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5 Team USA Athletes to Watch at the 2018 Winter Olympics
Fitness
Published Thursday Feb 08, 2018 by Erica Arvanitis

5 Team USA Athletes to Watch at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Fitness
Motivation

The 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony is tomorrow—have you met Team USA? With a roster that dishes out discipline, character and some serious skills, these are our favorite athletes that make the Winter Games in PyeongChang worth watching! 

 

Chloe Kim
Credit: X Games
Chloe Kim, Snowboarding 

Seen as the gold-medal favorite in the halfpipe event, this SoCal native has an impressive resume. As the youngest snowboarder to earn a gold medal at the X Games at just 15, and the first female athlete to land back-to-back 1080s (yes, that’s three full revolutions in the air), Kim is a sure bet for victory this year. If she grabs the gold medal at PyeongChang, she’ll set another record as the youngest American to win an Olympic medal in snowboarding. Get it, girl! 

 

Nathan Chen
Credit: WSTale.com
Nathan Chen, Figure Skating

Known as one of the world’s best figure skaters, Chen, 18, has had one hell of a year on the ice. Nathan was given the name “Quad King” for being the first skater ever to land five quadruple jumps in a single program—most elite figure skaters can only perfect one or two. Dang dude, talk about flying high!

 

Mikaela Shiffrin
Credit: Spiegel.de
Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine Skiing 

Introduced to skiing as a two-year-old, Shiffrin was studying videos of her slalom technique by middle school. Needless to say, Shiffrin has had her eye on the prize from a young age. Now at only 22, she’s the youngest Olympic slalom gold medalist ever. Considered “the best technical skier of her generation,” we feel pretty confident Shiffrin will be going for more than the gold this year. 
 

Elana Meyers Taylor
Credit: USA Today

Elana Meyers Taylor, Bobsled

Taking home a bronze medal in 2010 as a brakeman (back of the sled) with teammate Erin Pac, and winning silver as the pilot (in front of the sled) with teammate Lauryn Williams, Taylor has her eye on the prize at PyeongChang. As the first black pilot to win an Olympic medal, the first woman to win medals as both brakeman and pilot, and the first U.S. woman to win two bobsled Olympic medals, Taylor is making some amazing history. Watch out ice, she’s coming for you. 
 

Matt and Becca Hamilton
Credit: Omaha World-Herald
Matt and Becca Hamilton, Curling 

This buzzy brother/sister duo will compete together in the Winter Olympics’ first year of mixed doubles curling, as well as separately on the women’s and men’s teams. If they make it to the gold medal rounds, that means 18 straight days of competition on the ice. Phew! Teamwork makes the dream work, right? 
 

Alpine Skiing, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, oh my! Time to set your DVR’s, grab that hot cocoa, and get pumped while you watch these U.S. powerhouse athletes lay it all on the line.


 

Erica Arvanitis MINDBODY
Written by
Erica Arvanitis
Copywriter
About the author
A copywriter by day, Erica spends her free time mastering the art of puzzles while forcing her 10-year-old Chow mix to wear sweaters. With experience in PR, social media, marketing, and copywriting, Erica lives and breathes the written word. Warning: don’t test her on Friends trivia - she will win every time.
surfer catching wave in ocean olympics
Fitness
Published Friday Jul 23, 2021 by Bailey Clark

Why I’m Stoked Surfing Will Debut in the Olympics

Fitness

For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.

This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal. 

You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.

As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.

The magic of surfing

Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.

The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.

A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.

The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.

The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.

Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.

Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th. 

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About the author
Bailey Clark is a serial optimist whose passion for marketing lies within creating authentic connections to make the world happier and healthier. As a San Diego native, her favorite pastimes are surfing, F45, practicing yoga, meditation, and really any opportunity to soak up the sun.