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3 athletes on the cusp of Team USA, Olympic history

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223 athletes will don the red, white and blue at the 2022 Winter Olympics. While each athlete will have a chance to leave a mark on Team USA’s record books, Chloe Kim, Mariah Bell and Abby Roque have special opportunities to make history.

Chloe Kim

Kim, the daughter of South Korean immigrants, burst into America’s consciousness during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, where she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal at 17 years old. The ensuing fame took its toll on Kim’s life and mental health, prompting her to take a break from snowboarding while studying at Princeton.

But the Southern California native has returned to competition to earn a world No. 2 ranking. and if she can win gold once more in Beijing, Kim will become the first woman to repeat as Olympic halfpipe champion.

Mariah Bell

After nine trips to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and two podiums, Bell captured her first national title on Jan. 9. That win cemented her first Olympic berth, a step up from her status as a Team USA alternate in 2018. At 25 years old, Bell will become the oldest woman to compete on the US skating team in 94 years.

Abby Roque

Some Americans may know Roque as a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award–women’s college ice hockey’s Heisman Trophy–and national champion from her time as a Wisconsin Badger. Roque has since earned a spot on the women’s national team, and once the puck drops in Beijing, the first time Olympian will become the first Indigenous athlete to skate with Team USA’s women’s ice hockey squad–a group hoping to repeat as Olympic gold medalists for the first time.

Ian Toner: Two hundred and twenty three athletes will don the red, white and blue to compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Let’s take a look at three women on the cusp of making history as part of America’s Olympic delegation.

Chloe Kim returns to the Olympic slopes after becoming the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal at 17.

Even though she took a 19-month break from snowboarding, Kim’s recent performances have propelled her to a world number two ranking, and she’s favored to become the first woman to repeat as Olympic halfpipe champion.

Aaliyah: If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.

Toner: Okay, that’s gotta be Mariah Bell’s anthem because she just won the US women’s figure skating national title for the first time in nine trips to the competition.

That win punched the 25 year old’s first Olympic ticket, where she’ll be the oldest woman to compete on the US skating team in 94 years.

And then there’s Abby Roque, another first time Olympian set to become the first Indigenous athlete on the women’s ice hockey squad. After capturing a national title with Wisconsin in 2019, Roque helped America win silver at the 2021 world championships. And she’s expected to play big minutes as her team tries to repeat as Olympic gold medalists for the first time.

So who will you be keeping an eye on in Beijing? Let us know in the comments below.

223 athletes will don the red, white and blue at the 2022 Winter Olympics. While each athlete will have a chance to leave a mark on Team USA’s record books, Chloe Kim, Mariah Bell and Abby Roque have special opportunities to make history.

Chloe Kim

Kim, the daughter of South Korean immigrants, burst into America’s consciousness during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, where she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal at 17 years old. The ensuing fame took its toll on Kim’s life and mental health, prompting her to take a break from snowboarding while studying at Princeton.

But the Southern California native has returned to competition to earn a world No. 2 ranking. and if she can win gold once more in Beijing, Kim will become the first woman to repeat as Olympic halfpipe champion.

Mariah Bell

After nine trips to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and two podiums, Bell captured her first national title on Jan. 9. That win cemented her first Olympic berth, a step up from her status as a Team USA alternate in 2018. At 25 years old, Bell will become the oldest woman to compete on the US skating team in 94 years.

Abby Roque

Some Americans may know Roque as a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award–women’s college ice hockey’s Heisman Trophy–and national champion from her time as a Wisconsin Badger. Roque has since earned a spot on the women’s national team, and once the puck drops in Beijing, the first time Olympian will become the first Indigenous athlete to skate with Team USA’s women’s ice hockey squad–a group hoping to repeat as Olympic gold medalists for the first time.

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