A look at 7 seasoned Team USA winter athletes who excelled in Beijing

Shaun White reacts after the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Final at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 11, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.

1. Shaun White, 35

Sport: Snowboard
Olympic Games: Five
Results in Beijing: Fourth in half moon

Team USA had four athletes competing in Beijing in their fifth Winter Olympics, and White was the youngest of the group at 35. In halfpipe, however, he was the oldest snowboarder competing. But that didn’t stop him from throwing enough impressive races to earn him a place in the final. In fact, for the past five Games, there has not been a halfpipe final at the Olympic Winter Games without this veteran snowboarder. His fourth place finish in Beijing capped a remarkable career, which began at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympics when the 19-year-old won his first gold medal. He has the most Olympic gold medals won by a snowboarder and has never finished below fourth place.

2. Kaillie Humphries, 36

Sport: Bobsled
Olympic Games: Four (The first three she competed for Team Canada)
Results in Beijing: Gold in monobob and 7th in 2-woman bobsleigh

The Canadian-born bobsledder competed in the Beijing Games as a new American citizen and came away as the new – and only – Olympic monobob champion. After competing for Team Canada at the last three Winter Olympics – where she won two gold and one bronze – Humphries obtained her US citizenship at the end of 2021. Her gold medal in monobob for Team USA made her the first woman to win the Winter Olympics. medals for two different nations. She also competed in Beijing in the two-man bobsleigh, where she finished seventh. Humphries plans to end her 20-year Olympic career at the Olympic Winter Games Milano Cortina 2026.

Lindsey Jacobellis reacts after winning the gold medal in the Women’s Snowboard Cross Grand Final at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 9, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.

3. Lindsey Jacobellis, 36

Sport: Snowboard
Olympic Games: Five
Results in Beijing: Gold medal in women’s snowboard cross and gold medal in mixed team

Women’s snowboard cross saw Jacobellis win the first gold medal of the Games for Team USA and her substantial career. The 36-year-old is on track to take the top spot on the podium since the Torino Games. In 2006 – before the final – she took a first celebratory plank hold, which led to a stumble and the silver medal. Team USA’s oldest female Winter Olympic gold medalist won her second gold with the oldest American Olympian competing in Beijing, Nick Baumgartner. The two took first place on the podium in the Olympic debut of the snowboard cross team event.

4. Katie Uhlander, 37

Sport: Skeleton
Olympic Games: Five
Results in Beijing: Sixth in the women’s skeleton

The oldest woman to compete on behalf of Team USA was the Breckenridge, Colorado native, who finished seventh in Beijing, scoring her third Olympic top 10 finish. Her closest chance to step onto the podium was at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, when she was in fourth place. At the Turin Winter Games in 2006, her first Olympics, she set the sixth fastest time. Having planned to retire after Beijing and earn a college degree, Uhlaender pushed hard for a medal that has eluded him all these years. But she leaves the sport with the title of the only American woman to have competed in five Olympic Games in a sliding sport and the oldest American skeleton athlete to have competed in the Games.

(L-R) Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman during the flower ceremony after the women’s 2-man bobsleigh final at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 19, 2022 in Yanqing, China.

5. Elana Meyers Taylor, 37

Sport: Bobsled
Olympic Games: Four
Results in Beijing: Silver in the monobob and bronze in the 2-woman bobsleigh

The most decorated black athlete at the Winter Games was crowned in Beijing after Meyers Taylor won gold and bronze in women’s bobsleigh, earning her a combined career of five Olympic medals (three silver and two of bronze). After finishing second in the Olympic monobob debut, she became the most decorated Olympic bobsledder in United States history. A few days later, the oldest driver in the competition secured another podium by winning bronze in the two-man event. Before leaving Beijing, the trailblazer – who set new track records in both of her events – received one final honour: she was chosen as the closing ceremony flag bearer for Team USA, the first athlete to bobsleigh selected since Brian Shimer in 2002.

6. John Shuster, 39

Sport: Curling
Olympic Games: Five
Results in Beijing: Fourth in men’s curling

Among the athletes making their fifth appearance at the Games, the oldest of the four began his experience in Beijing as the American flag bearer for the Opening Ceremonies — the first curling athlete to carry the flag. Seeking to defend the men’s gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, a tough semi-final defeat left the team just short of the podium. The United States has won two medals in curling, and the American captain was part of both teams, including a bronze in Turin in 2006. He plans to try again in 2026 for his sixth consecutive Winter Olympics, a feat only Norwegian Torger Nergård succeeded.

Nick Baumgartner celebrates winning gold after winning the men’s snowboard cross mixed team event at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on February 12, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.

7. Nick Baumgartner, 40

Sport: Snowboard
Olympic Games: Four
Results in Beijing: Gold Medal in Mixed Team and 10th in Men’s Snowboard Cross

After four Winter Games – and at 40 – the oldest American Olympian competing in Beijing has earned his time on the podium. By winning the mixed snowboard cross team event with Jacobellis as his teammate, the two most experienced people on the US Snowboard Team earned their first gold medals together. Winning the Olympic debut of the event also made Baumgartner the oldest snowboarder to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. His first event in Beijing was men’s snowboard cross, where he was eliminated in the quarter-finals to finish 10th overall. He has competed in this event for the past five Games, narrowly missing out on a medal in PyeongChang with a fourth place finish.

Naomi C. Amerson