The torch has burnt out on the Olympic games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and Team USA finished with 23 medals and a fourth-place finish overall. Our female contenders were a force to be reckoned with, taking home five of the nine gold medals won by the United States. In all disciplines of winter sports, we see the Americans dominating and claiming their spot on the top of the podium.
Not only are these women super athletes, but they all have impressive stories that make them outstanding role models. VALLEY is here to give you the run-down on some of the ladies that represented our country.
Jamie Anderson, Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle
Anderson was no rookie to the Winter Olympics, winning the first ever offered gold medal in slopestyle at the 2014 Sochi games. She followed up four years later and reclaimed her spot at the top of the podium. Anderson has made appearances on shows like Conan O’Brien and is a great role model for aspiring female athletes. She donates to kids in her community so that they have the same opportunities that made her number one!
Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall, Women’s Cross-Country Skiing
Ten years separate these ladies in age, but this duo powered through the women’s sprint coming out on top after narrowly beating Sweden by .19 milliseconds. This is the first time in almost 70 years that Americans have taken home a medal in cross-country skiing. Also, Randall competed in 18 events prior to winning this gold medal, an Olympic record in itself. Growing up Anderson idolized her partner, and many years later she was able to compete with her in her last Olympics.
Chloe Kim, Women’s Snowboard Halfpipe
She is referred to as the “future of snowboarding” and is now plastered all over magazine covers for her win in Pyeongchang—oh yeah and did we mention that she is 17 years old? Kim became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal after her amazing performance in the halfpipe. She qualified back in 2014 for the Sochi games but was unable to compete because the age required to participate in the Olympics is 16. She regularly competes (and wins) in the X Games and was nominated for an ESPY in 2016 for Best Breakthrough Athlete against Conor McGregor. This will definitely not be the last time we hear about Kim, but that’s fine with VALLEY because she puts the power in girl power.
Mikaela Shiffrin, Women’s Giant Slalom
As if the gold medal wasn’t enough, Mikaela Shiffrin also took home a silver medal in Women’s Super-Combined Slalom. She had the biggest crowd, and the cheers for her were heard from events away. She inspires the youth by training and mentoring many girls in events like alpine skiing, downhill and, of course, slalom.
Team USA, Women’s Hockey
Teamwork makes the dream work! This was the first time that Women’s Hockey won a gold medal since 1998. The battle was played against rival team Canada and was won in the most dramatic shootout having Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson make the game-winning shot. Team captain, Meghan Duggan, will be featured on Kellogg’s Special K® cereal box following their triumphant win. However, this awesome group did much more than just win, they threatened to sit out of the Olympics if U.S. Hockey didn’t give them the same treatment and benefits as the Men’s Hockey team. They won increased wages by standing together and fighting for women’s rights.
Honorable Mention—Lindsey Vonn
The most versatile women’s skier, Lindsey Vonn came back to the Olympics after the terrible crash that left her with a torn ACL back in 2013. Her performance made her the oldest woman to win an Alpine medal by taking bronze in the downhill event. She battled her way back through adversity and showed the world that if you try hard enough you can accomplish the unthinkable. Tears flew down her face on the podium after realizing all her hard work paid off. She deserves to make this list for strength and determination.
Who were you rooting for at the 2018 Winter Olympics? Tweet us your team @VALLEYmag!