Winter Olympics 2018: Top Performers & Must-See Photos

With more than one week remaining in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, there have already been some standout performers. From multiple medalists to inspirational stories and nation-lifting athletes, some Olympians have excelled in their respective disciplines.

As the games begin to wind down, let’s take a look back at the top performers and storylines from the first ten days.

Team USA

While the Americans have been struggling to claim gold outside of the snowboarding events in PyeongChang, we have seen athletes like Chloe Kim, Mikaela Shiffrin, Shaun White and Adam Rippon stealing the spotlight.

Kim, who is just 17 years old, was the early breakout star for the United States after earning gold in the women’s halfpipe. Since her gold medal run, Kim has been in the headlines for her hilarious tweets and social media posts that have engaged fans at a rapid pace. Kim’s current sponsorship deals are also set to expire when she turns 18 years old on April 23, so the future is bright with the personality that marketers would die for and the ball in her court.

Shiffrin stole the spotlight when she followed up her 2014 breakout performance with a gold medal in the giant slalom. While it is not her top event, the 22-year-old continued to prove why she is the top-ranked woman in alpine skiing. In Shaun White, we saw an incredible redemption story after he missed the podium in 2014. He overcame a serious crash during Olympic training to go on to win his third Olympic gold medal in the men’s halfpipe.

With Rippon, the Americans got to watch an openly-LGBTQ athlete come into his own as he did not shy away from the cameras to discuss politics. He was an inspiring figure who ultimately landed a job offer from NBC to join their Olympic coverage for the duration of the PyeongChang Games, which he declined to remain with Team USA.

Record-Setters

There have been plenty of standout performances during the Winter Games, but three Olympians — well, technically four — in particular have been stealing the show.

Canadian pair figure skaters Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have continued to show their dominance on the ice. The longtime duo took the ice for the short program on Sunday night and broke their own Olympic record for the highest score in the history of the event with an 83.67. Virtue and Moir broke their own previous record which was set at Skate Canada in October.

Japan’s Nao Kodaira also solidified herself in the Olympic record book on Sunday by winning the women’s 500-meter speed skating event with the blistering time of 36.94 seconds. The reigning world champion topped the old record of 37.28 seconds which was set at the last Olympics in Sochi by South Korean Lee Sang-Hwa at 37.28 seconds.

Finally, we have Seun Adigun. Adigun previous competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics as a member of the United States’ 100 meters hurdles team. However, for the 2018 PyeongChang Games, the 31-year-old Nigerian-American will be representing Nigeria after founding the nation’s bobsled team. Adigun and her teammates were featured on an ESPN “E:60” after a fundraising effort led to the team building their sled out of wood from a Home Depot. The team was Nigeria’s first ever representatives at the Winter Olympics.

Johnny Weir and Winnie the Pooh

If you haven’t been watching figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics, these two names may come as a surprise to you. However, Weir and Pooh have become a staple of the events on the ice thanks to the enthusiastic Korean fans and Weir’s unique style.

When it comes to Winnie the Poo, the tradition of bears being thrown onto the ice began back in 2010 when Hanyu was spotted carrying a Winnie the Pooh tissue box, according to NBC Sports. Ever since then, the Japanese figure skater can be seen walking around with his favorite stuffed animals during media appearances and practices.

Norway Curling Team’s Pants

Not much needs to be said other than they’re bright, fun and encapsulate the spirit of the Olympic Games.

Norway Cross-Country Team & Multiple Medalists

Norwegian cross-country skier Simen Hegstad Krueger played an early part in his countries rise to the top of the medal count standings, bringing home two gold medals and one silver. Countryman Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo contributed to that success with two medals of his own in cross-country events. With Marit Bjoergen, another member of the cross-country ski team, we saw her record a 13th career medal after winning gold in the 4×5 kilometer cross-country skiing relay which ties an all-time Winter Olympic record. Ragnhild Haga also earned two golds for Norway, with Stina Nilsson contributing one gold and one silver. Norwegian Kjetil Jansrud had one silver and one bronze in alpine skiing.

Laura Dahlmeier was a standout athlete for Germany with two gold and one bronze in biathlon, while countrymen Tobias Arlt and Tobias Wendl repeated as luge champions.

One of the most underappreciated multi-medalists was Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia, who picked up one gold and two silver in biathlon, while Canadian speedskater Ted Jan Blomen dominated the competition with one gold and silver.