The Ones to Watch at the Winter 2018 Olympic Games

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The 2018 Winter Olympics are coming to PyeongChang, South Korea from February 9-25. Competitions will be held at 13 venues for the Winter Games.  For the first time, TV viewers in all US time zones will have access to live coverage of the Games, instead of a delayed replay.  NBC will broadcast the games on TV and online.

Four events have been added by the International Olympic Committee for 2018. On the slopes, athletes will now be able to compete in big air snowboarding and freestyle skiing. On the ice, get ready for mass start speed skating and mixed doubles curling.  Overall, athletes at PyeongChang will compete in seven sports — biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing — with 15 varied disciplines across all sports. The competitors each will be hoping to take home at least one of the 102 medals up for grabs.

As with every Olympics, there are always a few breakout stars that folks hope will bring the gold to their home towns.  This year is no exception.  Here are a few Olympic hopefuls to watch:

Breaking barriers: Watch out for Ghana-born 17-year-old Maame Biney, the first African-American woman to make an Olympic short track speed skating team.  Erin Jackson, a former roller derby skater, became the first African-American woman to make a long-track speed skating Olympic team, four months after picking up the sport full-timeJordan Greenway, a Boston College junior, is the first African-American hockey player to make the Olympic team.

Shaun White is going to his fourth, and likely last, Winter Olympics after stomping a perfect 100-point run at the Snowmass Grand Prix, the penultimate Olympic qualifier, which now has opened the door for speculation about how he’ll do in PyeongChang. He failed to medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Nathan Chen (figure skating): The only undefeated male singles skater this season won by a whopping 40 points at nationals with seven quadruple jumps between two programs. The 19-year-old will go up against Japanese stars Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno as the medal favorites in PyeongChang.

Mikaela Shiffrin (Alpine skiing): Shiffrin became the youngest Olympic slalom champion in Sochi at age 18. She’s since blossomed into the world’s best all-around skier, including winning six of the last seven World Cup races. Shiffrin is now favored for three gold medals in PyeongChang, which would match the record for an Alpine skier at one Winter Game.

Source:  CNN

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