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Asian-Americans Break Records in 2018 Winter Olympics

Alex+and+Maia+Shibutani+celebrate+their+bronze+medal+at+the+2018+Olympics++%28ABCNews.com%29
Alex and Maia Shibutani celebrate their bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics  (ABCNews.com)

Alex and Maia Shibutani celebrate their bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics (ABCNews.com)

Alex and Maia Shibutani celebrate their bronze medal at the 2018 Olympics (ABCNews.com)

Sarah Xiao, Staff Writer

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At this year’s Winter Olympics, Asian-Americans are breaking world records and making a powerful statement–they are here to make Team U.S.A. proud.

The U.S. Olympic Team this year consists of 11 Asian-Americans, including the Shibutani siblings Alex & Maia (pictured above), Mirai Nagasu, and Nathan Chen. This year, half of the team’s figure skaters are Asian-American (a record-breaking 7 out of 14).

According to the U.S. Olympic Committee, the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team is the most diverse U.S. winter team on record.

Personally, it is always inspiring to see Asian-American representation on the screen, especially when there has been very little in American media. But this kind of representation becomes even more incredible when it takes place in an event as significant as the Olympics, when these Asian-Americans are facing (literally) the entire world as representatives of U.S.A.

Throughout the past two weeks, so many of these talented Asian-American young athletes have been making history and turning into legends.

 

AP
Mirai Nagasu, figure skater (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Name: Mirai Nagasu

Age: 24

Sport: Figure Skating

Ethnicity: Japanese

Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman (and the third woman ever) to land a triple axel at the Olympics during the 2018 Figure Skating Team Event. Her astounding performance, along with those of Adam Rippon, Alex & Maia Shibutani, Bradie Tennell, Nathan Chen, and Alexa & Chris Knierim helped U.S. win bronze overall.

 

Chloe Kim, snowboarder (People Magazine)

Name: Chloe Kim

Age: 17

Sport: Snowboarding

Ethnicity: South-Korean

This past January–before the Winter Olympics even started–Chloe Kim has proven herself to be a snowboarding star when she not only became the first athlete ever to win four X Games gold medals before the age of 18, but also the first woman to land back-to back 1080s.

But she didn’t stop there; she continued to break records when she traveled to Pyeongchang, South Korea, where she competed against some people who were twice her age. There, Chloe became the youngest female snowboarder to win Olympic gold when she dominated the Women’s Halfpipe with a near-perfect score of 98.25 out of 100.

While the teenage snowboarder has captured the hearts of countless fans all over the world, her dad also got to share the spotlight when a picture of him holding a handmade sign “Go Chloe!” went viral the day she won her gold medal. On NBC’s Today Show, Jong Jin Kim proudly told Hoda Kotb that Chloe was his American Dream.

 

Vincent Zhou, figure skating (NBC.com)

Name: Vincent Zhou

Age: 17

Sport: Figure Skating

Ethnicity: Chinese

Vincent Zhou, born on October 25, 2000, is the youngest member of Team U.S.A. and the first person to ever land a quadruple lutz in the Olympics during his short program. While this is his first Olympic game, he has competed numerous times in the past, including the 2017 U.S. Championships, where he won silver, and the World Junior Championships, where he won gold.

 

Koki Nagahama
Nathan Chen, figure skating (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Name: Nathan Chen

Age: 18

Sport: Figure Skating

Ethnicity: Chinese

Nathan Chen made himself known to the skating world when he became the youngest U.S. man to win a medal at the ISU Grand Prix Final back in 2016, when he was only 17.

Just a year later, he was nicknamed the “Quad King” after he became the first skater to land five quadruple jumps during the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Amazingly, he has continued to hold on to this title after he made Olympic history this year with his 6 quad jumps in the figure skating long program.

 

Alex and Maia Shibutani, ice dancing (Popsugar.com)

Names: Alex and Maia Shibutani

Ages: 26 and 23

Sport: Figure Skating – Dancing

Ethnicity: Japanese

Alex and Maia Shibutani (aka the ShibSibs) are particular fan favorites (and mine) in the Winter Olympics. Separated by just 3 years in age, the two ice dancers have showed their strong sibling bond both on and off the ice. They competed together back in Sochi in the 2014 Olympics, and are two-time U.S. National Champions.

This year, the duo became the first Asian-American ice dancing medalists, taking home 2 bronze medals–1 in the team event, and the other in the dancing competition.

 

 

When interviewed, many of these Asian-American competitors credit their success to their parents, who immigrated to America decades ago to live out the American dream. Fortunately for these Olympic competitors, their parents lived the American dream through their children’s success, and they did whatever it took to make that happen.

Both Vincent Zhou and Nathan Chen say that their entire lives, they have learned not to take anything for granted and to work to their full potentials thanks to their parents, who went through many hardships when they first came to the States. Chloe Kim’s father quit his engineering job when his daughter was 8 so he could fully support her passion in snowboarding; when Chloe was in middle school, her father would drive her 6 hours to the mountains outside of L.A. to train.

Team U.S.A. is truly a powerful force to be reckoned with, as its athletes are setting records that will be going down in Olympic history. This year’s Olympic Team has never better represented what America is all about.

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Asian-Americans Break Records in 2018 Winter Olympics