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What scares Team USA?

Mikaela Shiffrin, Ashley Wagner, Jason Brown, Joey Mantia

What scares Team USA?

From spiders and sharks to microwaves and mascots, the athletes of Team USA share their biggest fears

Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine skiing:  I’m not a huge fan of spiders, hate clowns, and I absolutely hate the idea of drowning.

Ashley Wagner, figure skating: I'm terrified of ceiling fans.

Jason Brownfigure skating: I hate needles and going to the dentist. I am afraid of heights such as rollercoasters.

Aaron Pikepara-cross-country and biathlon:  Ostriches. I mean they are like living dinosaurs.

Joss Christensen, freestyle skiing: I’m afraid of injuries... Anything that stops me from being active. I’m also really afraid of deep water... Whales, sharks, jelly fish...

Brenna Huckaby, para-snowboarding: SNAKES SPIDERS HEIGHTS AND BOWLING. (I am terrified of getting my thumb stuck. No lie.)

Jamie Greubel Poserbobsled: Spiders and sharks!! I will literally Google any potential vacation spots to see if there were any previous shark attacks, and I constantly have nightmares about spiders.

Sadie Bjornsen, cross-country skiing: I have a serious fear of dark. That is why I live and train in Alaska (only in the summer when it is light all the time). Then in the winter, I leave!

Evan Strong, para-snowboarding: Microwaves!!!!

Morgan Schild, freestyle skiing: Mascots. Not a fan.

Carlo Valdes, bobsled: I hate spiders and bees big time. If a bee is chasing me, you'll never see me move quicker ever.

Joey Mantia, speed skating: Heights yes, spiders if it’s bigger than a quarter it will stop me dead in my tracks, but snakes no. I grew up with a pet snake. One time we lost him in the house for 3 months. He finally came out when he was hungry. We had to get rid of him when he got too big, about 10 feet long.

Joey Mantia with a pet snake

A young Joey Mantia with a snake. Credit: Joey Mantia


David Wisefreestyle skiing: I have a love/ fear relationship with the ocean. I didn't spend much time in the ocean growing up because of skiing, so deep water that I can't see the bottom of is still unnerving, but at the same time I have become obsessed with suffering lately. I have strived my whole life to conquer fear. I realized when I was young that things only scare you until you conquer them.

Devin Loganfreestyle skiing:  I’m very afraid of heights and the three S’s. (Snakes, spiders, and sharks) I also scared myself as a kid with watching too Law and Order marathons at night so the dark scares me.

Jessica Kooremanshort track: I never want to jump off a cliff or out of a plane. Haunted houses scare me too.

Mac Bohonnon, freestyle skiing: I have a fear of being in a car with the radio stuck on Hits 1. 

Aaron Blunck, freestyle skiing: I am absolutely terrified of snakes and also very scared of over sleeping my alarm.

John Daly, skeleton: Crazy women.  Also secretly like this, but don’t tell them.

Amy Purdy, para-snowboarding: I have a phobia of cardboard. I just hate it and if you add styrofoam to the mix then I really lose my mind.

Annie O’Shea, skeleton: I'm the furthest thing from an adrenaline junkie, so random heights get me. I cry during rock climbing. Anything that I can fall off of and die scare the living daylights out of me. The dark isn't my favorite place, toilets that flush by themselves still scare me.

Chris Knierimfigure skating: I think after everything Alexa [Scimeca Knierim, his wife and pairs partner] went through, losing her would be my biggest fear.

Kiley McKinnon, aerials skiing: I would have to say my biggest fear is spiders. I absolutely hate spiders! One time I was going for a run in Mexico and I ran into a ginormous spider on its web and I spun around in circles screaming until it finally flew off of me and I ran away!

Simi Hamilton, cross-country skiing: Dirty living space. I'm not really afraid of anything, except living in a hotel room or apartment or house that is dirty makes me more uncomfortable than anything else.

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