Pyeongchang 2018

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Five teenagers tipped to shine in PyeongChang

SAITAMA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 07: Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia competes during the figure skating Japan Open at Saitama Super Arena on October 7, 2017 in Saitama, Japan.  (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

Age is no barrier to Olympic Winter Games glory as these five teenagers hope to prove in the Republic of Korea…

Chloe Kim

The American snowboarder will not celebrate her 17th birthday until two months after her trip to Korea but already she has a trio of Winter X Games titles to a burgeoning personal honours board. She was just 14 – a record – when she won that first gold in 2015 in the superpipe event and is already an Olympic champion in the Youth Games. Fluent in Korean, she is also still at school, studying amid her hectic competition schedule.

Evgenia Medvedeva

The stand-out star of ladies figure skating, the Russian won the first of two world titles in 2016 in her first year in the senior ranks. Originally, she only took up the sport at the behest of her parents – her mother was a figure skater – to improve her figure. The 17-year-old says she likes to skate “with bugs in her head”, alluding to the self-doubts she possesses on the ice despite her extraordinary level of success early in her career.

Choi Min-jeong

The pressure on the 19-year-old’s shoulders will be immense for the Seoul-born speed skater’s home Games. Choi has swept the board in her brief career to date, winning a total of seven world titles in the past two years. A strong start to the latest World Cup season suggests that dominance is not likely to come to an end any time soon.

Daniela Ulbing

The 19-year-old Austrian is the current World Cup champion for parallel slalom, beating overall World Cup champion Ester Ledecka to the title by 240 points last season. The slalom event is not on the current programme, meaning Ulbing will instead turn her attention to the parallel giant slalom, an event in which she has shone at junior level but not quite yet in the senior ranks.

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Shoma Uno

Uno got into ice skating at the age of five inspired by talking to three-time world champion Mao Asada. Now 19, he won silver at the last World Championships for figure skating and is one of the most exciting prospects on ice. The Japanese is the first skater to successfully land a quadruple flip in an international competition and his star quality and technical prowess makes him among the favourites for Olympic gold.


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