2018 Will Be Our Best Winter Olympics Yet

Why this year’s Games are poised to be America’s most monumental yet

Snowboarder Hailey Langland. (Gabe L'Heureux)
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We’re calling it: South Korea will play host to Team America’s most successful Winter Olympics ever. Why? We’re stacked. We’ve got established superstars like Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White; a slew of ringers in some of the more unheralded sports, including biathlete Lowell Bailey and nordic skier Kikkan Randall; and a litter of fresh talent, many of whom have been quietly dominating their sport for the past couple of years.

Take a look, if you will, at our alpine athletes. Mikaela Shiffrin you probably know. The 22-year-old earned gold in slalom at the 2014 Sochi Games and took the overall World Cup title last year. This time around she’s favored to repeat in the slalom, and expected to be on the podium in the giant slalom and the super combined as well. Then there’s our young snowboarding crew: Red Gerard won his first World Cup slopestyle event last season; Maddie Mastro is consistently on the halfpipe podium at the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships; Hailey Langland won last year’s X Games big-air competition. All three are 17 years old.

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Chloe Kim (Gabe L'Heureux)

Finally, there’s Chloe Kim. The snowboard prodigy broke out four years ago, when she was just 13, taking 12th in the halfpipe event at the 2013 U.S. Open in Vail, Colorado. “As soon as she came on the scene, you knew she’d be the future,” says Jack Mitrani, a former competitive snowboarder who announces the X Games for ESPN. “She has incredible style, and she goes ten feet higher above the pipe than anybody else.” In 2015 and 2016, she won back-to-back titles at the X Games.

“She’s the female Shaun White,” says Mitrani. Well, not quite. For that, Kim will need some Olympic bling and a hell of a lot more notoriety. But if all goes well, she’ll be leaving South Korea with her face on a Wheaties box and a Flying Tomato–esque nickname. Which seems appropriate, since this will likely be the last Olympics for White and the rest of his contemporaries, including Vonn and reigning Olympic GS champ Ted Ligety. The snowboard king will soon be dead. Long live the queen. But first: total Olympic domination by the most formidable U.S. squad ever to don full Lycra.


5 Americans to Watch in the 2018 Olympics

Get ready for these contenders to crush the Winter Games.

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Snowboarder Shaun White (Adam Pretty/Getty)


The Nordic Team's Secret to Olympic Success

Our best team in ages wins more by having fun.

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At the 2017 Nordic World Championships in Finland. Clockwise from top: Sadie Bjornsen, Liz Stephen, Kikkan Randall, Jessie Diggins. (U.S. Ski and Snowboard)


How New Tech Is Transforming Our Olympic Teams

From mountain bike-inspired prosthetics to couch skiing, Americans are using the latest advances to maximize their output.

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Before American ski racers push through the gate in February, they will have already run the downhill course hundreds of times. (Future Publishing/Getty)


Jamie Anderson's Olympic Packing List

The essentials snowboarder Jamie Anderson will bring to the Olympic Village to help her perform at her best.

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Snowboarder Jamie Anderson’s bag of stuff. (Hannah McCaughey)


The Quadruple Cork Is the Future of Snowboarding

How to master one of the toughest moves we’ll see at the 2018 Games.

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Brit Billy Morgan sticks a quadruple cork in Italy. (Red Bull Media House)


A Brief Primer on All Those Nordic Sports

Perhaps it's the metric system, or maybe it's the spandex onesies, but Americans have some trouble grasping the different types of Nordic skiing.

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The variety of Nordic skiing sports in the Olympics can be confusing—here's your guide. (Adam Avery/The Suffolk Punch Press)


Why Olympic Skaters Move from Wheels to Ice

In January, 25-year-old Erin Jackson became the first African-American woman to make a U.S. Olympic team in long-track speedskating. And she did it just a year after strapping on her first pair of blades.

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For the past two decades, U.S. Speedskating has made a concerted effort to transition inline skaters like Erin Jackson over to ice. (Stacy Revere/Getty)


What the Times Got Wrong About Cross-Country Skiing

There were a lot of mistakes in that recent story. Let’s set the record straight.

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People find plenty of value in the sport beyond the solitary masochism that happens on the trail. (GibsonPictures/iStock)


The Simple Meal That's Powering Team USA

We found that nearly every athlete we spoke to eats some twist on the same basic formula of oats, eggs, and coffee.

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The classic breakfast, though simple, has a litany of reasons for its popularity. (Melanie DeFazio/ Stocksy)


Olympian Ted Ligety Never Hits Snooze

The decorated skier talks productivity and good habits as he prepares to defend his gold medal in Pyeongchang and and enters his 12th year running his own eyewear company.

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Ted Ligety on how skiing prepared him for owning a business. "Ski racing is an individual sport. You have to take ownership in what you’re doing. You can’t blame anything on other people. That skillset works well in business, too." (Erin Wilson)


The Definitive Ranking of the Hardest Winter Olympic Sports

Yes, curling makes the list. And no, we're not biased at all. 

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To help you better appreciate this year’s Winter Games, we’ve broken down what it takes to train for eight of the most grueling events. (jossdim/iStock)


Athlete Essentials for Surviving the Olympics

Every four years, we get excited about the new tech debuting at the Winter Olympics. But what doesn't get as much attention are the everyday solutions athletes use to keep themselves up and running throughout the competition.

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NaVorro Bowman and Frank Gore of the San Francisco 49ers refresh their legs with a Normatec treatment in the locker room prior to Super Bowl XLVII February 2013. (Michael Zagaris/49ers/Getty)


If Running Had a Mikaela Shiffrin

There isn’t one, of course. But what would it take

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Mikaela Shiffrin after winning the gold medal in the Giant Slalom competition in PyeongChang. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty)


The U.S. Women's Cross-Country Gold Is a Huge Deal

Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall’s Olympic victory is a win for everyone.

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To put it simply, these two women are a dream team. (Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski & Snowboard)

To learn more, visit teamusa.org.  The Olympics begin live on Feb 8. 


How Athletes Train Their Minds for the Olympics

Sports psychologists weigh in on the challenges of being among the best in the world.

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With the exception perhaps of Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, Mikaela Shiffrin has had more pressure on her than any other athlete in Pyeongchang. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty)


Snowboarder Chloe Kim Is a Triumph for Asian-Americans

As a fellow Asian-American female rider, following her career over the past few years has been an exhilarating ride.

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Chloe Kim reacts to her first run score of 93.75—enough to secure gold. Kim's victory lap, however, improved her score to a near-perfect 98.25. (Courtesy USSA)

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