Members of the U.S. women's hockey and men's bobsled team pose in the photobooth at the 2013 Team USA Media Summit in Park City, Utah.
And The Awards Go To...
Olympic gold medalist. World champion. Runner-up. In the world of sports, there are lots of titles. So we figured, what’s one more? Here is a list of labels we bestowed upon some of the winter athletes in attendance for the 2013 Team USA Media Summit.
Most Likely to Benefit from an Injury
Figure skater Evan Lysacek: “My recovery has all the makings of any gripping reality show, not to make light of a serious situation, but there are constant developments, new characters entering into the mix. It’s been quite eventful.”
Husband with the Most Pressure
Skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace: “My husband designs my sleds. In 2009, my sled was damaged in shipping and I had to borrow a sled from another competitor. Because every sled is custom made for every athlete, my husband said, ‘You know what, I’m going to design your sled.’ Thankfully he believes in me more than I probably do. And it helps he has a degree in 3-D modeling and steel modification.”
Snowboarder Elena Hight, who spoke about how she has been able to beat Kelly Clark in the past. “Take her out at the knees.”
Diet Most Likely to Make You Jealous
Bobsledder Lolo Jones who needed to bulk up for her new sport and now consumes 9,000 calories a day. Her diet includes multiple daily protein shakes and McDonald’s double bacon cheeseburgers. “I’m the heaviest ever in my life. Last week I was filming a commercial and my uniform split down the middle. That has never happened to me before.”
Bobsledder Aja Evans: “I’m such a proud auntie. Talking to my niece on Skype puts a smile on my face. She is such a fireball — dancing and singing. And she is my biggest littlest fan. She probably knows more about bobsledding than I do.”
Most Likely to Write an Acceptance Speech if She Medals
Alpine skier Laurenne Ross who gave a shout out to her family, “I love you mom and dad!”
Bobsledder Steven Holcomb: “I’ve got my gold medal so it takes the pressure off. At the same time it does build confidence since I have four more years of experience.”
Most Likely to Get a Lot of Air Time in Sochi
Freeskier Gus Kenworthy who is one of few athletes competing in both slopestyle and halfpipe. “It’s a risk. By focusing on both you can spread yourself too thin. It’s a strain on your body and you have twice as many chances to get injured. It can get a little overwhelming.”
Most Likely to Get Mistaken for Someone Else
Ice hockey players (and twins) Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux who were introduced as “yes, you are in fact seeing double.”
Ice hockey player David Backes: “Being able to play in the Olympics in 2010 was probably the highlight of my career. Wearing that red, white and blue sweater and being able to represent my country, which I love more than the sport I play.”
Least Likely to Listen to an iPod
Freestyle skier Ashley Caldwell: “Aerialists do not listen to music because when we are in the air our coaches actually tell us how fast we’re flipping, or certain things to think about to help with our landings. I’d rather be listening to that than Taylor Swift — although I love Taylor Swift.”
Most Random Hobby
Skeleton racer John Daly: “I love to draw. I got into it by doodling in class when I should have been doing the work.”
Paralympic ice hockey player Steve Cash who recalls a high school hockey game he was participating in. “I moved from my right to my left to make a save and the shot came to my right leg. At that point I kicked my leg out and my leg pad and my prosthetic decided to go one way and I went the other. So here I am on the left side of the net and my right leg is on the other side of the crease. Everyone was in awe.”
Biggest Tongue Twister
Figure skater Ashley Wagner having to say “triple, triple” more than a half a dozen times during her press conference.
Most Interesting Parents
Figure skater Caydee Denney: “My parents were competitive rollerskaters at an elite level. My dad when I was like two, three, four years old would be putting me in lifts and throwing me around in the pool. So I think that instinct and the love for it came at a very young age for me.”
Alpine skier Bode Miller: “I’m trying something new. Now I’m motivated entirely by money and medals. Just mixing it up.”
Figure skating pairs Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir who have been together since 2006. “We’ve been together longer than any other (pairs) team in the U.S. You really don’t get to learn about your partner until several years in. And knowing that he or she is going to be there for you when you put your hand out. I don’t necessarily have to look for Marissa — I know that she’s going to be there.”
Most Likely to Change the World
Freestyle skier Emily Cook who earlier this year traveled to Tanzania with Right to Play. “Being an Olympian is a great opportunity to tell our story. For me being a freestyle skier is not just about doing jumps. That’s not what makes a difference in the world.”
Adaptive skier Cam Shaw-Doran and alpine skier Bode Miller: “My mom delivered him,” Miller said. “She’s a midwife. We grew up together. I used to beat him up.”
Least Likely to Make the Jump to Brother/Sister Bobsled
Ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani who were slow getting into a prop bobsled. “Someone call the fire department,” said Alex as he attempted to get out.
Least Likely to Make a Great Rock Star
Ski jumper Jessica Jerome: “I’m home on a Saturday night with cats.”
Most Well Thought-Out Answer
Ice hockey player Julie Chu who was one of many athletes asked about Russia’s LGBT law. “For us we believe strongly in equality and we support the LGBT community, and we know that the IOC and the USOC have worked really hard that come the Olympics that all people are welcome.”