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.
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.
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.
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.