5 Ladies Who Killed it in the Winter Olympics

Woman took over the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Headline after headline praised women for making history time and time again. U.S. women won more medals than U.S. men, NBC televised more time of women’s sports, and women broke records. Not only was history made, but there’s been an advancement in the representation of women in sports.Women can not only play sports, they are absolutely inspiring and amazing at them. I am very proud to be a woman. Many inspiring women revolutionized the Winter Olympics. Though I can’t list every woman, here are five women who killed it in the Olympics. 

 

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1. Chloe Kim, American snowboarder

Breakout star, Chloe Kim has earned the title of the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal. The Long Beach born snowboarder, won with an impressive score of 93.75 on her first run, a nearly perfect score.  Though she fell on her second run, her first score was able to solidify her spot for the gold. The teen has been longing to be in the Olympics since the beginning of her career. She competed in the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics and achieved the highest snowboarding score of all time. Kim also participated in the X Games and achieved a perfect score. These victories all led to her success at the 2018 Winter Olympics. In 2014, she was turned away in competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics because of her young age. Her debut Winter Olympics did not disappoint for she went home with a gold medal. As she goes into adulthood, we know she was attain much success as an American Olympic snowboarder. Do not let her age fool you, she is a talented snowboarder who can land 1080 with ease. 

 

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2. Ester Ledecká, Czech snowboarder and alpine skier

22-year-old Ester Ledecká made history. She is the first woman to achieve a gold medal in two sports in the same Winter Olympics. These medals were awarded in both the super-G (alpine skiing) and in the parallel giant slalom (snowboarding). This achievement is remarkable given the fact that it has only been achieved two times before her. Though snowboarding and skiing seem similar, these two sports do not necessarily compliment one another. Her impressive performance in the qualifying rounds gave herself the opportunity to shine in the main race. Ledecká does not plan to slow down anytime soon. “My plan is to stay with my heart, so for now I think I will do both because I love both,” she said. She celebrated her victory with KFC as she jokingly told the reporter to not tell her coaches. Ledecká created a legacy to inspire women as they too can reach for the unimaginable like she did. It was impressive enough for Ledecká to compete in the two sports, but her ability to gain two golds rightfully crowns her as the “snow queen”. 

 

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3. Lizzy Yarnold, British Skeleton racer 

Olympians celebrate their victories in many exorbitant ways from popping champagne to  throwing crazed parties. This is not Lizzy Yarnold’s idea of a celebration. Yarnold came to PyeongChang to defend her title from the Sochi Olympics as a gold medalist in skeleton racing. Not to mention, this sport is actually insane. You go head first down a track on a small sled that can go up to 90 miles per hour. This British athlete not only become the first woman to win two golds in this event, but they were won back-to-back years. Skeleton races are systematically very close as Yarnold won with only 0.1 seconds before her competitor. So how does this Olympian celebrate her back-to-back victory? No Lizzy celebration would be complete without some knitting and Netflix. “My nan taught me to knit years ago and passed away two years ago and so it’s a way to feel connected with her” she said. Nevertheless, Yarnold now has two gold medals and utilizes her success to inspire children to pursue sports as well. On and off the snow, Yarnold has weaved a legacy for herself. Olympic celebrations come in a wide variety, but Yarnold has discovered value in relaxation and remaining true to her roots and would not celebrate it any other way. 

 

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4. Lindsey Vonn, American alpine ski racer 

Lindsey Vonn’s journey leading to PyeongChang has been anything, but painless. Over time, Vonn has participated in not only the Winter Olympics, but also the World Cup, and World Championships where she attained great success. Since her young start at 17, she has acquired some battle scars. These accidents happened before, during, and after competitions. These injuries have ranged from hyperextended knees, broken bones, and torn ligaments. In the 2013 World Championship, she suffered a damaging injury. She tore her ACL and MCL. Because of the injury, she was forced to forfeit her opportunity to compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but it was not the last we would see of Vonn. In 2018, she competed and placed bronze in the Women's downhill. Furthermore, Vonn also is the oldest woman to win an alpine medal. Vonn represents the Olympic spirit. Hence, she defies adversity, no matter the degree, so she can ultimately achieve prosperity in the sport that she loves. 

 

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5. Marie Bjørgen, Norwegian cross-country skier

Norway won a total of 38 medals; therefore, placing them first. Marie Bjørgen was the multi-medalist who won the most for her country. Racking in five medals (two gold, one silver, and two bronze). These are not her first medals; Bjørgen is an seasoned athlete. Between 2002 and 2018, Bjørgen has won a total of 15 medals (eight gold, four silver, and three bronze). PyeongChang was supposedly her last season and she was not going to leave  without breaking some records. Bjørgen is tied in third for the most medals won over one’s career. In terms of the Winter Olympics, she has won the most medals ever. This accomplishment is encouraging to women everywhere because it proves that women are fully capable of attaining success in sports. There is no such thing as “men” sports for women are proving that they are a force to be reckoned with.  Women have come a long way and it is empowering to see that a woman holds a position with such high significance. She is trailblazer who has left an impact on the Winter Olympics. She recreated what it meant to be a female athlete for she broke records and created a path that women can follow, a path that was once shunned from women because of their gender. It is now open and it is our time to kick-ass and win.