Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

How Old Is The U.S. Olympic Ice Skating Team? They're All Accomplished So Much In A Relatively Short Amount Of Time

By
Share
Ad failed to load

The 2018 Winter Olympics kick off later this week in PyeongChang, South Korea. Figure skating is a fan-favorite sport to watch every time the games roll around — and this year, the sport could gain even more attention than usual, considering the success of the recent film I, Tonya. (Hopefully less dramatic.) With the Winter Olympics right around the corner, there are a lot of questions fans may have about the figure skaters on the roster. Who are they? How long have they been training? Can a human really defy the laws of gravity? They're a pretty amazing bunch, especially when you think about how old the U.S. Olympic ice skating team members are and all that they've accomplished in such a short amount of time.

14 figure skaters are heading to PyeongChang to compete for the United States, including three women, three men, one pairs team, and three ice dance teams, according to Time. The figure skaters competing for Team USA this year are of a variety of ages, ranging from 17 to 30, according to stats on the official Olympics website. Here are the details on those figure skating for Team USA at this year's Winter Olympics.

Men Single Skating

Nathan Chen, 18

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Fans of the sport have their eyes on frontrunner Nathan Chen, who is the reigning U.S., Four Continents, and Grand Prix Final champion, as explained on Team USA's website. He is also the first skater to land five quadruple jumps in one program, and the only skater in the world to land five different quadruple jumps in international competition.

Adam Rippon, 28

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Adam Rippon is the first openly gay man to compete for the United States in the Winter Olympics, according to NPR. He was chosen for the team despite only placing fourth in the U.S. figure skating championships last month. "I'm really grateful that the selection committee looked at my body of work over the last two seasons," Rippon said, as noted by NPR.

Vincent Zhou, 17

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

At just 17, Vincent Zhou is the youngest athlete competing for all of Team USA this year, according to WAVY. As the outlet notes, he started gaining notoriety at the 2017 U.S. Nationals, where he performed three quadruple jumps, earning himself the silver medal. He also has a very positive attitude about the games. “I don’t like to focus on what other people do. I’m just gonna try my best to skate the way I train. Who knows? There might be a miracle," he said, according to the outlet.

Women Single Skating

Karen Chen, 18

Tim Bradbury/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Karen Chen is the youngest woman competing for the figure skating team this year, and her journey here has not been without roadblocks, according to WAVY. She has had issues with the fit of her boots, knee pain, a bruised leg after accidentally colliding with a fellow skater, and a serious back condition. Despite all that, she managed to be crowned U.S. national champion in 2017. Plus, Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi is a mentor of Chen's, so she definitely has a great support system going into this year's games.

Mirai Nagasu, 24

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Mirai Nagasu is definitely one to watch in this year's competition. The 24-year-old also competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, where she placed fourth, according to Team USA's website. Following in Tonya Harding's footsteps, she is the second American woman to execute a triple Axel in an international competition.

Bradie Tennell, 20

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Bradie Tennell won the gold medal at the U.S. figure skating championships last month, securing her spot on the Olympic team, reports the Washington Post. She was also the 2017 Skate America Bronze Medalist and the 2015 U.S. Junior Champion, as noted by Figure Skaters Online. Tennell is known for her extraordinary jumping ability, adds the Washington Post.

Pairs

Alexa Scimeca Knierim, 26 and Chris Knierim, 30

Koki Nagahama/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

The Knierims are a married couple, and the only pair representing Team USA this year. They are the first married couple to compete for the U.S. in the Olympics in 20 years (Jenni Meno and Todd Sand were most recent), as noted by NBC Olympics. Scimeca Knierim and Knierim were awarded the national title in both 2015 and 2018, and they are the first U.S. pair to land an ultra-tricky move called the quad twist.

Ice Dance

Madison Chock, 25 and Evan Bates, 28

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Madison Chock and Evan Bates are the 2015 U.S. champions, 2016 U.S. silver medalists, and two-time world championship medalists, as noted on Team USA's website. The pair is actually a pair off the ice, as well — they went on their first date on her 16th birthday, as they were friends from the skating community. However, they didn't actually get together and fall in love until late 2016, once they were already longtime skating partners, explains NBC Olympics.

Madison Hubbell, 26 and Zachary Donohue, 27

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue came in fourth at the 2014 nationals, meaning they just missed their chance to compete at the Olympics that year. This year, they finally qualified for the team — which is unsurprising, considering they have placed at all of their U.S. championships, they were awarded the 2014 Four Continents title, and they won a grand prix gold medal, as noted on Team USA's website.

Maia Shibutani, 23 and Alex Shibutani, 26

Tim Bradbury/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Don't let the last names fool you — the Shibutanis aren't married... they're siblings! Known as the Shib Sibs, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani jumped onto the scene as partners at the 2011 world championships, subsequently winning medals at the U.S. championships eight years in a row. They also completed at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, where they came in ninth, as explained on Team USA's website.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack