Olympians our age

A new generation with high expectations


Evelyn Sanchez, Online Editor

When it comes to teenage athletes, your first thought probably goes to your local football star on a high school team or one of your closest friends starting their first year of soccer.

The Olympics this year has been game changing for this generation as there is so much hope in the younger athletes. Athletes like Nathan Chen, Chloe Kim, and more have already made staggering new records and firsts for the Olympics.

Snowboarder Chloe Kim is currently 17 years old and has achieved many accomplishments for her career already. In her first out of three runs for the women’s half pipe, she scored a 93.75, placing her in first. As a result, Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal when she won gold in that same event. Back in 2016, when she was 15 years old, Kim became the first woman snowboarder in history to land back-to-back 1080 degree spins in competition, giving her a perfect score of 100 in U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix. In that same year, she became the first American woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding at the Winter Youth Olympic Games, and earned the highest snowboarding score in Youth Olympic Games history at the time. Even though Chloe qualified for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but was unable to compete because she was two years shy of the minimum athlete age requirement of 15, she definitely redeemed herself in this year’s Olympics. 

Figure skating has some of the youngest members on their Olympic team such as Nathan Chen, Vincent Zhou (17), and Karen Chen (18).

Nathan Chen has earned the nickname ‘Quad King’ due to multiple quads being included in his programs. Quads are the hardest types of spins for figure skaters since it is a jump with at least four but less than five revolutions and a trick which gives skaters a greater score if landed with proper rotation. Chen has so far been the first to land two quadruple Lutzes in one program in Skate America, land seven clean quadruple jumps in a competition in the U.S. Championships, land five different quadruple jumps in competition, and land a quad flip at the Olympics. At 17 years old, he was also the youngest U.S. men’s national figure skating champion since 1966 and  U.S. male skater to qualify for and medal at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Chen is currently 18 years old and the first and currently only skater competing with five different types of quadruple jumps. His jumps are definitely one that many skating fans look forward to. 

Maame Biney is the first African- American women to ever qualify for the U.S. Olympic speed skating race after she won the 500-meter finals at team trials in December, with a personal-best time of 43.161 seconds.Before Biney had also won the bronze medal in the 500-meters at the 2017 World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships and won the America’s Cup at the U.S Speed skating Short Track World Cup Qualifier in the same year. At only 18 years old, Biney is already one of the biggest U.S. names at the Winter Olympics. 

These athletes, despite their age, already made themselves big names, proving that age is nothing but a number.