Although snowboarding is a relative newcomer to the Olympics, having just been added as an official slate of events in 1998, the sport has absolutely taken off and become one of the most watched and anticipated events of the winter Olympics. Americans may be particularly excited, since American athletes have walked away with a whopping 31 medals in the six Olympics they have competed in since the sport was added.
In 2022, Americans are expected to continue to dominate, in part due to forming a team which includes some pretty big names in the snowboarding world, including Chloe Kim, Red Gerard and Shaun White. Although Shaun White has become something of a household name, Kim and Gerard are relative newcomers, having only competed professionally for the last four years. That doesn’t mean they are complete novices, however, as they both won gold in PyeongChang as 17-years-olds.
While those may be the biggest names that everyone will be watching, they are far from being the only snowboarders creating buzz in Beijing. Here are some other athletes you will definitely want to keep an eye on during the Olympics.
Maddie Mastro: Although she didn’t bring home a medal in her Olympic debut at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, she did bring home the bronze in the superpipe competition at the 2018 X Games in Aspen as well as winning the 2019 Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, where she made a name for herself be being the first to land a double crippler 900 in a women’s snowboarding competition.
Dusty Henricksen: At the tender age of 17, Henricksen won gold medals in Slopestyle and Knuckle Huck at the 2021 X Games, making him the first U.S. male snowboarder to win the slopestyle competition since Shaun White in 2009. He also took home the gold in slopestyle at 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland. In February 2020 he finished second in slopestyle at the Burton US Open in Vail, where he also became the first person to land a backside quad cork 1800 in a slopestyle competition.
Jamie Anderson: Jamie competed in the first Women’s Slopestyle Event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and took home the gold. In 2018, she did it again, which made her the first female snowboarder to win more than one Olympic gold medal.