5 athletes to watch at the 2022 Beijing Olympics

Arjun Ram
Story by Arjun Ram and CBC Kids News • 2022-01-14 06:00

Whether on a snowboard, skis or skates, these Olympians are expected to shine


Once again, the world is welcoming back the Olympics — this time with a winter spin.

About 3,000 athletes will be gathering in Beijing, China, starting Feb. 4.

A map showing Beijing, China

While China has hosted the Summer Games, it’s the first time the country will host the Winter Games.

Out of an abundant group of the top athletes in the world, who can we expect will put on a good show and potentially get to the podium?

Our top picks

This list is not scientific in any way.

It was compiled based on which sports seem to be popular right now and which athletes have a good track record when it comes to winning.

Here are our five picks, starting with a Canadian.

Name: Mikaël Kingsbury
Country: Canada
Sport: Freestyle skiing
Age: 29

An smiling athlete in winter holds up a Canadian flag

Mikaël Kingsbury celebrates after winning gold in men’s moguls in 2018 at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (Image credit: Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

As a kid in Quebec, Mikaël Kingsbury’s confidence was unmatched.

He drew a picture of the Olympic rings and hung a sign in his room that read, “I will win,” and he did just that.

The freestyle skier has already won two Olympic medals, including gold at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in 2018.

His dominance has extended to the World Championships, where he’s won six gold medals.

In 2022, Kingsbury will be looking to add to an already impressive career.

Name: Chloe Kim
Country: United States
Sport: Snowboarding
Age: 21

An athlete holds an American flag.

There are high hopes for American Chloe Kim in Beijing. She won gold at the Winter Olympics in 2018 when she was only 17. (Image credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Team USA)

Chloe Kim is the American breakout superstar who generated huge cheers from the crowd in 2018 after winning a gold in snowboarding at the age of 17. It was her Olympic debut. 

With her win came immense attention. She’s appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was even named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2018.

Now Kim will be looking to cruise her way to more Winter Olympic success in Beijing.

Name: Yuzuru Hanyu
Country: Japan
Sport: Figure skating
Age: 27

Yuzuru Hanyu holds a gold medal in his hand.

Men’s singles skater Yuzuru Hanyu won gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. (Image credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Yuzuru Hanyu has dazzled audiences with his figure skating performances for nearly a decade.

Nicknamed Japan’s “Ice Prince,” Hanyu has a massive fan following and is known for being showered with thousands of stuffed toys after his performances.

Hanyu has always remained poised, dominating his performances and earning two Olympic and World Championship gold medals.

In Beijing, Hanyu’s audacious mindset will be on full display, as he will attempt to perform the quadruple axel — a trick that no one has ever landed in competition.

Name: Eileen Gu
Country: China
Sport: Freestyle skiing
Age: 18

Eileen Gu stands holding a pair of skis

Eileen Gu was born in the United States to an American father and a Chinese mother. She represents China at the Olympics. (Image credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

At just 18 years of age, freestyle skier Eileen Gu is expected to be the face of the Beijing Games for China.

The two-time Youth Olympic Games gold medallist has already made a name for herself, being the first woman to execute the double cork 1440 in November 2021.

Expect Gu to be a significant threat in all three events that she’ll compete in (women’s halfpipe, slopestyle and big air).

Name: Kamila Valieva
Country: Russia
Sport: Figure skating
Age: 15

Kamila Vlieva poses on the ice duing a skating routine.

Kamila Valieva performs in the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Sochi, Russia, in November 2021. (Image credit: Alexander Zemlianichenko/The Associated Press)

Kamila Valieva is just the latest of many young Olympians to burst onto the scene.

At 15, Valieva has already taken the world by storm in her first year of senior eligibility.

After winning the Russian Nationals convincingly last month, Valieva established herself as a prominent competitor in the figure skating world.

Russia could sweep the women’s singles event, meaning Russian athletes could win gold, silver and bronze.

Of course, you never know which athletes will rise to the top. Once the Olympics get going on Feb. 4, anything could happen!

Which athletes will you be watching for? Ask for permission from your parent or guardian and email us at cbckidsnews@cbc.ca.

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About the Contributor

Arjun Ram
Arjun Ram
CBC Kids News Contributor
Arjun Ram is a Grade 10 French immersion student from Hamilton, Ont., with many diverse interests such as sports, music and math. Arjun has developed an interest in reporting on social and political issues as well as important developments in the area of professional sports. He hopes to one day work as a news anchor for CBC.

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