No matter your feelings on Russia, or Putin, or shower cams, we all agree on one thing: winter olympic athletes are total bad asses. Here’s our (totally unbiased) list of favorite Olympians, which includes (surprisingly) a bunch of Chicagoans.
Mikaela Shiffrin – Alpine Skiing
This 18-year-old prodigy made her professional debut at age 15, and has been racking up the world titles before ever graduating high school. Hailed as the next Lindsey Vonn (who is not competing due to a knee injury), we’ve got our alpine hopes pinned on Shiffrin.
Chicago loves Patrick Sharp. His 11 goals and 11 assists were instrumental in the Blackhawks’ 2010 Stanley Cup win, and he hasn’t slowed down since. Plus, he’s a friggin’ great guy. Did you see this hilarious video of him surprising his fans? He was also named “Chicago’s Sexiest Athlete” by Victoria’s Secret. No surprise there.
N.B.: The Blackhawks sent ten – yes, 10! – players to Sochi this year. Unequivocal proof that the Blackhawks are an ice-slaying supergroup. #BOOM
Nick Goepper – Free Skiing
Freestyle skiing is making it’s Olympic debut this year, and Goepper is gonna nail it into history books. After winning gold at the Winter X games last month in Aspen, we feel another glinting on the Sochi horizon.
Eve Muirhead – Curling
Although curling may look like an embellished form of street sweeping, it’s actually totally kick-ass, requiring balance, precision, and chess-like reasoning. Now competing for Britain, Muirhead brushed off countless American university golf scholarships to pursue curling full time. Having consistently won a world title every year since 2007, she’ll surely *sweep* the competition (heh).
Martin Fourcade, Biathlon
Not only has Fourcade won over 20 world titles, he’s a freakin’ biathlete. That means he cross country skis for miles, then shoots guns. That’s badassery at it’s finest. Predicted to flatten his competition this year, Fourcade has his eye on the prize.
Gracie Gold – Women’s Figure Skating
This Chatham native comes to Sochi on the heels of a National Championship victory just last month. The incarnation of grace and beauty, she was crowned the nation’s “ice princess” by USA Today. Her name’s not “Gold” for nothing, amiright?