Lydia Belanger • Entrepreneur Staff
Throughout the past few weeks, more and more athletes have earned their spots on Team USA for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
They’ve had to overcome serious injuries, past disappointments and even discrimination to qualify for the games. Some are rookies, while others will participate for their second or even their fourth time. Some had to sit out Sochi four years ago, while others set records there and aim to top their past performance.
1. Be patient and persevere
Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn sat out the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with a knee injury, and she ended three of her past five seasons prematurely due to crashes. She’s even crashed a few times so far this season and suffered a back injury.
Now in 2018, the 33-year-old, who is the most successful female skier in history, is headed to PyeongChang after an eight-year Olympic hiatus. Earlier this month, Vonn secured her 79th World Cup victory and qualified to compete in her fourth Olympic Games.
2. Defy Stereotypes
Twenty-year-old Jordan Greenway will be the first African-American to represent Team USA in hockey at the PyeongChang Olympics.
“Go out and do something different against the typical stereotypes that most African-Americans play basketball,” Greenway added, “or whatever the case is.”
3. Don’t rule out a pivot
Figure skater Mirai Nagasu competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, but the selection committee passed over her in 2014 despite the fact that she placed third in the national championships (they picked fourth-place winner Ashley Wagner instead). On Jan. 5, she secured a spot on Team USA for this year’s Olympics. This achievement followed another major milestone earlier this season when Nagasu became the first American female figure skater since Tonya Harding in 1991 to land a triple axel jump in an international competition.
4. Get ‘addicted to fear.’
Despite the fact that her sport requires her to fly through the air, 24-year-old freestyle skier Maddie Bowman says she stays calm and channels any fear she feels into empowerment.