When American freestyle skier Brad Wilson dropped down out of the gate at the 2022 Winter Olympics last week, his brother, Bryon, was right there with him.
“It really doesn’t get any better than that,” Bryon Wilson said. “It’s a moment we’ll share together and won’t forget for the rest of our lives.”
Bryon, a bronze medal winner in moguls at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, is Brad’s coach. While COVID-19 restrictions meant that many Olympians can’t have family or friends with them at the Games, a lucky few have siblings who are also competing or coaching.
“It’s pretty special to have family here because no one can really come to watch, and to have him as my supporter is pretty special,” Brad Wilson said.
Team USA also has two pairs of siblings on its curling team: Tabitha and Tara Peterson, and Matt and Becca Hamilton. For the Petersons, looking to help the United States win its first medal in women’s curling, it’s an advantage to play with each other.
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“We're good friends on and off the ice,” Tabitha Peterson said. “We hang out outside of curling, and we have similar friend groups. We're on the same page a lot without even really needing to say anything.”
When there are conflicts, the Petersons are quick to forgive each other. They are also instinctively able to know when to give each other space.
“I think we understand what people need on and off the ice,” Tabitha Peterson said. “Just a lot of open, honest communication about everything so that we can be close and keep getting closer.”
The other Team USA sibling pair at the 2022 Winter Olympics is Caitlin and Scott Patterson, who are both on the cross-country skiing team. They are both making their second Olympic appearances after competing together in PyeongChang.
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Swiss speed skater Livio Wenger didn’t expect for his sister, Nadja, to join him in Beijing. Nadja only took up speed skating at the age of 27 after watching her brother compete in 2018 in PyeongChang. She became just the third Swiss woman to qualify for the Olympics in speed skating.
“Honestly, I never thought she would make it,” Livio Wenger said. “What she's done the past years to qualify for the Games is just remarkable, it shows her dedication.”
He continued: "It's always nice to have family around. Even though she's my older sister, I can definitely help her with my way longer experience I have on the ice."
The Czech Republic’s Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler, who are siblings and skating partners in ice dance, have seen their relationship grow since they were bickering kids.
“We are working so hard on this relationship,” Taschler said. “Our relationship is better since we started skating together. When we were younger we fought like small kids, but now we are adults. We respect each other."
And then there are the extenuating circumstances that kept siblings from reuniting at these Olympics who otherwise would have been together.
Swedish hockey player Carl Klingberg is the brother of John Klingberg, who plays for the Dallas Stars in the NHL, which did not allow its players to participate in the Olympics.
“He wanted to go to the Olympics like every NHL player,” Carl Klingberg said. “He is a little jealous.”
Other notable sibling pairings at the 2022 Winter Olympics include:
- Japanese speed skaters Miho and Nana Takagi
- Japanese Nordic combined athletes Yoshito and Akito Watabe
- Japanese snowboarders Kaishu and Ayumu Hirano
- Canadian freestyle skiers Chloe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe
- British freestyle skiers Izzy and Zoe Atkin
- Japanese ski jumpers Ryoyu and Junshiro Kobayashi
- Slovenian ski jumpers Peter and Cene Prevc
- Finnish cross country skiers Iivo and Kerttu Niskanen