The Amazing Women of the Winter Olympics 2018

Foundry Fox
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The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang was an important one. The North and South collaborated and records were broken, but this year it was the women that really impressed us all.

Check out these three champions of the slopes. 

Chloe Kim

AGE: 17
SPORT: Snowboarding
NATIONALITY: American/Korean
NUMBER OF MEDALS: 9
DEFINING MOMENT OF 2018 WO: Youngest gold medal winner for snowboard halfpipe

At just 17-years-old Chloe Kim is the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal for the snowboard halfpipe at the Winter Olympics Pyeongchang, 2018.

Chloe made history at 15 when she became the first female snowboarder ever to land a back-to-back 1080 degrees rotation competitively at the Snowboarding Grand Prix in February 2016, for which she was awarded a perfect score, a record she only shares with 3 time Olympic gold medal winner Shaun White.

Chloe grabbed the gold at this years Winter Olympics by beating Chinese silver medalist Liu Jiayu by a whopping 8.5 points.

Speaking of her achievement she said ‘I’ve had this unique opportunity to represent both Korea and the US’.

Kim’s father immigrated to the US from Korea in 1982, and it was a desire to persuade his wife to join him on the slopes that gave a very young Chloe her first taste of the sport, on her $25 board. ‘He wanted my mom to go with him. So he took me as bait.’

Back at the 2014 Winter Olympics held in Sochi, Russia, Kim was ‘a little bummed out’ that she was too young to compete, despite Team USA coaches belief that Kim was, astonishingly, among the world’s top 3 halfpipe competitors at age 13.

Marit Bjørgen

AGE: 37
SPORT: Cross country skier
NATIONALITY: Norwegian
NUMBER OF MEDALS: 41
DEFINING MOMENT OF 2018 WO: Setting record for most Winter Olympic medals ever won

Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjørgen is arguably one of the most impressive Winter Olympians of all time.

Ranked first in the all time Cross-Country league tables with 112 victories, she is also the most successful sprinter in Cross-Country history with 29 victories and 8 Olympic gold medals.

Bjørgen, 37, broke records in Pyeongchang 2018 by becoming the most decorated Winter Olympian when she won bronze in the team sprint free, as well as another bronze, 1 silver and 2 golds, winning a medal in every event she entered.

Her 5 medal win at Pyeongchang brought her number of medals up to 15, more than any other athlete, female or male, in Winter Olympic history.

Bjørgen has won at least one medal in each of the past four Winter Games, beginning her Olympic career with a silver medal in the 4×5 relay in Salt Lake City, 2002.

Grabbing another medal for the 10k classic in Turin 2006, Bjørgen then won a combined number of 8 medals in the 2010 Vancouver and the 2014 Sochi Games.  

This was Bjørgen’s last Olympics and she went out with style, securing her place in the history books.

‘It’s incredible to finish my Olympic career like this, there were lots of feelings that last hundred meters, and i’m really happy, it’s hard to understand what I have done, from my first Olympics in Salt Lake City until now, it’s been incredible’, she told Eurosport.

Ester Ledecká

AGE: 22
SPORT: Alpine skier and snowboarder
NATIONALITY: Czech
NUMBER OF MEDALS: 6
DEFINING MOMENT OF 2018 WO: Winning gold in both super-G alpine skiing and parallel giant slalom in snowboarding

22-year-old Ester Ledecká from the Czech Republic pulled off possibly the most impressive feat of the Winter Olympics 2018 by becoming the first person, male or female, to win 2 gold medals in different disciplines, both snowboarding and skiing.

‘It was quite tough to change myself in to a snowboarder. I had one week for it and until yesterday I didn’t feel good, but today I found the snowboarder in me.’

Nicknamed ‘Queen of the Games’ Ledecká took to the ski slopes aged just 2 years old and got in to snowboarding aged 5. ‘From the start there were a lot of people who would say, ‘it’s not possible to get to the top in both’.

Ledecká has no plans to pick one discipline over the other, bad news for rivals in both sports; ‘My plan is to stay with my heart, so for now I think I will do both because I love both’, she told the Guardian.

When off the slopes, Ledecká loves beach volleyball and has contemplated taking up windsurfing professionally, adding to her already impressive CV.

The Czech is also a fan of British TV, favourites including ‘Red Dwarf’, ‘Blackadder’ and ‘Top Gear’.

Ledecká celebrated her historic win with a trip to KFC, she’s earned it.

Meanwhile…

American-Hungarian snowboarder Elizabeth Swaney made headlines at the 2018 Winter Olympics for doing, well, nothing.

Astonishingly the 33-year-old attempted no tricks whatsoever throughout the Olympics or the entire qualification process.

Swaney glided gently across the halfpipe with not even a hint of a trick, a leaving many viewers thinking ‘I could do that’.

She has become the unlikely champion of the public, with many applauding her ability to find a loophole in the qualification system.

The Olympic International Committee requires competitors to finish within the top 30 in multiple World Cup Ski events and through cunning exploitation of a lack of female skiers, Swaney managed 13 qualifiers without a single trick, securing her a place in the Olympics.

The Hungarian Olympic Committee is now rethinking its nomination procedures.

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