They've spent their whole lives dedicated to winter sports, excelling on the snow or ice. And at the 2022 Winter Olympics, these legends delivered with performances that either validated their stardom or sent them into retirement with a bang.
They range from the mid-20s to the late-30s, from the household names to the lesser-known. Here is a look at how the dominant figures of the Olympics fared in 2022...
Lindsey Jacobellis – United States – Snowboarding
Lindsey Jacobellis didn’t enter the Winter Olympics as a household name, but she definitely left it as one.
The 36-year-old snowboarder was perhaps best known for an unfortunate gaffe at the 2006 Winter Olympics, when an ill-timed showboating attempt cost her a gold medal.
Sixteen years later, Jacobellis got that long-awaited gold when she won the women’s snowboard cross. And she added one more for good measure, combining with 40-year-old Nick Baumgartner to win the first mixed team snowboard cross event for the United States.
Marie-Philip Poulin - Canada - Hockey
One of the greatest hockey players in Canadian history, Marie-Philip Poulin captained Team Canada to redemption against the United States to win the gold medal.
It was Poulin’s third Olympic gold, and “Captain Clutch” delivered with two goals in the 3-2 win over Team USA in the gold medal game. The 30-year-old became the first hockey player in Olympic history to score in four gold medal games, and she has seven goals in four gold medal game appearances.
Ireen Wuest - Netherlands - Speed Skating
The Dutch speed-skating legend said goodbye to the Olympics in typical Ireen Wuest fashion – by winning medals.
Wuest picked up a gold in the 1500m, her best discipline, and bronze in the women’s team pursuit. She became the first athlete to win gold at five different Olympics.
In total, Wuest wrapped up her career with 13 total Olympic medals including six golds.
Johannes Klaebo - Norway - Cross Country Skiing
After three gold medals in his Olympics debut in 2018, Klaebo added two more golds and won four total medals in Beijing.
Klaebo defended his gold in the sprint freestyle – the first ever to win back-to-back gold medals in the event – and helped Norway win gold in the team sprint.
Elana Meyers Taylor - United States - Bobsled
Elana Meyers Taylor’s rocky Olympics were well-documented in the United States. Chosen as one of her country’s flagbearers, Meyers Taylor contracted COVID-19 upon landing in Beijing, missed the ceremony and nervously waited to clear negative tests before her competition.
The 37-year-old didn’t let the adversity stop her on the track in what will likely be the final races of her career. She claimed silver in the first ever monobob event and bronze in the two-women bobsled event, adding to an illustrious Olympics career that now totals three silver medals and a bronze.
Kailee Humphries - United States - Bobsled
After establishing herself as a bobsledding legend in Canada and making her debut for the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Kaillie Humphries certainly made a great first impression on her new nation.
The 36-year-old, who entered the Games as the first female pilot to win multiple gold medals, just got her United States citizenship in time for the Olympics.
And she delivered right off the bat, winning gold in the first ever monobob event to add onto a historic career.
Johannes Thingnes Boe - Norway - Biathlon
Alexander Bolshunov - ROC - Cross country skiing
The Russian Olympic Committee’s Alexander Bolshunov blossomed into a star at age 25 for the cross-country skiing powerhouse, adding four medals to his collection at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Bolshunov won four medals at the 2018 Games, but no golds. In these Olympics, he earned two gold medals, claiming wins in the skiathlon and in the team 4x10km relay.
Quentin Fillon Maillet - France - Biathlon
Podium trips were a regular occurrence during the Olympics for France’s Quentin Fillon Maillet. The biathlete seemed destined to become the first individual ever to win six medals at a single Winter Olympics, but he missed three shots on his final trip to the shooting range and dropped into fourth place in his final event.
Maillet, 29, didn’t contend at the 2018 Olympics, but cemented himself in the history books in 2022 with individual golds in the 20km individual and 12.5km pursuit.
Marte Olsbu Roeiseland- Norway - Biathlon
For Norway’s Marte Olsbu Roeiseland, the podium was also a regular occurrence. The 31-year-old claimed five medals in the biathlon, three of them gold. Two of them – the 7.5km sprint and 10km pursuit – were individual wins.
Her 96-second win over Sweden’s Elvira Oeberg in the 10km pursuit was the largest margin of victory in any Olympic biathlon event. She became the second biathlete to win five medals at a single Winter Olympics, the third to win gold in both the women’s sprint and pursuit events, and the fourth Norwegian woman to win at least three gold medals.