Sochi 2014 News Four Days Out: It’s ...

Four Days Out: It’s All In The Name

By Amy Rosewater | Feb. 02, 2014, 2:30 p.m. (ET)

Several athletes will be hoping to make their names household ones during these Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. There are some, however, who have more memorable names that others. There are four names (one last name in particular) that might catch your attention before they even compete.

  • Lindsey Van: Not to be confused with alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, Lindsey Van is also a skier but a ski jumper. Van is one of three American women (the others are Sarah Hendrickson and Jessica Jerome) who will be among the first women to compete in ski jumping in the Olympic Winter Games. Van won a gold medal in the inaugural women's ski jumping event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in 2009.

  • The Golden Trio: There are three Team USA athletes with the last name “Gold.” Two of them are snowboarders, siblings Arielle and Taylor Gold. The other is figure skater Gracie Gold. No athlete with the last name Gold has ever won an Olympic gold medal — or competed at the Games — but there is no better time than the present.

  • Kikkan Randall: Known also as “Kikkanimal,” was named Kikkan because of Christina “Kiki” Cutter, the first American skier to win a world cup slalom race back in 1968. Nearly 40 years after Cutter’s historic run on the slopes, Randall became the first American woman to win a world cup cross-country race. Along with Jessie Diggins, Randall won the team sprint world championship title in 2013.

  • Summer Britcher: With a name like Summer, she has to be a winter sport athlete. And that’s exactly what Summer Britcher is, a luge athlete. She got her start in the sport at Ski Liberty in Pennsylvania during a promotional event called the Luge Challenge when she was just 14. Now 19, Summer is off to the Winter Games. 

Amy Rosewater is a freelance writer and editor for A former sports reporter for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, she has covered two Olympic Games and two Olympic Winter Games. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today.

Related Athletes

head shot

Summer Britcher

head shot

Gracie Gold

Figure Skating
head shot

Kikkan Randall

Cross-Country Skiing
head shot

Lindsey Van