Teen olympians you should definitely know


Brooke Sufrin

The U.S. is bringing home the gold, and it is the teenagers to thank. Millennials are killing it at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang and are breaking age records for young athletes like never before. Being recognized for more than just incessant tweeting, the “grown-ups” are getting a run for their money as teens climb their way up the slopes and coming down with gold, and maybe this applies to areas outside of Winter sport competition too.

Red Gerard is officially the youngest American man to win the gold in 90 years, and he has done so in style. The slope-style snowboarder shouted “holy f***!” on live television in the excitement after the results of the competition were posted. His family was ecstatic with cheers– Gerard admitted they had shot-gunned beers on the way to the mountain, a pretty “chill” group of supporters. When asked about the new golden addition around his neck, Gerard told Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist, “My neck’s getting a little tired to be honest.” Regarding his medal, he confessed, “It’s quite a heavy one…” Like any other teenager, except for the Olympic gold medalist separation, Gerard reportedly accidently slept in the morning of his race because “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” had kept him up late the night before. Even Olympians enjoy some Netflix and Chill, it seems.

The young men aren’t the only ones making groundbreaking achievements. Chloe Kim, female snowboarder, is also only 17, and was working very hard on her social media status before she took home the gold. After her first run she tweeted that she regretted not eating a breakfast sandwich, along with other tweets about being “hangry” and that she “Could be down for some ice cream rn”. After posting a picture of her big win on Twitter, she revealed that she tried not to cry as she didn’t want to mess up her eyeliner, a sentiment that is relatable to many teenaged girls.

Kim’s childhood snowboarding friends are along for the ride too, seeking to gain social media followers in the process. Maddie Maestro, also 17, posted pictures on Instagram with her boyfriend, Miguel Porteous, a skier from New Zealand who is also at the Olympics, too. Hailey Langland (@yung_hails) posted a photo with the aforementioned Gerard post-Olympic ceremony and was excited to celebrate with “ma friends!”.

America’s youngest 2018 Winter Olympian is 17-year-old Vincent Zhou. The young and successful figure skater is already experiencing Twitter wars as he fired back to sports reporter, Edward Egros, when Egros claimed that figure skating was, in fact, not a sport. “Your job is to be a sports reporter. Figure skating is not a sport to you. Stick to reporting on “real sports”, do your job, and we’ll do ours,” Zhou wrote.

All of the Instagram posts, tweets, Netflix, and breakfast sandwiches aside, teens are making history at the Olympics. A generation commonly known for laziness and addictions to their iPhones, the young athletes seem to be representing the U.S. in a competitive and victorious light. Does this mantra of teens beating out those of prestige (the “grown-ups”) apply to life outside the Olympic arena as well?

In today’s work industry, social media and technology are an integral part of success, and who knows how to work a computer better than a millennial? University students agree that the work force is heading in a younger direction and they are excited for the new opportunities arising.

“Things are going to start changing,” said Emily Latshaw, freshman in the Lubin School of Business. Latshaw is an Arts and Entertainment Management major, at the center of the business and culture fields, which are incorporated with the millennial touch. She continued, “The younger generation is bringing new ideas, more creativity, and new ways to look at things to business.”

It seems that the younger generation is embracing their “chill” vibes and obtaining success anyway. Gerard proves this as when he slept in the morning of his race, he also forgot his jacket (which is essential for a snowboarder) and had to wear his friend’s which was two sizes too big. He perfected his last run anyway and his family campaigned a slogan for him, “We’re here to get Gerarded.”