The United States athletes brought home a whopping total of 23 medals at this year’s Winter Olympics, which were held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. With an impressive number of athletes competing for Team USA (242, more than any other nation), there was quite a diverse mix.
108 women competed on Team USA, which is the most that’s ever competed on the American team. There were also 10 African-Americans, 11 Asian-Americans, and two openly gay athletes. And Team USA’s ages range from 17 to 39, which explains why the athletes created such a buzz on social media.
Chloe Kim, for instance, is a 17-year-old snowboarder from Long Beach, Calif. who garnered several fans after the Olympics. This is not only due to her gold medal win in the halfpipe competition, but also for her use of social media.
The Olympian made use of her Twitter account to share how hungry she was and her craving for sandwiches and ice cream. When asked about her tweeting during the competition by ESPN, she responded, “Like, what else are you supposed to do?” At the end of the day, Kim is like most teenagers on Twitter, except with an Olympic medal to her name.
Red Gerard, a fellow Team USA athlete, also became a teenage Olympic icon after his performance in the men’s snowboard slopestyle event. Apparently, Gerard had to be woken up by his roomate, snowboarder Kyle Mack, after sleeping in on the big day of his performance.
The cause of his extended slumber? Gerard admitted to have been watching Netflix the night before. And aside from running late, he had to borrow his roommate’s coat after misplacing his own. Nonetheless, Gerard gave a performance that won him his first gold medal and was also the first medal won for Team USA in these Olympic games.
And Adam Rippon, the 28-year-old openly gay Olympian also received wide attention, some of which was unpleasant. He received negative comments and messages hoping for his failure. To this, he tweeted that, “I have failed many times in my life… but more importantly, I’ve learned from every setback.”
Moreover, he has recently used his platform to launch a fundraising campaign to support GLAAD, an organization that advocates for issues affecting the LGBTQ community.
Although these are merely a few of the many hard working Olympians, their personalities and experiences demonstrate their likeness to people like you and I.