- Best of Sochi
Top 18 U.S. athletes to watch for at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games may be four years away, but that's not too soon for us to spotlight some of the top American names to watch in Pyeongchang. Here's 18 U.S. athletes to watch in 2018, plus a few extras worth keeping an eye on.
Jamie Anderson, Snowboarding
The 23-year-old Anderson is already at the peak of her sport, as evidenced by her Sochi gold medal in the women's snowboard slopestyle. We suspect she has plenty left in the tank to take anoher run at gold in Pyeongchang.
Embedded video_content_type: Jamie Anderson's golden run in snowboarding slopestyle
Maddie Bowman, Freestyle skiing
Bowman honored the memory of her late friend and competitor Sarah Burke by winning the first-ever gold medal in the women's ski halfpipe. Still just 20 years old, Bowman will have every opportunity to defend her gold medal four years from now.
Embedded video_content_type: Maddie Bowman improvs her way to gold
J.R. Celski, Short track
A two-time medalist in Vancouver, Celski anchored the U.S. men's relay team to a silver medal in Sochi. Still only 23 years old, Celski, the heir apparent to Apolo Ohno as the face of U.S. short track, could be reaching his peak as a skater when Pyeongchang comes around.
Embedded video_content_type: 10,000 hours: J.R. Celski and Macklemore
Polina Edmunds, Figure skating
Not even expected to make the U.S. team for Sochi, Edmunds wound up with a ninth-place finish at just 15 years of age. Loaded with natural talent, the ceiling may be sky high for Edmunds four years from now.
Embedded video_content_type: Polina Edmunds breaks down free skate routine
Kaitlyn Farrington, Snowboarding
The 24-year-old "Flying Potato" from Idaho is not a new face to snowboarding fans, but Farrington's gold medal in the halfpipe represented a passing of the baton of sorts from veteran U.S. teammates Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter. Expect to see Farrington among the favorites when she looks to defend her gold medal in Pyeongchang.
Embedded video_content_type: ‘It’s a gold’ for Kaitlyn Farrington
Travis Ganong, Alpine skiing
Ganong, 25, was the top finisher for the U.S. in the men's downhill, in fifth place. With Bode Miller's Olympic career likely over, Ganong may be the top U.S. men's contender in the speed disciplines in Pyeongchang.
Embedded video_content_type: Travis Ganong finishes 5th in downhill
Nick Goepper, Freestyle skiing
The 19-year-old Goepper became a viral star in Sochi, leaving thousands of young ladies tweeting #IwanttodateNickGoepper. But Goepper is more than just an Olympic hearthrob. He won bronze in the men's ski slopestyle as part of a U.S. podium sweep with Joss Christensen and Gus Kenworthy -- both of whom could also again make noise in Pyeongchang -- and is one of America's fastest rising stars on freestyle skis.
Embedded video_content_type: Nick Goepper grabs slopestyle bronze
Arielle Gold, Snowboarding
The 17-year-old Gold -- who was the 2013 snowboard halfpipe world champion -- was a medal favorite in Sochi before a shoulder injury sustained in a freak training crash moments before competition forced her to pull out. Expect to see Gold challenging her countrywoman Farrington for a spot on the Pyeongchang medal stand.
Embedded video_content_type: Hard fall takes Arielle Gold out of women's snowboarding halfpipe
Gracie Gold, Figure skating
With a fourth-place finish in the ladies' event at a mere 18 years of age, Gold showed poise and competitive chops beyond her years after exploding onto the scene in the figure skating season leading up to Sochi. Four more years of refinement could land her on the Pyeongchang medal stand.
Embedded video_content_type: Gracie Gold grows from her Olympic moment
Sarah Hendrickson, Ski jumping
The 19-year-old Hendrickson was far from her best in Sochi, but that's understandable, considering that the Olympics were her first competition since tearing her ACL in August. Hendrickson was the 2013 women's ski jumping world champion at age 18, and if health cooperates, she'll have her shot at an Olympic medal in Pyeongchang.
Embedded video_content_type: Sarah Hendrickson's first two ski jumps
Amanda Kessel, Hockey
Sochi ended in heartbreak for Kessel and the rest of the U.S. women's hockey team. But the 22-year-old Kessel, the younger sister of U.S. men's and NHL star Phil Kessel, likely has multiple opportunities ahead of her to capture some golden vengeance, starting in Pyeongchang.
Embedded video_content_type: U.S. women's hockey proud of their team
Sage Kotsenburg, Snowboarding
The 20-year-old Kotsenburg upset a pair of favored Canadians for gold in the men's snowboard slopestyle to win the first-ever gold medal in the event, and the first gold of Sochi for Team USA. In the process, he may have made his case to be the heir apparent to Shaun White as the face of U.S. snowboarding.
Embedded video_content_type: The science behind Sage Kotsenburg's golden slopestyle run
Devin Logan, Freestyle skiing
With a women's slopestyle silver medal in-hand at just 21 years of age in Sochi, expect to see Logan once again in the mix for a spot on the podium when Pyeongchang comes around.
Embedded video_content_type: Devin Logan + DMX = silver medal
Elana Meyers, Bobsled
They say it takes eight years to master the art of driving a bobsled. Meyers has been driving for just four, and won silver in Sochi, narrowly missing out on gold. She'll hit that eight-year mark in Pyeongchang, where she'll try to add a gold medal to her Sochi silver and the bronze she won as a push athlete in Vancouver.
Embedded video_content_type: USA's Meyers, Williams get bobsled silver
Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine skiing
The 18-year-old Shiffrin announced her presence to the world with her gold medal in the Sochi women's slalom, becoming the youngest American Alpine skiing gold medalist ever, and has already indicated that she has ambitions of chasing gold in all five Alpine disciplines in Pyeongchang.
Embedded video_content_type: Mikaela Shiffrin on her long day's journey to gold
Maggie Voisin, Freestyle skiing
The 15-year-old Voisin, the youngest member of Team USA in Sochi, was expected to be a medal contender in the women's freestyle skiing slopestyle event before breaking her fibula in a training accident days before the competition. Nonetheless, Voisin is a rising star in the freeski world and will likely again be a medal favorite in 2018, when she'll still be just 19 years old.
Embedded video_content_type: TODAY: Dreams dashed for slopestyle skier Maggie Voisin
Torin Yater-Wallace, Freestyle skiing
The 18-year-old Yater-Wallace was sidelined for most of the run-up to Sochi with a broken rib, and thus wasn't at his best in the ski halfpipe qualifying round. But the halfpipe skier is a big star on the rise, having won silver at the 2013 World Championships at age 17. Look for him to challenge countryman and reigning gold medalist David Wise in 2018.
Embedded video_content_type: Friendly rivalry: David Wise vs. Torin Yater-Wallace
David Wise, Freestyle skiing
America's new favorite Wise guy won gold in the men's freeski halfpipe in Sochi, and there's no reason not to expect him back to defend that gold in Pyeongchang, when he'll be 27 years old.
Embedded video_content_type: Move-by-move breakdown of David Wise's gold medal performance
Veterans back for one more Games?
Shani Davis, Speed skating
Davis hinted before Sochi that he has interest in continuing onto Pyeongchang, when he would be 35.
Ted Ligety, Alpine skiing
The Sochi giant slalom gold medalist could very well be back for a fourth Olympics in 2018, when he'll be 33.
Lindsey Vonn, Alpine skiing
On the mend from the knee injury that forced her to skip Sochi, Vonn, who will be 33 in 2018, still has Pyeongchang in her sights. It won't be an easy road, but we're not betting against her.
Ashley Wagner, Figure skating
Wagner has already said that she plans to chase a second Olympic Games, along with fellow Sochi skaters Gold and Edmunds.
Shaun White, Snowboarding
White, who will be 31 in 2018, has not yet committed to making a run at Pyeongchang, but has said he isn't ruling it out.
More youngsters on the rise
Jessie Diggins, Cross-country skiing
The 22-year-old Diggins competed in her first Olympics in Sochi, seeing her best finish in the women's skiathlon, in which she finished eighth.
Taylor Fletcher, Nordic combined
It was a tough Olympics for the U.S. Nordic combined team after unprecedented success in Vancouver, but the future is bright for the 23-year-old Fletcher, who has posted a series of impressive results on the World Cup circuit while gaining a reputation as one of the sport's strongest cross-country skiers. He'll have an opportunity to put it all together in Pyeongchang.
Chloe Kim, Snowboarding
The 13-year-old Kim -- yes, 13 -- may already be the best U.S. snowboard halfpiper, but was too young to compete in Sochi. Expect to see her in Pyeongchang, rivaling countrywomen Farrington and Gold.
Emery Lehman, Speed skating
The 17-year-old finished 10th in the 10,000m in his first Olympic Games, and his future is very bright. After a medal-less Olympics for U.S. speed skating, Lehman could provide Team USA a lift in 2018.
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