With grit and pride, Team USA is suiting up for this year’s Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang. If you’re anything like me, I look forward to watching the spectacular athleticism with friends and family.
Though we live in a culture that scrutinizes figures and can easily body shame, the diversity of Olympic teams encourages us that women can accomplish any dream no matter where we come from. Every event celebrates global culture, teamwork and unity, and each sport has its own way of reminding us how strong the human body and spirit truly are.
As the women from Team USA line up, we’re so excited to watch what hours (OK, years) of hard work and preparation will accomplish.
To get you started, here are some female powerhouses we suggest taking note of:
American bobsledder Aja Evans is no stranger to the Olympic spotlight. In 2014, we watched her join the team to proudly represent the United States at the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
She inspired us when she was awarded two bronze medals at the World Cup series, along with two silver medals and a gold medal. She also graduated with honors from the University of Illinois and became featured as an bobsledding icon in ESPN’s 2014 Magazine Body Issue.
Lindsey Vonn first came on the scene as a University of Missouri High School graduate who captured our hearts with her skill in alpine skiing.
The Colorado native holds the title of “the most successful downhill skier of all time.” She continued to make a name for herself in the athletic world through her impressive multiple FIS World Cup wins, which broke records in the United States.
Not only will this be her fourth time participating in the Olympics games, but she managed to win both a gold medal and a bronze medal in the Vancouver series of 2010.
For those of us who enjoy the cross-country skiing division, Sadie Bjornsen proved to be a high competitor when she completed two Olympic series. Her love of travel has brought her to several international skiathlons and she slid into the World Championship as a bronze medalist for her 2017 team spring classic relay.
She calls Washington state her home and graduated with her degree from Alaska Pacific University. During the 2017 Tour de Ski competition, she completed the course in 9th place and made history when she became one of the first American athletes to place within the top ten of the relay.
After trading in her office job for a position on team USA’s bobsledding team, Lauren Gibbs became an admirable example that it’s never too late to pursue our dreams. In addition to scoring a bronze medal, she accomplished two silver medals, one bronze medal and two golden medal rankings during multiple World Cup series.
Although her time at Brown University never sparked an interest in Olympic sports, she now holds a notable status as one of the fastest brakemen in the bobsledding division.
Michigan ice princess Madison Chock brings grace and elegance to the Olympic Games. She loves to customize her own outfit designs for upcoming competitions, so be sure to check out what she and her partner, Evan Bates, will be wearing during this year’s Winter Olympics for some extra fashion inspiration.
In addition to crafting her vibrant attire, the two-time Olympian won both a bronze and silver medal during the World Championship. Beaming with poise, Madison also competed in the ISU Grand Prix Final four years in a row and took home two silver medals for her performances.
Jamie Greubel Poser
Known as a record setter at Cornell University, Jamie Greubel Poser is a bronze Olympic medalist within the bobsledding category. Leading up to her striking performance in the Sochi games, this New Jersey local was recognized with the Women’s Bobsled Athletes’ Choice Award in 2010.
Her love for piloting has landed her opportunities to compete consecutively as a Women’s Bobsledding contestant and led to her win for the USABS National Team of the Year award in 2017.
At just twenty years old, Maddie Bowman first won our hearts at Sochi when she received the gold medal for her impressive halfpipe performance — the first female to ever accomplish this within her division.
Inspired by her own father’s journey in alpine skiing, this California athlete has competed in over fifteen different relays, including the FIS World Cup and the X Games in Aspen. You may have even noticed her appear with her mother in a Milk Life commercial that received over 507k views, which highlighted her advancing freestyle skiing in the great outdoors.
Ice hockey icon Kacey Bellamy is also prepping to compete in this year’s Winter Olympics. We first were introduced to her cheerful demeanor at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Holding place as one of Team USA’s defense players, she won over three different silver awards at the Four Nations Cup.
Although she graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2009, she is a proud Massachusetts native. She is a two-time silver medalist and will be participating in the Olympics for the third time in her career. Her eight World Championship medals and extensive achievements in the National Women’s Hockey League prove a true passion for the sport.
Who are you cheering for in the Olympics this year?
Feature Image via Lindsey Vonn for Under Armour