With the 2022 Winter Olympics behind us, there’s a lot to celebrate. Team USA placed fourth behind Norway, Germany and China. But, without the awards, all of the athletes who competed deserve more than praise for their accomplishments. This includes all Asian American Olympians on Team USA.
11 Asian Americans were in Beijing to represent the United States, and they should all be recognized for their hard work and dedication to their sport. Want to know who these Olympians are? Here are the 11 Asian Americans who have competed for Team USA:
Competing in the women’s snowboarding halfpipe, Chloe Kim is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and defender of the title for the event. Beijing was Kim’s second Olympics and an impressive return to the sport after a nearly two-year hiatus. Kim is currently a student at Princeton studying anthropology, but it is unclear whether or not she will return now that the games are over.
Another snowboarder, Hailey Langland, competed in Slopestyle and Big Air. She managed to qualify for the final in both events, but ended up placing 11th in Slopestyle with a 48.35 and 12th in Big Air with a score of 53.25 respectively. Langland is known in the sport for landing a double cork in the Big Air event at the 2017 Winter X-Games and becoming the first rider to do so in X-Games history.
Nathan Chen made headlines after setting a world record in the figure skating short program, placing first in the free skate and winning overall gold in the men’s individual skating. It was an impressive sweep after Chen failed in PyeongChang at the 2018 Olympics and placed fifth overall. He was at Yale University for statistics and data science but took a break due to COVID-19 and to prepare for the 2022 Olympics.
Although Vincent Zhou was unable to compete in the short program or free skate due to a positive COVID-19 test, he still returned home as the Team USA team event silver medalist. Zhou previously competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, where he was the youngest athlete on the U.S. Olympic team.
One of three Olympic figure skaters for the women’s individual events, Karen Chen placed 13th in the short program and 17th in the freestyle. She finished 16th overall with a score of 179.93. Chen made her Olympic debut in PyeongChang, where she placed 11th overall. Although she had no plans to take any gap years or postpone her time at Cornell University, Chen decided to take a two-year leave due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At just 16 years old, Alysa Liu placed seventh overall at her first Olympic Games. With a score of 69.50 in the short program and 139.45 in the free skate, the 208.95 total was an impressive place to land for the California native. She was also asked to perform for the Olympics exhibition gala although she did not anticipate it. American ice dancer Jean-Luc Baker choreographed a program for Liu on sight on K-Pop girl group Itzy’s song “Loco.”
Madison Chock is an ice dancer with her partner Evan Bates, who is also her romantic partner. The duo placed fourth in the Rhythm Dance and Free Dance programs, and they finished fourth overall with a total score of 214.77. Chock is a two-time Olympian with two top-10 finishes where she and Bates finished ninth overall in 2018. Team USA’s team event silver is her first Olympic medal.
Freestyle skier Cole McDonald placed fifth with a score of 76.27 in the first qualifying round of the men’s moguls event and managed to advance to the first round of finals. He placed 14th in the first final with 75.78 but was unable to secure a place in the second round of the final. McDonald is currently enrolled at the University of Utah as a freshman.
Also a freestyle skier, Kai Owens competed in the women’s moguls event. Despite not taking part in the first qualifying round due to a swollen eye following an accident a few days earlier, the 17-year-old finished eighth with a score of 69.92. Owens then placed sixth in the first round of the finals and advanced to the second round before finishing 10th overall with a score of 65.49. She is currently a high school student at the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy.
Eunice Lee is a short track speed skater and competed in the women’s 3000m relay for Team USA as the youngest Olympian of five. In Semi-Final 2, the team placed fourth and advanced to Final B. A penalty was awarded and the relay finished eighth overall. For the 2022 Winter Olympics, the 17-year-old was selected for the USA team without competing or training with the national team.
Andrew Heo, 20, competed in three short track speed skating events for Team USA, including the men’s 1,000m, men’s 1,500m and mixed team relay. Heo finished seventh in the 1000m after the final, 28th after the 1500m semi-finals and the team finished eighth in the mixed team relay. He placed first at the Olympic Speed Skating Trials and beat favorite to win and top-ranked U.S. speed skater Brandon Kim in December 2021.