January 7 marked the conclusion of the 2018 US Figure Skating Championships — the final chance for the country’s best skaters to show off their skills ahead of the Winter Olympics. By the time the competition ended, US Figure Skating had nominated 14 athletes to its 2018 Olympic team: three women, three men, one pair for figure skating, and three pairs for ice dancing.
Here’s a quick look at all the skaters currently representing the US in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Mirai Nagasu, 24, made Olympic history in her first skate of the 2018 games.
Mirai Nagasu placed fourth at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, but she was left off the US team for the Sochi games in 2014. It was a controversial decision, but it didn’t stop Nagasu from trying again.
“It’s like getting into university,” she once told the New York Times. “If you don’t get in the first time, what are you going to do, not apply again? No, you keep applying until you make it happen.”
That persistence paid off: Nagasu made the US team in 2018 and made history in her first skate in Pyeongchang. During the team event, Nagasu became the first American woman (and the third woman in history) to successfully land a triple axel at the Olympics.
17-year-old Vincent Zhou is youngest man on the Olympic skating team.
Vincent Zhou began skating at a friend’s birthday party when he was five years old, according to his Team USA bio. Just over a decade later, he’s an Olympian. Zhou was selected for the team after placing third at 2018 US championships.
“I’m beyond honored and humbled at the actualization of my dreams,” Zhou wrote on Instagram in a post celebrating his Olympic berth.
The US is sending just one pairs team — Alexa Scimeca Knierim, 26, and Chris Knierim, 30 — to compete in PyeongChang.
Husband-and-wife duo Chris Knierim and Alexa Scimeca Knierim missed the last skating season when Alexa developed a life-threatening gastrointestinal illness, Team USA reports.
But they’re back in fighting shape for the games in South Korea. They’re also one of at least 19 couples competing together at the Olympics.
Madison Hubbell, 26, and Zachary Donohue, 27, are the first of three ice-dancing pairs going to the Olympics.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue eked out a first place finish at the 2018 US championships by 0.19 of a point, Team USA reports.
PyeongChang is the pair’s Olympic debut, according to US Figure Skating.
By the way: Ice dancing is a distinct Olympic event that’s judged differently than pairs figure skating. Here’s the difference between them.
The “Shib Sibs” — 23-year-old Maia Shibutani and 26-year-old brother Alex — placed ninth at the Sochi games.
They’re one of more than four dozen sets of siblings competing together at the Olympics.
Madison Chock, 25, and Evan Bates, 28, are also returning to Olympic ice dancing competition.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates are back for their second chance at an Olympic medal. The duo previously placed eighth when they skated in Sochi.
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