Once every four years, countries gather together in February to compete in the pinnacle of sports, the Winter Olympics. For the viewers at home, that means it's time to pretend to care about sports such as skeleton, luge, biathlon, and the fast-paced game of curling! While we may rag on the sports themselves, we have nothing but respect for these athletes. They have spent their entire lives rising through the ranks of their sport in order to represent their homeland in a competition against the rest of the world!
Since a lot of the winter events do not get regular coverage, it's difficult to gauge the competition within each event, since you barely know any of the athletes vying for a medal. This is especially true for female athletes, since they are less popular among viewers.
That's where we come in! Today, we will strap-on our skates, and profile some of these female Olympians headed to Pyeongchang, with a twist. While all these ladies are great competitors, they are also known for being absolutely beautiful! Get ready, because these are 20 pictures of female athletes heading to the 2018 Olympics that you have to see!
20 Ina Meschik
The Austrian alpine snowboarder is no stranger to the big stage. Meschik represented her country in both the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, yet came up short of the medal podium both times. In Vancouver, at only 19-years-old, she placed sixth in the women's giant slalom, and improved to fourth-place four years later in Sochi. Now a seasoned veteran, Meschik remains a staple in the top ten of the snowboard slalom in international competition.
Be sure to look out for this beautiful rider carving down the mountains in South Korea come February. In the meantime, if you are can't wait to get more of Mischek, and want to get out of the starting blocks early, show her your support and follow her on the 'Gram.
19 Anna Gasser
What is in the water in Austria? These snowboarders are gorgeous! Unlike her countrywoman, Ina Meschik, Anna Gasser competes in the big air and slopestyle events. You know, the competition where they hit a tail-grab double McTwist, land goofie, and then tail-slide on to an arched rail, then flip-off of it. Gasser keeps improving since she began competing professionally in 2010, and even took home slopestyle X Games Gold in Norway in 2017.
The Austrian beauty also dominates the big air competition. In November of 2016, during a test run at the Olympic center in Pyeongchang, Gasser took home first place, barreling through the air with a 360 double back flip, landing smoothly after the lip. If she continue's her dominance, we may see Austria on the podium for all the snowboarding events!
18 Jessie Diggins
Take a good look at Jessie Diggins, because I think you are going to be seeing her with a gold medal around her neck pretty soon. The 26-year-old Minnesota native will look to lead the USA to a first-place finish in cross-country skiing, a sport normally dominated by the Nordic countries. If you know anything about the sport, you may think we are embellishing Diggins chances, but she did win the team sprint Gold, alongside her teammate, Kikkan Randall, in the 2013 World Championships.
Diggins has experience on the world stage, as she competed in the 15km event in Sochi, yet finished in 8th out of 61 skiers. Now though, she's at the top of her game, winning both a silver and bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships in Lahti, Finland. She should definitely be on your radar as a must-watch athlete!
17 Lindsey Vonn
Perhaps the most recognizable American winter athlete, Lindsey Vonn, comes in at number two on our list. Tiger Woods' former WAG shows no mercy in the Downhill and Super-G events, winning a gold medal in Vancouver, and taking home four-overall World Cup titles. Vonn is looking to climb her way to the top of the all-time leaderboards, for both men and women, as the most decorated skier in the history of the sport.
Now at 33-years-old and battling several injuries, these Olympic games may be "The Don's" last. But, with an intense workout routine, and the mindset of a champion, Vonn can still achieve victory in Pyeongchang! Wherever she ends up against the competition, Vonn will always win gold as one of USA's most popular, and beautiful athletes!
16 Tessa Virtue
Ice dancing is an artistic, eloquent display of athletic ability and showmanship. You may think that prancing around the rink, "slow-dancing" your way to a championship may be easy, but the sport has a lot more to offer than that. These athletes need to perfect every single detail of their routine, from the high-flying jumps, to their chemistry with each other. Two of the best ice dancing competitors in the world are the Canadian duo, Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue.
The three-time World Champions snapped North America's losing streak to Europe in the ice dancing competition back in Vancouver, bringing home the Gold. The pair received four perfect 10.00 in the free dance event, a feat that had never before been achieved. Virtue, now a seasoned-veteran at 28-years-old, considered retiring after the games in Sochi. But, after returning in 2016, the couple will compete in South Korea, and will likely captivate the judges, and viewers alike, with their tantalizing routine.
15 Torah Bright
Australian snowboarder, Torah Bright, is the pinnacle of natural beauty and amazing athleticism. The goofy-footed rider has dominated the Halfpipe and Superpipe competitions for more than a decade. This year, Bright has set her sights on her fourth Olympics, and third-overall medal, as she grabbed gold in the Halfpipe in 2010, and silver in 2014.
At 31 years old though, the veteran's competitive days are slowly coming to an end. In the past, Bright has competed in several events in the games, but according to an interview with the Australian Olympic Committee, she doesn't want to push her aging body too hard.
“Let’s just say I will not be doing three events again. Maybe two. Halfpipe and slopestyle are essentially the same thing if you are riding. They help each other.”
We look forward to Bright shredding the competition in South Korea!
14 Rowan Cheshire
British freestyle skier, Rowan Cheshire, is looking to redeem herself from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. During a practice run before the games, Cheshire took a nasty fall, leaving her unconscious. Unfortunately, she had to withdraw from the games due to a broken nose and a severe concussion. On top of all that, the Halfpipe competitor suffered several concussions over a span of a year and a half, leaving her contemplating hanging up her skis. Luckily, after two years in the lodge, Cheshire made her return last year in mid-season form, placing among the best in several international competitions.
Now, it's time for the 22-year-old to get her revenge, and take home a medal for Great Britain. While she's among a lot of great competitors in the Halfpipe, if Cheshire can channel her adrenaline, she may be able to be an English heroine!
13 Anna Veith (Anna Fennigan)
Bombing down a mountain at over 80 mph is not an easy task. These ladies need to be calm, cool, and collective, since one minuscule slip-up could result in a career-ending wipeout. Luckily for us, Austrian slalom skier, Anna Veith, is one of the best. The 28-year-old competitor is looking to retake her place on the top of the leaderboard, since she suffered knee injury in 2016.
In 2014, Veith was on top of the sport, claiming a gold medal in Sochi in the Super G, and finishing up the year with a World Cup title. She will look to unseat two American hopefuls (which we will get into later) in the slalom this February. It seems that Austria is going to be a tough competitor in this year's games!
12 Janine Flock
No, we aren't just promoting the Austrian Winter Olympic team, they just happen to be some of the hottest female athletes in some of the coldest sports. The landlocked European nation is made up of some of the most mountainous territory in the world, so these ladies grew up on the slopes. Unlike her fellow skiing and snowboarding Austrians, athlete Janine Flock competes in a slightly more death-defying sport: skeleton. Pretty much, competitors run full speed, and jump on sled head first, sliding down the icy track at over 80 mph, careening off banked falls, and trying for the best time. It's like luge, but if you make a mistake, you may break your neck.
We have to give Flock some credit, because you have to have some serious guts to compete in such a risky sport. The 28-year-old will look to add on to her already prestigious career, which includes a 2015 World Cup, and bring home the gold for the "Eastern Realm."
11 Hilary Knight
Soon to be three-time Olympian women's ice hockey player, Hilary Knight, doesn't fit your typical "Bash Brothers" mold. A native of Sun Valley, Idaho, the beautiful brunette forward led the Wisconsin Badgers team to a national champion, and is the school's all-time leader in goals. She's won a multitude of World Championships with Team USA, but has yet to win that elusive gold medal in the Olympics, taking home the silver in both Vancouver and Sochi.
While Team Canada has taken home the title in the last five Olympics, and is the favorite going into Pyeongchang, Knight and company are a close second. 2018 may be the year that Team USA finally beats out their northern neighbors to take home the ice hockey royalty. We can't wait for the next segment in this historical rivalry to play out!
10 Sarah Hendrickson
Park City native, Sarah Hendrickson, wants revenge against the sport that almost ended her career. In 2013, she won the individual ski jump World Championship in Italy, and was primed to takeover the competition. Later that summer, Hendrickson took a nasty fall, damaging the ligaments in her knee, impeding her progress. Although she battled back from the original injury, placing in most events, the 23-year-old American re-injured her knee in 2015, sidelining her for an entire season. That still didn't stop her and as of 2017, Hendrickson won the USA Olympic trials, cementing her spot in Pyeongchang.
With 17 individual wins in the World Cup, Sarah sits second on the all-time leaderboards for women's ski jump. If she can stay healthy, the USA may have a chance to have the National Anthem echo off the massive jump as Hendrickson accepts her victory!
9 Aja Evans
Move over Lolo Jones, Team USA's Aja Evans is the real deal in the bobsledding world. An accomplished track athlete in college, the Chicago native turned her talents to the ice track in 2012, making the team as the "brakeman." In the two-person event, the brakeman provides the majority of the push at the start, and stops the sled after the finish line, while the pilot steers the sleigh through the tumultuous course. Alongside her American teammate, Jamie Greubel, Team USA took home the bronze medal in Sochi back in 2014.
Evans come from a female of athletes, who have all competed at the highest professional levels of their sport. Her father was a swimmer, her brother plays in the NFL, and her uncle and cousin played in the MLB. Coming off a bronze in the 2017 World Championships, the 29-year-old star will aim to stand at the top of the podium in February.
8 Darya Domracheva
There is something about an Eastern European woman that drives western men crazy. Belarusian biathlete, Darya Domracheva, is no exception. She took home three gold medals in the Sochi games, and is looking to jump back on top of the leader board in Pyeongchang. Since her glory days, "Dasha" has been hindered by illness, even skipping an entire season after coming down with mono.
While the Minsk native looks to ski and shoot her way back into relevancy, we can't help but gasp at her startling figure. She's got legs for days, and the athleticism to back it up. Even if you do speak her mother tongue of Russian, you won't have a shot with Domracheva, as she recently went off-the-market, and married fellow biathlete, Norway's "King of the Biathlon," Ole Einar Bjørndalen.
7 Tina Weirather
The 28-year-old alpine skier from Liechtenstein will be a newcomer to the Olympics in 2018, but not for lack of effort. Weirather qualified for the games in Vancouver back in 2010, but suffered a nasty ACL injury just weeks prior to the Olympics. Then in 2014, hoping to finally make it into the competition, she suffered a bone contusion during her fourth training run in Sochi, ruling her out for the games.
Now, in 2018, Weirather is poised to finally make the medal podium, and be a hero for the small, landlocked nation of Liechtenstein. Early in 2017, she took home the Gold in the Super-G when American skier, Lindsey Vonn, suffered a crash during her heat. Coming in hot, Weirather is definitely a stunning athlete to keep an eye on!
6 Rosalind Groenewoud
Two-time X games gold medalist, Rosalind Groenewoud, or 'Roz G' as she is known in the skiing community, looks to continue her career in Pyeongchang in February. The Canadian freestyle skier, and Halfpipe specialist, in addition to catching some air on the slopes, graduated in both math and physics in university. She's probably using some long drawn out equation to precisely fine-tune her tricks, maximizing her score. We don't really know that, but it would be badass if that were true!
Roz is no stranger to injuries on the course either, as both knee surgeries and concussions have been an issue throughout her career. But, with those good looks, companies have still been clamoring for Groenewoud to be their sponsor, and she definitely makes a decent money off of her ad deals. Now, if she can add an Olympic medal to her resume, her career will be all set!
5 Anna Sidorova
As you know by now, Russia was banned form the 2018 Olympic games amidst a state-sponsored doping scandal that has rocked international headlines over the last few months. While Putin has come out and said that athletes may compete under the neutral tag, there will always be a stigma placed over their heads. We understand the advantage that PEDs give athletes for most of the winter events, but one we don't understand is why the hell they are punishing the lingerie clad Russian curling team!
Led by Anna Sidorova, it's still up in the air if these ladies will compete in Pyeongchang, but she still belongs at number five on our list. The Moscow native, and skipper for the team, is by far one of the most beautiful Olympians of all-time, and has been placing in almost every event since Russia's ninth-place finish in Sochi. Let's hope the IOC does the right thing, and gives viewers more of Sidorova!
4 Gabriela Koukalova
Over the past few years, Gabriela Koukolova has taken both the biathlon world, and the internet, by storm. After grabbing two silvers in Sochi, the Czech biathlete has been dominating the circuit, and even grabbed an outright victory in the 10 km pursuit back in a 2016 World Cup race. A few weeks ago, she was named the 2017 Sportsperson of the Year in the Czech Republic, making her the first biathlete ever to do so.
Speaking of odd Olympic disciplines, Koukolova married Czech badminton player, Petr Koukal back in 2016. What a bizarre combination of sports! Her beauty and athletic prowess is no surprise, since she is the daughter of former Olympic cross-country skier, Gabriela Svobodová. Let's hope the 28-year-old can make her way to the podium in the coming weeks.
3 Mikaela Shiffrin
The 22-year-old alpine skier, and drop-dead gorgeous athlete, is looking to grab her second gold medal in Pyeongchang. Back in the 2014 Winter Olympics, at 18-years-old, Shiffrin beat out Team Austria (who placed both second and third) and became the youngest ever gold medal winner in women's slalom Olympic history! Now, coming off a 2017 World Championship, Shiffrin will look to cement her position on top of the podium.
Born in Vail, Colorado, and growing up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Shiffrin spend her days and nights carving down the slopes. As the odds on favorite to win the Slalom in South Korea, she will most likely continue to dominate the alpine circuit for at least another decade! It doesn't hurt that she has the body of a snow goddess!
2 Anna Sloan
Even in the heart of competition, barking out orders to her team, curler, Anna Sloan, mesmerizes viewers with her radiant blue eyes, and actually make the sport of curling watchable! In all honesty though, curling can get pretty intense, but I'm glad we only have to deal with it in the mainstream once every four years.
Sloan helped lead the Great Britain squad to a bronze medal in Sochi, and is hoping to improve their position in the coming month. Playing third (curling position), she and her fellow curlers have brushed their way to two gold medals in international competition in 2017. You may not like the sport, but there is no doubt that athletes like Anna Sloan, with their dominance on the ice, and jaw-dropping looks, make you want to tune into the curling competition!
1 Silje Norendal
At the top of our list of female athletes is snowboarder, Siljer Norendal. The Norwegian phenom has taken the winter sports world by storm with her physics-defying tricks in slopestyle, and her soft smile in the magazines. Despite the harsh winter conditions and layers upon layers of protective clothing, the four-time X Games gold medalist seems to always be ready for photographers on the slopes. In an interview with Vogue, Norendal explained her beauty regimen.
"Snowboarding is a very masculine sport, so it’s important to me to maintain my femininity. I don’t feel well if I don’t do my beauty routine every morning, which takes 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if I’m going to the gym or riding on the mountain, I’d rather spend a little time on myself to feel good for the rest of the day. And when I feel good, I perform better."
The 24-year-old just missed out on the podium in Sochi, coming in fourth, but is hoping to dominate the competition in Pyeongchang, and bring home a medal for Team Norway.