Before Olympic competition gets underway, here are a few fun facts involving numbers for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Games.
Team USA is sending 224 athletes, its second-largest athlete delegation at a Winter Games. It’s just four shy of the contingent that represented the U.S. in PyeongChang.
In terms of where they call home, 31 of the 50 states are claimed by the athletes. California leads the pack with 30 athletes calling the Golden State their home. Colorado is well represented with 24 athletes and Minnesota rounds out the top three, with 23 competitors.
Twice as nice
There are 91 returning Olympians. Lindsey Jacobellis (Snowboard Cross), John Shuster (Curling), Katie Uhlaender (Skeleton) and Shaun White (Snowboard Halfpipe) lead the pack, making their fifth Olympic appearance at the 2022 Winter Games. Of the returning athletes, 39 of them have won an Olympic medal before.
Only six Americans have won more than two medals. White is the only athlete on Team USA to have secured three gold medals. PyeongChang favorite Mikela Shiffrin returns in the Alpine Skiing events, having previously won two gold medals and one silver. Hilary Knight looks to captain the U.S. women’s team to back-to-back gold medals for women’s hockey. Jamie Anderson looks to add to her two gold medals and silver medal collection in the Women's Slopestyle event. Meanwhile, Kaillie Humphries is participating in her first Olympics as an American in bobsled. She has two gold medals and a bronze medal she won competing for Canada. Fellow racer, Elana Meyers Taylor will hope to be cleared from Covid-19 quarantine to compete for her first gold medal, having already secured two silvers and a bronze medal in past Games.
Apolo Ohno is the most decorated U.S. winter Olympian. He won eight short track medals between 2002 and 2010. The most decorated American woman at the Winter Olympics is Bonnie Blair, who won six speed skating medals between 1988 and 1994. Blair is tied with fellow speed skater Eric Heiden for the most gold medals by an American at the Winter Olympics with five each.
Shiffrin is making her third Olympic appearance, having competed in PyeongChang and Sochi. At 26 years old, she is already the winningest slalom skier in World Cup history with 47 wins. She could compete in up to five events at the 2022 Winter Games. If she medals in three events, she would time the record for most all-time Olympic alpine skiing medal by a woman, and most by an American, tying Bode Miller’s record of six.
White is looking to make history as the first athlete in any sport at the Olympic Winter Games to win four gold medals in the same individual event. He is the first U.S. man to win a gold medal in the same individual event at three Olympic Winter Games (men’s halfpipe: 2006, 2010, 2018).
Anderson enters the 2022 Winter Games as the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist in women’s slopestyle. If she were to win gold, she would become the first snowboarder to win three straight Olympic gold medals in any event.
Age is just a number
Alysa Liu is the youngest American competing at 16 years old. She will make her Olympics debut in the women’s figure skating event. Speedskater Jordan Stolz clocks in as the youngest male athlete at 17 years old.
On the flip side, Snowboarder Nick Baumgartner, competing in his fourth Olympics, will be the oldest American at the 2022 Winter Games. He just celebrated his 40th birthday on December 17th. On the female side, Uhlaender will be racing in her fifth Olympic games at 37 years old.
For those keeping track, there is a 24-year age gap between the youngest and oldest American. For comparison, when Uhlaender made her Olympic debut in Torino in 2006, Liu was just six months old. In the same vein, Baumgartner’s son, Landon, is the same age as Stolz.
When the Opening Ceremony commences, it will have been just 180 days since the Closing Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Games. It is the shortest time between two Games since 1992, the last year the Summer and Winter Olympics were held in the same year.
There are 109 medal events within 15 sports that will be contested in a period of 19 days. There are seven new medal events at the 2022 Winter Games. Finally, Americans could find themselves competing in one of the 12 competition venues in China.