Skies and Skates: Athletes to Watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics - The Scene

After a long, complicated road, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China is set to happen. Here are the athletes to look out for.

READ ALSO: Gear Up: Show Off Your Sporty Inclinations With These 5 Tokyo Olympics Merch

Nathan Chen – Men’s Figure Skating

This year’s favorite to win the Gold Medal at the Men’s Figure Skating Competition is the United States’ Chen. Coached by Rafael Arutyunyan, Chen was also the favorite in the last Olympics in Pyeonchang.

Skies and Skates: Athletes to Watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Nathan Chen

This was his first try, and the then-18-year-old may have let the occasion get to him: he flubbed his jumps in the Team Event and most disastrously in the individual short program component, where he ended up placing 17th.

Chen redeemed himself on the final day of competition for the free skate, attempting six quadruple jump variations (his specialty) and landing five cleanly, ending the day ranked fifth (up 12 places) and winning the free skate portion with a score of 215.08, the highest in Olympic history.

Four years later, Chen is back to win it all. Competing while enrolled at Yale University, Chen has won all the World Championships in the intervening years, and almost all the other competitions.

The only person who stands in his way is two-time defending Olympic Champion, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu. This is a (friendly) rivalry for the ages, and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out one last time.

Follow @nathanwchen on IG

Hilary Knight – Women’s Ice Hockey

The 32-year-old Knight is the face of American women’s hockey. She went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she won the NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Tournament in 2009with the Wisconsin Badgers women’s hockey program.

Skies and Skates: Athletes to Watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Hilary Knight

With Team USA, she has won the IIHF World Women’s Championships seven times, and is a four-time Olympian, most memorably winning the gold medal in 2018 against Canada.

Due to her high-scoring game and natural charisma, Knight is one of the most highly endorsed athletes in women’s hockey. She has deals with Nike, Red Bull, GoPro, Chobani, and Bauer. She is currently one of the faces for the Polo Ralph Lauren deal as official outfitters of Team USA.

Follow @hilaryknight on IG

Chloe Kim – Women’s Snowboarding

At the 2018 Winter Olympics, Chloe Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal at the age of 17.

Skies and Skates: Athletes to Watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Chloe Kim

Kim is also a six-time X Games gold medalist and is the first woman to win the gold in the halfpipe competition in World, Olympic, Youth Olympic, and X Games.

After winning her Olympic gold, Kim was on a Kellog’s Corn Flakes Box, which set a new record in the fastest-selling cereal box in Kellog’s history. She also has her own Barbie doll and in late 2020, competed on The Masked Singer, making it to the semi-finals of the competition.

Follow @chloekim on IG

Jutta Leerdam – Women’s Speed Skating 

Dutch Speed Skater Jutta Leerdam was born on December 30, 1998, and won the 2017 World Junior Speedskating Championships. In 2018, she finished second.

Skies and Skates: Athletes to Watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Jutta Leerdam

She has also won the 2017-2018 ISU Junior World Cup Speed Skating competition, and in 2020 set a world record with her teammates in competition at the World Singles Distances Championship in 2020.

For the Olympics, she has her eye on one goal: “Of course, I’m going for gold. I’m well on my way. It’s going very well, and the upward trend is there. I can only look forward to the big games,” she told the official Olympics website. 

Leerdam has over 824,000 followers on Instagram. With her good looks and affable personality, it’s no surprise that many people are captivated by her charm.

Follow @juttaleerdam on IG

Eileen Gu – Freestyle Skiing 

Born in the United States to an American father and a Chinese mother, Eileen Gu competed for the United States in freestyle skiing on the halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air events until June 2019, when she requested a change of nation with the International Ski Federation.

Skies and Skates: Athletes to Watch at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Eileen Gu

She gained naturalized Chinese citizenship that same year, saying that she made the change to inspire millions of young Chinese people. The decision was slightly controversial on both sides, but Gu defended her choice, saying, “When I’m in the U.S., I’m American, but when I’m in China, I’m Chinese.”

While she isn’t winning gold medals for China (the latest was gold in halfpipe and slopestyle at the 2021World Championships), Gu is also a fashion model, represented by IMG Models. She has been part of campaigns with Fendi, Gucci, IWC Schaffhausen, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton. 

Follow @eileen_gu_ on IG

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]