming the first woman to ever repeat as the gold medalist in the event.

Red Gerard

Kim wasn’t the only 17-year-old snowboarding sensation in PyeongChang.

Gerard secured a gold medal in the men’s slopestyle event by edging out Canadians Max Parrot and Mark McMorris. Parrot and McMorris will both be back in Beijing, along with podium contender Marcus Kleveland of Norway, hoping to stop Gerard from earning a second straight gold.

Jamie Anderson

Anderson is the queen of women’s slopestyle snowboarding, and she’s looking for a third straight gold medal to go along with her crown.

She is the only woman to ever win the event at the Olympics, and she is among the top contenders for gold in Beijing. Kokomo Murase of Japan, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand and Anna Gasser of Austria will be among the opposition trying to knock Anderson off her pedestal.

Along with slopestyle, Anderson is also a threat to medal in big air, an event where she claimed silver in PyeongChang. Gasser, the defending Olympic champion, is the favorite to repeat in the event.

The two-time gold medalist said that this year has been an ‘absolute nightmare,’ but she’s thrilled to be back on the mountain.

Mikaela Shiffrin

Shiffrin has earned a gold medal at each of the previous two Olympics, winning the slalom in Sochi and the giant slalom in PyeongChang. She also earned silver in the women’s combined competition in 2018, giving her a grand total of three medals.

Shiffrin could potentially double her career Olympic medal tally in Beijing, where she is among the favorites in slalom, giant slalom, combined and super-G. Petra Vlhová of Slovakia and 2018 bronze medalist Federica Brignone of Italy will be among Shiffrin’s top competition.

Jessie Diggins/Kikkan Randall

Diggins and Randall pulled off one of the most magical moments for Team USA at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. Their come-from-behind victory in the women’s team sprint ended a 42-year medal drought in cross-country skiing and gave the country its first ever gold in the sport.

In 2022, the duo is primed for a return to the top of the podium against competitors like Sweden and Norway. Additionally, Diggins will be in the mix for a medal in the women’s 10km and 30km races.

David Wise

Wise is going for a three-peat in Beijing.

The 31-year-old has earned two straight gold medals in the men’s halfpipe, making him the only freestyle skier to ever win consecutive golds.

Wise will have some tough competition as he goes for another gold. American teammate Aaron Blunck is a medal threat, as is 2018 bronze medalist Nico Porteous of New Zealand.

U.S. women’s hockey team

The U.S. women’s hockey team is seeking another Olympic title after earning gold in dramatic fashion in PyeongChang. 

Thirteen of the team’s 20 members heading to Beijing played a part in the 2018 triumph. Among that group, Hilary Knight will be competing in her fourth Olympics, while four other veteran players will be making their third Olympic appearances.

As an Olympic gold medalist in ice hockey, Hilary Knight is used to playing with an edge, literally skating on them in fact. But put her on a different kind of edge, on a fashion runway, and suddenly she finds herself on thin ice.

Team USA headlines Group A in the women’s hockey tournament after placing first in the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Ranking. Canada will be a team on a mission in Beijing, as Team USA’s gold medal win in 2018 prevented the neighbors to the North from claiming a fifth straight Olympic title.

U.S. men’s curling team

Team Shuster pulled off a historic win for the U.S. at the PyeongChang Games, and they will be looking to repeat in Beijing.

John Shuster, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner won the U.S. its first ever gold medal in curling. The trio will be joined by Chris Plys this time instead of Tyler George as the team aims for another gold.

Among the top competitors will be Great Britain, Canada and the defending silver medalist, Sweden.

Kaillie Humphries

Humphries has medaled at each of the last three Games, but she will be making her Team USA Olympic debut in 2022.

The bobsledder competed for Canada before she switched over to Team USA in 2019. She won gold in the two-woman bobsled in 2010 and 2014 before settling for silver in 2018. Now, she looks to return to the top of the podium for another country.

Team USA athletes who could win their first gold medal at 2022 Winter Olympics

Nathan Chen, figure skating

Chen is looking to bounce back in a big way this year.

A letdown performance in the short program kept him from earning an individual medal in PyeongChang despite compiling a record score in the free skate. Now, the 22-year-old enters Beijing as the favorite over Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno, who won gold and silver, respectively, in 2018.

Chen does have an Olympic bronze medal to his name from the 2018 team event, where Team USA is expected to compete for a medal again this year.

Elana Meyers Taylor

Meyers Taylor brings loads of Olympic experience to Beijing. The Team USA bobsled veteran has three career Olympic medals (two silver, one bronze) across three appearances.

She is the front runner for gold in a new solo bobsled event, monobob, but her path to competing hit a major snag. The 37-year-old announced that she tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, exactly two weeks before monobob heats are set to begin at the Olympics.

Erin Jackson, speed skating

Jackson finished 24th in the women’s 500m speed skating event in PyeongChang, but she has slid up the ranks in the four years since. She is the only woman to win the event at multiple World Cup races this winter, though her fastest speed ranks sixth out of all competitors leading into the 2022 Games.

Even with four World Cup wins this season, Jackson was on the outside looking in on the Olympics until one of her American teammates saved the day. Jackson stumbled in the 500m during the U.S. Trials, keeping her from qualifying. Brittany Bowe then opted to drop out of the 500m, allowing Jackson to take the spot and reach her second straight Olympics.

Brittany Bowe

Despite giving up her spot in the event, Bowe is back in the women’s 500m and could even win it. The U.S. was awarded a third slot in the event in late January, giving Bowe the chance to compete.

Bowe has a strong shot of adding to her medal collection this winter after collecting a bronze for the team pursuit in 2018. She will be competing individually in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m.

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