OLYMPIC ATHLETES

2022 HOPEFULS / COMPETITORS

Snowboarder Chloe Kim standing on a snow covered hill holding her snowboard up smiling for the camera.

Chloe Kim – 21 – Snowboarder – Anxiety 

Chloe Kim is an American snowboarder. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, she became the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal when she won gold in the women’s snowboard halfpipe at 17 years old.

Check out this article about Chloe here.

Skier Gus Kenworthy standing with a crowd behind him as he holds his skis and smiles for the camera.

Gus Kenworthy – 30 – Freestyle Skier – Depression

Augustus Richard Kenworthy is a British-American freestyle skier, actor, and YouTuber. He competes in slopestyle, halfpipe, and big air. Kenworthy won the silver medal in Men’s slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Check out this article about Gus here

Figure Skater Yuzuru Hanyu striking a pose on the ice during his routine

Yuzuru Hanyu – 27 – Figure Skater – Asthma

Yuzuru Hanyu is a Japanese figure skater. He is a two-time Olympic champion, a two-time World champion, a four-time Grand Prix Final champion, a Four Continents champion, the 2010 World Junior champion, the 2009–10 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, and a six-time Japanese national champion. He has also medaled at five other World Championships, taking bronze in 2012 and 2021, and silver in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

Check out this article about Yuzuru here.  

Skier Jessie Diggins smiling and waving at the camera while holding her skis

Jessie Diggins – 30 – Cross Country Skier – Bulimia

Jessie Diggins is an American cross-country skier. She and teammate Kikkan Randall won the United States’ first ever cross-country skiing gold medal at the Winter Olympics in women’s team sprint at Pyeongchang in 2018. Diggins wrote an autobiography, Brave Enough, about her athletic accomplishments and personal struggles with bulimia nervosa as a teenager.

Check out this article about Jessie here.

 

See a full list of the Olympic winter athletes here

Dual Athletes

This sections highlights a few athletes who have competed in both the Olympics and the Paralympics.

(Check out the Paralympics and Beyond page here)

Marla Runyan (USA) – 52 – Middle Distance Runner 

Visually Impaired

Natalia Partyka (POL) – 31 – Table Tennis  

Born without right hand and forearm

Natalie du Toit (RSA) – 37 – Swimming 

Above the knee amputee

Assunta Legnante (ITA) – 43 – Shot put 

Visually impaired

Pál Szekeres (HUN) – 56 – Fencing 

Wheelchair user

Ilke Wyludda (GER) – 52 – Discus/Shot put 

Right leg amputee

Olympians Throughout History

Quick Background About the Olympics

On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations to the international competition.

The first recorded Olympic Games were held at Olympia in the Greek city-state of Elis in 776 B.C., but it is generally accepted that the Olympics were at least 500 years old at that time. The ancient Olympics, held every four years, occurred during a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus.

George Eyser and another individual competing in rope climb

George Eyser (USA) -1904 – Gymnastics

American gymnast George Eyser, who had a wooden leg, competed at the 1904 Summer Olympics, and won three gold medals, two silver, and a bronze.

Check out a Podcast about George here.

Picture of Oliver Halassy a water polo Olympic athlete

Oliver Halassy (HUN) – 1928-1936 – Water Polo

Oliver Halassy of Hungary, whose left leg was amputated below the knee, won three medals (two gold and a silver) in water polo in the Olympic Games of 1928, 1932, and 1936.

Learn more about Oliver here.

Karoly Takacs Olympic medal ceremony

Karoly Takacs (HUN) – 1948 – Shooting

Karoly Takacs, also from Hungary, won gold in shooting at the 1948 Summer Olympics.  His right hand had been destroyed by a hand grenade ten years earlier, and he had taught himself to shoot with his left.

Learn more about Karoly here

Lis Hartel on her horse

Lis Hartel (DEN) – 1952 – Equestrian Dressage

Lis Hartel was one of the first women allowed to compete against men in the equestrian dressage. Despite being paralysed below the knees after contracting polio in 1944, when she was 23, Hartel was chosen to represent Denmark in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki.  She responded by earning the silver medal.   

Learn more about Lis here.

Harold Connolly doing the hammer throw

Harold Connolly (USA) – 1956-1968 – Hammer Throw

Harold Connolly was an Olympic hammer throwing gold medalist at the Melbourne Olympic Games of 1956. A fact made remarkable by the fact that he had Erb’s Palsy, which meant that his left arm was some 4.5 inches shorter than his right arm, far less muscularly developed and his left hand was two-thirds the size of his right hand.

Learn more about Harold here.

Im Dong-Hyun, an archer, preparing to take a shot.

Im Dong-Hyun (KOR) – 2004-2012 – Archery

South Korean archer Im Dong-Hyun has 20/200 vision in his left eye and 20/100 vision in his right eye, meaning he is legally blind in his left eye.  He won Olympic gold in the team competition in 2004 and 2008, and bronze in 2012.

Learn more about Im here