Which athlete will be the next to emerge as a household name? We’re hoping that one (or more) of these Americans who’ve been profiled on recent magazine covers will be in the bunch. Read on to learn about these Olympians on Team USA!
The Winter Olympic Games just got underway in Sochi, Russia, so if you haven’t heard of any of these U.S. athletes yet, don’t worry. Each of these seven has been featured on various magazine covers leading up to one of the greatest spectacles in sports.
As you tune in during the next two weeks or keep up with the headlines via news outlets and social media, look out for these names. One—or more—of them may just be our next national superstar.
Gracie Gold, Sports Illustrated: The past three years have been about hard work for 18-year-old figure skater Gracie Gold. At the U.S. Championships in Boston this year, that all paid off, as she earned the highest-ever score under the current scoring system. Such a performance not only earned her a gold medal, but also a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Here’s to hoping the Newton, Massachusetts native strikes gold again on the rink in Sochi.
Mikaela Shiffrin, Sports Illustrated: The 18-year-old phenom from Vail, Colorado has been burning up slalom races since she was old enough to compete in them. In just three years, Mikaela has several gold, silver, and bronze medals from World Cup appearances to her credit, but she joins Team USA in her first quest for Olympic hardware. She enters Sochi as the reigning World Cup and world champion in slalom—a world away from her start skiing down her family driveway.
Bode Miller, Sports Illustrated: No stranger to the sports world’s biggest stage, Miller will compete in his fifth Winter Games this year—and become just the sixth American to do so. As the most successful male American alpine ski racer of all time, he is well decorated with multiple world titles and even Olympic medals. Using his brother’s recent untimely death as motivation, Miller also hopes to show the world he is completely recovered from knee surgery that held him out of the 2013 season.
Arielle Gold, Sports Illustrated: This Steamboat Springs, Colorado native is taking the snowboarding world by storm. Inspired by her brother to board up at age 7, Arielle has become a podium regular on medal stands at everything from the X Games to the World Snowboarding Championships. She won bronze in her X Games debut in 2013 and went on to win the World Championships. Don’t look for her to slow down in her first Winter Olympic appearance in Sochi.
Jamie Anderson, Sports Illustrated: Snowboarding runs in this South Lake Tahoe, California native’s blood. One of her sisters, Joanie, won the snowboardcross event in the 2007 X Games, the same event where Jamie took the gold in slopestyle. They, along with their six other siblings, were practically raised outdoors, spending lots of time in the mountains and on the slopes. When Jamie tried snowboarding at age 9, she fell in love. Later, she went on to become the youngest X Games medalist when she won bronze in 2006 at age 15. This will be her first time to compete in the Olympic Games.
Julia Mancuso, Outside Magazine: In her fourth Winter Olympics, Julia hopes to add to her already impressive haul. A gold at the 2006 Games and two silvers at the 2010 Games are the most ever Olympic medals for a female alpine skier. Avid fans of skiing or the Olympics may remember Julia for the plastic tiara—given to her as a good luck charm from her coach—that she wore over her racing helmet during competition and on the podium at the 2010 Games. That inspired the name of her lingerie line, “Kiss My Tiara.”
Kris Freeman, Diabetes Forecast: This Concord, New Hampshire native was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just before competing in his first Winter Olympic Games in 2002. Managing his condition was especially important—and challenging—in his chosen sport of cross-country skiing. The February issue of Diabetes Forecast magazine profiles how he manages his training and his health condition. With 15 U.S. Championships and World Cup top-10 finishes, Kris is seeking his first Olympic medal in Sochi.