Women will have a strong showing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Not only are 107 of the 242 athletes women, but they are also the most diverse group in the history of the games.
Of course, it’s hard to pick just 10 women worth watching when all 107 have their own unique stories and histories that make them Olympic-worthy, but the ladies on our list are poised for gold and already history makers. They have overcome injuries, risen above the odds, shrugged off failures and now have their eyes on gold. Their strength comes not just from their talents but from their spirit, and they are sure to be fun to watch as they compete on the world stage.
The 2018 Winter Olympics will run in Pyeongchang from Feb. 9 to Feb. 23. Go Team USA!
1. Mikaela Shiffrin
Skier Mikaela Shiffrin may only be 22, but she’s already been dubbed the best slalom skier in the world. She won a gold medal at Sochi and has won three World Championships, so you can bet she’s going for gold at the Winter Olympics.
2. Chloe Kim
Snowboarder Chloe Kim is just 17 and competing in her first Olympics. If she wins gold at Pyeongchang, as she’s poised to do, she will be the youngest American to do so in snowboarding. As fate would have it, Kim’s parents are immigrants from South Korea, which she described to People as “some crazy luck.”
3. Maia Shibutani
Ice dancer Maia Shubutani is a force in the couples portion of the competition with her brother, Alex Shibutani. Together, they are known as “the Shib Sibs.” They finished ninth at Sochi, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to have a strong showing at Pyeongchang. They placed first in the 2016 and 2017 national championships.
4. Jamie Anderson
Snowboarder Jamie Anderson won a gold medal at Sochi four years ago and is going for more in 2018. She won her fifth X Games gold medal on Friday before heading to compete in Pyeongchang.
5. Lindsey Vonn
Skier Lindsey Vonn has been a name to know for Team USA since the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, when she became the first American woman to win gold in downhill skiing. Unfortunately, she couldn’t compete in 2014 due to injuries, but she’s back in 2018 and ready to add another gold medal to her trophy case.
6. Elana Meyers Taylor
Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor has already made history in the sport. She was the first black pilot to win an Olympic medal (silver), the first woman to win medals as a pilot and a brakeman and the first Team USA woman to win two bobsled Olympic medals. You can bet she’s going for three at Pyeongchang.
7. Maddie Bowman
Skier Maddie Bowman won gold in 2014 in the freeski halfpipe. She also has seven X Games medals, including four gold. If she can win gold again this time around, she will be the first two-time female gold medalist in freeskiing.
8. Jessie Diggins
Jessie Diggins might just be the lady to break Team USA’s 41-year medal drought in the cross-country skiing competition. She is already the most decorated American in world championship history. Diggins even won the World Cup Nordic ski race just ahead of the Olympics.
9. Sarah Hendrickson
She didn’t have the best run at Sochi, placing 21st after an ACL and MCL injury, but ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson is looking to make a comeback in 2018. She said this time around, her knee “feels strong.”
10. Erin Jackson
Speed skater Erin Jackson is the first African American woman to represent Team USA in the sport. As if her history-making debut isn’t enough to tune in, it’s also important to note that Jackson has only been competing as a speed skating for four months. Four months! She was previously an inline skater.