The year that held the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 was inevitably a crazy year — one that held so much it’s almost hard to remember it all.
It was the year that saw a lot of gold-medal firsts: the U.S. women won the first Olympic ice hockey gold medal in 20 years and Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins won U.S. women’s cross-country skiing’s first Olympic medal (and it was gold). And in addition to happy news like Team USA athletes getting married and getting pregnant, it was also a year of loss.
To help refresh your memory, check out the 18 most-read TeamUSA.org stories of the year.
In case readers ever wondered if twins did everything together, they got their answer when they read this story. Monique Lamoureux-Morando and her twin sister Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson play ice hockey together for the U.S. women’s team, they won gold together at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 (plus two previous Olympic silvers), and at a gender reveal party for a pregnant Monique, the twins revealed they were also pregnant together. “Younger” sister Jocelyne announced she was also expecting, and due only seven weeks behind her big sister.
With the news that softball was going to be rejoin to the Olympic program — 12 years after it was last played at the Olympic level — came the eventual news that Team USA athletes were coming out of retirement in the hopes of once again playing ball at the highest level. And two-time Olympic medalist softball player Osterman is the latest legend to announce her return in hopes of earning a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team. She joined Olympians Monica Abbott and Kelly Kretschman, who have already been playing internationally this year.
American ice dancing duo Hubbell and Donohue followed in some very impressive skates when they became the second-ever U.S. ice dance team to be victorious at the Grand Prix Final in early December. The first team to get that honor was 2014 Olympic champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won five straight from 2009-2013. While it was the fourth appearance at the Final for Hubbell and Donohue, this gold was the first medal for them.
The first gold medal for a country at any Olympic Games is always big news, but it’s even more exciting when the win goes to the youngest U.S. snowboarder ever to medal. Team USA’s 17-year-old Gerard won in a suspenseful fashion fitting of an Olympics. The snowboarder from Silverthorne, Colorado, jumped from eighth place after his second run to first in his third and final run to win the gold medal in men’s slopestyle snowboarding.
Everyone knows athletes are talented, but many did not know that USA Field Hockey member Cartelli could not only sing, but sing well. The 15-year-old auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice” and went on to become the show’s youngest winner ever. Her original song, “Walk My Way,” hit No. 1 on iTunes after the finale aired.
The swimmer that fans saw winning five medals at the Olympic Games London 2012, with a smile almost as big as her medal count, surprised readers when she opened up about her struggle with depression and anxiety. In the article Franklin revealed, “you can be the happiest person in the world and still be going through one of the hardest struggles.” Five months after the article came out, the 23-year-old announced her retirement from the sport, citing chronic pain.
For gymnast Biles to make headlines is nothing new. But for her to make them after taking an almost two-year hiatus from competing is. At only her second event since competing at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the 21-year-old won the all-around title, making it her fifth national all-around win (she claimed every title from 2013-2016). It also made her the oldest women’s all-around champion in 47 years.
Two years is a long time to wait for an Olympic Games. So it’s no wonder the story about the announcement of the 242-member 2018 U.S. Olympic Team headed to South Korea was so widely read. The team headed to PyeongChang consisted of 107 women and 135 men — the largest athlete delegation for any nation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. It also marked the most diverse winter Olympic team ever for Team USA.
Everyone wonders what it’s like to be an Olympic champion, but only few can tell the tale. Ten years after winning all-around gold at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, a 28-year-old Liukin shared her trials and tribulations with getting to Beijing, as well as what life has been like afterwards and the struggle to figure out what comes after Olympic glory.
Because winning the first women’s ice hockey Olympic gold medal in 20 years wasn’t exciting enough, Coyne had to go and secure having the best year ever by marrying her best friend, Super Bowl champ Michael Schofield, a couple months later. The couple — who met in high school — tied the knot in Chicago, not far from where they got engaged.
What captain Meghan Duggan called “one of the greatest days of all of our lives” was also the cause for one of the most read stories of 2018. The U.S. women’s ice hockey team captured gold for the first time in 20 years and we recounted every goal, from the first one buried by forward Hilary Knight to the Lamoureux twins who scored the game-tying goal and the game-winning shootout goal.
Five years after winning a cross-country skiing world championship gold medal in the team sprint — a first for the U.S.! — Randall and Diggins secured another first when they earned gold in PyeongChang in a down-to-the-wire race. Their excitement was matched by the readers who couldn’t wait to read about how the duo made that historic win.
Ten years after competing at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008, the members of the U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team got together to honor their accomplishments from a decade prior. From Shawn Johnson to Nastia Liukin, we talked to the team about what it was like competing in China and what they are up to now.
From skateboarding to surfing, we took a look at all five of the new sports being added to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, as well as the many sports adding exciting new events. The Games get underway on July 24, 2020 where more than 11,000 athletes will be competing for bragging rights and medal honors.
If anyone has a chance of making their sixth Olympic Games after coming off two surgeries, and no partner in a team sport just two years before the Games, it’s four-time Olympic gold medalist beach volleyball player Walsh Jennings. The 40-year-old, who is the most decorated beach volleyball player in Olympic history, announced her plans to make the team headed for Tokyo in 2020, but saying that she will retire from Olympic play after that.
When 20-year-old Lyles set the record to become the youngest 100-meter national champion in a long time, it was a record older than him. The Alexandria, Virginia, native broke a record that had lasted 34 years. At the USATF Outdoor Championships, the sprinter athlete came from behind to claim the 100-meter title in a blinding 9.88 seconds. The time was not only his own personal best but he also set a Drake Stadium record and ran, at the time, the fastest time in the world this year.
Sadly, at the age of 14, and two years into her swimming career, U.S. Paralympics Swimming shared the news that Bunke had passed away from cancer. The Paralympic hopeful had been courageously battling osteosarcoma, an aggressive type of bone cancer when she succumbed to the disease just days before her 15th birthday. Her teammates were known to write her name on their hand to honor the battle she was fighting.
Love conquers all – and our list of most read stories of 2018. When U.S. women’s ice hockey captain Duggan married longtime Canadian rival and fellow hockey player Gillian Apps readers wanted to know more. From who was in attendance to where they said their I do’s, we covered all the details on the couple who hold an impressive six Olympic medals between them.