Olympics

From San Diego to Tahoe, these Golden State athletes have eyes set on Olympic gold

Meet California's 2018 winter Olympians

More than a dozen California natives will be competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea starting Feb. 9.
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More than a dozen California natives will be competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea starting Feb. 9.

Here’s a look at the athletes from California who will compete for the United States in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which run Feb. 9-25. Click here for a full schedule of events.

Bobsled

Nick Cunningham

Hometown: Monterey

Comment: This will be the 32-year-old’s third Olympic appearance. His highest Olympic finish in both the four-man and two-man events is 12th place.

Social media: On Instagram, BOBSLEDR; Twitter, @BOBSLEDR

Lauren Gibbs

Hometown: Denver

Comment: Gibbs, 33, has quite the athletic résumé. According to a Los Angeles Times story, she starred in soccer, volleyball, long jump and triple jump at an all-girls school in Pasadena before playing volleyball at Brown. This is her first Olympic appearance.

Social media: On Instagram, lagibbs84; Twitter, @lagibbs84

Carlo Valdes

Hometown: Newport Beach

Comment: This will be the first Olympic experience for the 28-year-old UCLA product.

Social media: On Instagram, carlovaldes_usa; Twitter, @CarloValdes_USA

Figure Skating

Karen Chen

Hometown: Fremont

Comment: Chen, 18, has been ice skating since she was 4. This is her first Olympic appearance.

Social media: On Instagram, karebearsk8; Twitter, @Karebearsk8

Chris Knierim

Hometown: San Diego

Comment: The 30-year-old first-time Olympian competes with his wife, Alexa Scimeca Knierim, in pairs. He likes to work on cars in his spare time.

Social media: On Instagram, chris_knierim; Twitter, @ChrisKnierim

Mirai Nagasu

Hometown: Arcadia

Comment: Nagasu just missed a medal in the 2010 Vancouver Games. This is the second Olympic bid for the 24-year-old.

Social media: On Instagram, mirainagasu; Twitter, @mirai_nagasu

Adam Rippon

Hometown: Los Angeles

Comment: This is the first Olympic bid for the 28-year-old, who was an alternate in 2010. He’s the first man to win consecutive World Junior titles (2008-09).

Social media: On Instagram, adaripp; Twitter, @Adaripp

Vincent Zhou

Hometown: Palo Alto

Comment: Zhou, 17, is a first-time Olympian who won a gold medal last year in the International Skating Union World Junior Championships.

Social media: On Instagram, govincentzhou; Twitter, @govincentzhou

Ice Hockey

Cayla Barnes

Hometown: Eastvale

Comment: The 19-year-old is playing in her first Olympics. She’s the first player in the International Ice Hockey Federation’s U18 Women’s World Championships to win three straight gold medals (2015-17).

Social media: On Instagram, cayla_barnes27; Twitter, @Cayla_barnes27

Jonathon Blum

Hometown: Ladera Ranch

Comment: Blum, 28, is the first California native to be selected in the first round of the NHL draft, going 23rd overall in 2007 to the Nashville Predators. The first-time Olympian is now playing in the seven-country Kontinental Hockey League.

Social media: On Twitter, @JonBlum7

Skeleton

Kendall Wesenberg

Hometown: Modesto

Comment: This will be the first Olympic bid for the 27-year-old. She won the first Skeleton World Cup event of her career in 2014 and is the first American woman to win the Europe Cup overall season rankings.

Social media: On Instagram, kendallorraine

Skiing

Bryce Bennett

Hometown: Tahoe City

Comment: This will be the first Olympic experience for the 25-year-old, realizing a dream he’s had since he was 8 years old.

Social media: On Instagram, brycebennett

Maddie Bowman

Hometown: South Lake Tahoe

Comment: The 24-year-old won a gold medal in halfpipe four years ago in Sochi. This will be the second Olympics for Bowman, who won gold in superpipe in four consecutive Aspen X Games (2013-16).

Social media: On Instagram, maddie_bowman; Twitter, @maddiebowman

Stacey Cook

Hometown: Mammoth Lakes

Comment: This is the fourth Olympics for the 33-year-old Truckee native, who has been racing since 1990. She loves everything outdoors when she’s not skiing.

Social media: On Instagram, staceycookusa; Twitter, @staceycookusa

Mark Engel

Hometown: Truckee

Comment: The 26-year-old, who was born in Folsom and is making his first Olympic appearance, has recorded a music album released by Sweet Salt Records. He plays guitar, violin and banjo.

Social media: On Instagram, markskis

Brita Sigourney

Hometown: Carmel

Comment: The 28-year-old UC Davis alumna finished sixth in the halfpipe at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

Social media: On Instragram, britasig; Twitter, @britasig

Snowboarding

Jamie Anderson

Hometown: South Lake Tahoe

Comment: Anderson, 27, won a gold medal in slopestyle four years ago in Sochi. In 2006, she became the youngest Winter X Games medalist, winning a bronze in slopestyle at age 15.

Social media: On Instagram, jamieanderson; Twitter, @JamieAsnow

Kelly Clark

Hometown: Mammoth Lakes

Comment: The 34-year-old Folsom resident will be the first U.S. snowboarder to compete at five Olympics. No other rider, male or female, has more than three appearances. She’s a three-time Olympic medalist in the halfpipe, scoring gold in 2002 in Salt Lake City and bronze in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.

Social media: On Instagram, thekellyclark; Twitter, @thekellyclark

Lindsey Jacobellis

Hometown: Roxbury, Conn.

Comment: The 32-year-old, who now makes her home in Encinitas, is going to the Olympics for the fourth time. She won a silver medal in snowboardcross at the Turin Games in 2006. She’s also an animal lover who likes to surf when she’s not competing.

Social media: On Instagram, lindseyjacobellis; Twitter, @LindsJacobellis

Hailey Langland

Hometown: San Clemente

Comment: The first-time Olympian is 17 years old and grew up snowboarding on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. She took first place in big air at the 2017 X Games Norway.

Social media: On Instagram, haileylangland; Twitter, @yung_hails

Chloe Kim

Hometown: Torrance

Comment: The 17-year-old is heading into her first Olympic games. She has three gold medals in X Games halfpipe competitions.

Social media: On Instagram, chloekimsnow; Twitter, @chloekimsnow

Maddie Mastro

Hometown: Wrightwood

Comment: When the 17-year-old first-time Olympian isn’t on the halfpipe, her numerous hobbies include soccer, surfing and photography.

Social media: On Instagram, maddie_mastro; Twitter, @maddie_mastro

Shaun White

Hometown: Carlsbad

Comment: The most famous of this year’s California Olympians is competing in his fourth Games. White, 31, has two gold medals in halfpipe (2006, 2010) and is a star in the X Games as a skateboarder and snowboarder.

Social media: On Instagram, shaunwhite; Twitter, @shaunwhite

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