The 2022 Winter Olympics kick off Friday in Beijing, welcoming athletes from across the world to compete in the two-week event. Team USA features veteran athletes and a group of newcomers poised to top the podium at the Winter Games.
Here are the 10 Team USA athletes to watch in Beijing:
Chloe Kim heads into the 2022 Winter Games as one of Team USA’s most prominent stars after a standout performance in PyeongChang. The 21-year-old is in prime position to defend her gold medal in the halfpipe after capturing a series of titles in the lead-up to Beijing, including the 2021 X Games and 2021 World Championships. Kim’s arsenal includes two 1080s — a routine that is likely to clinch the American a spot on the podium.
For Mariah Bell, age is but a number, with the 25-year-old set to become the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s singles skater since 1928. She set a similar mark in January when she became the oldest woman to win U.S. nationals since 1927. Bell is undergoing something of a career renaissance, which she credits to Adam Rippon, who joined her coaching team in the 2019-22 preseason. Eight years after her senior international debut, Bell will finally get her shot to prove herself on the Olympic stage in Beijing.
Jamie Anderson has the potential to make history in Beijing as the first snowboarder, male or female, to win five Olympic medals. The 31-year-old already has two gold medals in slopestyle and a silver in big air, and she will compete in both events in her third Olympic appearance. Anderson swept both events at the 2021 X Games, setting herself up for success in Beijing.
Mikaela Shiffrin has been a force to be reckoned with on the slops since she made her Olympic debut as a teenager, racking up two gold medals and one silver across two Winter Games. In Beijing, the Colorado native is the favorite to top the podium in slalom and giant slalom and is a threat in the three other alpine ski races. Already one of the most decorated American skiers of all time, Shiffrin will look to add to her impressive medal haul this month.
Maame Biney will look to follow up on her breakout appearance at the 2018 Olympics, when she became the first Black woman to compete on a U.S. Olympic speed-skating short track team. In Beijing, Biney will aim to improve upon her 2018 14th-place finish in the 500m, the 22-year old’s best event.
Hilary Knight is one of the most well-known athletes entering the Beijing Games, after leading the U.S. women’s hockey team in three previous Olympic appearances. In her fourth Winter Games, Knight will look to defend Team USA’s gold medal from 2018 and clinch her fourth Olympic medal overall.
Elana Meyers Taylor is back for her fourth Olympic Games and poised to stand atop the podium once more. The champion American bobsledder has two silver medals and one bronze across three Winter Olympics. After placing first in the monobob and two-woman standings at the 2021-22 World Cup series, Meyers Taylor is a medal contender heading into the two events in Beijing and will look to claim the gold that has so far eluded her.
Kaillie Humphries is a decorated bobsledder, having won back-to-back gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Games and a bronze in PyeongChang for Team Canada. The 36-year-old opted to represent Team USA after the 2018 Olympics, citing abuse she had endured on the Canadian bobsled team for the switch. For Team USA, Humphries has clinched two straight two-woman bobsled titles in 2020 and 2021 and a monobob championship in 2021, making her a favorite in both events in Beijing.
Jessie Diggins skied to one of the most thrilling photo finishes of the 2018 Winter Olympics, capturing Team USA’s first-ever Olympic cross-country gold alongside Kikkan Randall. The 30-year-old Olympic champion returns to the Winter Games in hopes of following up her breakout performance with more hardware in 2022.
Erin Jackson is on a hot streak heading into Beijing, after setting a new American record of 36.80 seconds in the 500m at Salt Lake City’s World Cup stop in December. The 2022 Winter Games will be Jackson’s second Olympics after she compete in PyeongChang with only four months of speed-skating experience. With a first-place finish in the 500m in Beijing, the 29-year-old would become the first American woman to win gold in the event since Bonnie Blair in 1994.