As the 2022 Winter Olympics kick off in Beijing on Feb. 4, you'll see more athletes from California than any other U.S. state. Of the 223 Olympians dressed in Team USA's red, white, and blue, 29 call the Golden State home, according to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.
California's Olympic athletes include legendary gold medalists Jamie Anderson (from South Lake Tahoe), Shaun White (from Carlsbad), and Chloe Kim (from Long Beach), as well as first-timers whose names you might not know yet.
Read on to learn about these amazing athletes, and check this schedule to find out when they'll compete in Beijing. And if you want to get even more in the Team USA spirit, read about these places in California where you can train like an Olympian.
Dusty Henricksen may be an Olympic rookie, but he's an eighth-generation Californian. The 19-year-old was born in San Bernardino and learned to snowboard at Big Bear Mountain Resort, where his dad coached. He recently becamethe first American to win the X Games’ men's slopestyle event since Shaun White crushed it in 2009.
Henricksen is on Mammoth Mountain's Ski and Snowboard Team along with three other Californians headed to Beijing: 2018 gold medalist Chloe Kim and halfpipe teammates Tessa Maud from Carlsbad and Maddie Mastro from Wrightwood. Mastro got hooked on snowboarding at her hometown mountain, Mountain High Resort.
Robby Burns is also making his first trip to the Olympics. The 31-year-old snowboarder grew up in Mount Shasta and trains at Mt. Shasta Ski Park. During the summer, he works as a U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighter for the Shasta Lake Hotshots.
Five California figure skaters will compete on Team USA, including 16-year-old Alysa Liu, who was born in Clovis and now lives in Richmond. At age 13, Liu became the youngest-ever women's singles champion at the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championship. She is also the first woman to land a triple axel and quadruple jump (four revolutions) in the same program.
Liu is joined by Bay Area native Karen Chen, who placed 11th in women's singles in the 2018 Olympics. Like her mentor, Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, Chen grew up in Fremont and trained at the San Jose Sharks’ practice facility, now called Solar4America Ice. The 22-year-old skater has published a memoir, Finding the Edge: My Life on the Ice.
Palo Alto figure skater Vincent Zhou, 21, will compete in men's singles at his second Olympics. Zhou began skating at age 5 and landed his first triple axel at 14. In 2018, he made Olympic history by becoming the first skater to land a quadruple Lutz jump.
Lake Tahoe is sending some of its best ski racers to Beijing. Tahoe City–based Travis Ganong, 33, and Bryce Bennett, 29, are making their second Olympic appearances. The pair train at Palisades Tahoe along with two-time U.S. women's alpine champion AJ (Amelia Josephine) Hurt, 21, from Carnelian Bay. Hurt's father was a ski patroller at Palisades Tahoe, while teammate Maureen "Mo" Lebel's mother taught skiing at Northstar California. Both women are first-time Olympians.
Carlsbad resident Kaillie Humphries joins Team USA after competing in three previous Olympics under the Canadian flag (she won two golds and a bronze). The 36-year-old became an American citizen in December 2021 and will compete in women's monobob and two-woman bobsled racing.