Forget prom or spring break in Florida, these millennial and Gen-Z athletes are busy representing their country on the world stage. Here's a look at some of the youngest faces at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.
Alice Robinson: 20 Years Old
With the age requirements set at 15 years of age for the Winter Olympics, that opens up the games to tons of fresh talent every four years. And one of those young faces includes New Zealand's very own Alice Robinson.
Having just turned 20 at the end of 2021, this alpine skier has a big name on the international stage, thanks to five World Cup podium placements. And while the athlete has had a rough start to Beijing 2022, she's committed as ever to turn it around. "It just didn't work out… but that's the sport," she shared on Twitter.
Lucas Braathen: 21 Years Old
Norway's Lucas Braathen is looking to ride his 2020/2021 World Cup opener win all the way to the Beijing podium this year. The 21-year-old alpine skier has become the name to know in the alpine ski world due to his meteoric rise that kicked off just a couple of years ago.
But what few know is that this fresh Olympic face wasn't initially drawn to skiing at all. In fact, in an interview with Olympics.com, the half Norweigian-half Brazilian athlete confessed that soccer has always had a spot in his heart. He even credits his work ethic to his athletic hero, Cristiano Ronaldo!
Elvira Oeberg: 22 Years Old
The Oeberg family has got some serious talent! We learned of Hanna Oeberg after she dominated the 15km individual biathlon, but now it's time for her sister to get the spotlight. And Elvira's come to Beijing to make a name for herself and prove that age is just a number.
The 22-year-old Swedish biathlon competitor was ranked 12th overall in the world back in the 2020/2021 season but pushed hard this past December to clinch a silver medal in Oestersund. Will Elvira see a podium at this year's Winter Games? Only time will tell...
Dusty Henricksen: 19 Years Old
The American-born and bred Dustry Henricksen is making his Olympic debut in Beijing this year. But while he may be new to the Winter Games, his accomplishments match those of a veteran snowboarder! It's been win after win for Dusty since breaking onto the scene back in 2019.
From a gold medal at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games to silver at the Burton U.S. Open in Vail, the 19-year-old has been turning heads with his insane tricks on the track. In fact, Dusty was the first person to land a quadruple cork at the 2020 Burton U.S. Open!
Totsuka Yūto: 20 Years Old
With the Winter Olympics only coming around every four years, it's not hard to imagine that the pressure is high for these young athletes. And perhaps no one understands that better than the Japanese snowboarder, Totsuka Yūto. He's hoping to rewrite his narrative after a bad fall at the PyeongChang 2018 Games.
At just 20 years of age, the young athlete is coming off 2021 gold at the 2021 World Championships in halfpipe. He also boasts multiple World Cup titles, making him a fierce competitor for this year's Olympics. All eyes are on him to see if he'll ride that legendary win all the way to the podium!
Sofia Nadyrshina: 18 Years Old
While most 18-year-olds are busy away with senior year, Sofia is over in Beijing competing with the world's top winter athletes. But hey, that's what happens when one's one of the top snowboarders of their time! And the Russian athlete certainly has a lot of eyes on her at this year's Winter Games.
Back in 2021, Nadyrshina took home a silver medal in the parallel giant slalom event and a gold medal in the parallel slalom event. And with such impressive podium finishes, the young snowboarder is definitely looking to keep that winning momentum going in Beijing.
Hwang Daeheon: 22 Years Old
With a silver medal behind him from the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, Korean short-track speed skater Hwang Daeheon has his eyes on one thing and one thing only: a gold medal. And with Olympic experience under his belt, he's someone to look out for.
Heading to Beijing at 22 years old, the Korean cheetah on ice has one of the deadliest combinations in the sport: experience and young age. But Daeheon has already been met controversies, including the penalty he received in the 1000 meter semi-final.
Johannes Lamparter: 20 Years Old
Austrian skier Johannes Lamparter is one of the freshest faces in the world of nordic skiing. And at only 20 years of age, it's no surprise! He made his grand debut at the 2021 world championships, where he took home not one - but two gold medals and a bronze one to top it off!
From individual large hill to team sprints and relay events, Lamparter has proven to be a force of nature that Austria is hoping will secure them a medal at this year's Winter Olympics. We can catch this young powerhouse at the Individual 10-kilometer Nordic combined event.
Lee Yubin: 20 Years Old
With four Olympic events lined up at this year's Winter Games in Beijing, Lee Yubin has a pretty packed schedule compared to most athletes. But that's exactly how the 20 year old from South Korea likes it. And with a gold medal on her neck from PyeongChang back in 2018, she definitely has a taste for victory.
This time around, the young short-track speed skater is competing in the 500 meters, 1000 meters, 3000 meters relay, and mixed-team relay events spread out between just four days! Interestingly enough, the young athlete first became interested in ice sports because of figure skating before finding her groove on the track.
Anna Berreiter: 22 Years Old
Germany's very own Anna Berretier has been the name to know in luge since her time as a junior competitor. With two U23 championship titles to her name, she came to the senior world like a force of nature, making history as the youngest female to win gold at the World Cup in Oberhof in 2020.
She followed up the momentum the next year with a silver medal before coming to Beijing this winter to make her Olympic debut for the world to see. And on top of it all, this impressive athlete is just 22 years old! It's been one big dream come true for Anna, who has her eyes on the gold this year.
Petra Nieminen: 18 Years Old
Having made her Olympic debut at PyeongChang back in 2018 at the age of 18, Petra Nieminen is coming to Beijing with loads of experience while still being one of the younger members of the Finnish ice hockey team. Now, at 22 years old, she has her eyes set on gold.
Having already tasted the podium life by placing third at the last Winter Games and taking home the bronze medal, Petra and her team are fighting some of the best teams in the world - all in the hopes of hearing their national anthem play at the medal ceremony.
Matej Svancer: 17 Years Old
These young Olympians truly believe that age is just a number. And they've got to remain confident as they face fierce competition that usually has a few years on them. And for no one is that more true than Matej Svancer, the 17-year-old freestyle skier from Austria.
While originally an Alpine skier, Svancer took to freestyle later in life and broke onto the scene at the age of 15, taking home the gold medal at the Lausanne competition back in 2020. Since then, he's taken home another win and is most definitely looking to keep the victory streak going in Beijing.
Ailing Gu: 18 Years Old
The next fresh Olympic face at this year's Winter Games is another freestyle skier: San Francisco-born Chinese skier, Ailing Gu. She's making her Olympic debut at the young age of 18 and representing her country in the dare devilish sport. But unlike most athletes, she's got home turf advantage.
And on top of that, she's got podium experience that will serve her well as she goes up against other Olympic athletes. From gold medals in slopestyle and halfpipe events to a gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Lausanne back in 2020, this accomplished skier knows what victory tastes like and will do anything to taste it again.
Marita Kramer: 20 Years Old
Marita Kramer has got some serious star power being her name in the world of ski jumping. The Austrian competitor took home the gold at the 2021 world championships and broke a point gap record at the women's World Cup back in November. It was no shock that the 20-year-old would be a shoo-in for the Olympic team.
But unfortunately, disaster struck just a few days before the Games started. The young athlete tested positive for COVID, making it impossible for her to get to Beijing in time for the games. "No words, no feelings, just emptiness. Is the world really this unfair?" the young competitor shared on Instagram.
Kagiyama Yuma: 18 Years Old
Japanese figure skater Kagiyama Yuma first made noise in the professional skating world when he dominated the Youth Olympics Lausanne competition back in 2020. And after starting to compete in the senior realm, his success only continued to grow! And now he holds an impressive title to his name.
The 18-year-old skater was the only man to win both of his events at the Grand Prix during the 2021/2022 season, solidifying his reputation as one of the fiercest competitors at Beijing this February. And with a bronze medal already on his neck, his first Olympics is off to a great start.
Jutta Leerdam: 23 Years Old
Netherlands' very own Jutta Leerdam is a force of nature in the world of professional speed skating. At just 23 years of age, she has already got three world titles to her name. From the individual 1000 meter race to two team sprints, she just can't be stopped.
On top of it all, she's also the reigning spring European champion, which makes her one serious competitor in both the 500m and 1000m events at this year's Winter Games. And while a gold medal is the goal, Jutta is just soaking in the moment. "I feel so blessed to be here and to skate on this track," she wrote on Instagram.
Bobby Lammie: 24 Years Old
Curling is one of the unique sports at the Winter Olympics that can feature team members with some pretty big age differences between them. But this year, Great Britain's curling team is fairly young in age, including Bobby Lammie, the 24-year-old professional curler.
Lammie, along with his fellow curlers on Team Mouat, are three-time national champions, thus making them the perfect group of athletes to represent their nation on the world stage. Keep scrolling for more young Olympic athletes battling it out in Beijing...
Kamila Valieva: 15 Years Old
Kamila Valieva may not be able to drive a car in her home country of Russia, but she certainly proved herself as worthy of competing in Beijing in figure skating. The 15-year-old skater only just began competing on the senior international circuit and has already made a name for herself.
She went on to set world records last November and has turned heads with her ability to land a triple Axel in addition to quadruple tow and Salchow jumps. With a gold medal already on her neck at the time of publishing, the sky's the limit for this teen athlete.
Hugo Lapalus: 23 Years Old
After watching just a few seconds of an Olympic cross-country skiing event, it's no surprise that this is a young athlete's sport. The sheer endurance and power needed to complete the testing circuit can be the biggest battle of an athlete's life - but that's exactly what appeals to French skier Hugo Lapalus.
The 23-year-old Annecy-born Olympian came to Beijing to compete in the Men's 15km + 15km Skiathlon event, which went down on February 6th. And while there wasn't a podium finish for Hugo, he's still made France proud with his countless other medals, including the U-23 World Champ title.
Jarl Magnus Riiber: 24 Years Old
For anyone who keeps up with World Cup standings in the world of Nordic Combined skiing, Jarl Magnus Riiber has been a name to know for a few years now. For the past four years, the 24-year-old Norwegian athlete has held onto the number one spot in his division, an incredible accomplishment for the ever-changing sport.
As of the article's publishing, Jarl is just another one of the athletes whose Olympic dreams have been impacted with a positive COVID test result. Luckily already in Beijing, the athlete still has hopes of producing enough negative tests to compete in his event.
Frida Karlsson: 22 Years Old
At just 22 years of age, Frida Karlsson has made the nation of Sweden proud with her numerous podium finishes on the cross-country skiing circuit. In fact, in just two world championship appearances, she managed to clean up and bring home six medals: one gold, three silver, and two bronze!
Making her Olympic debut in Beijing this February, the Gen-Z athlete came to the Games with dreams of a podium finish. Unfortunately, she came short, finishing fifth in the women's 15-kilometer skiathlon. But it was no easy race, with Insider reporting that the skiers faced temperatures of -4 degrees!
Chloe Kim: 21 Years Old
Remember Chloe Kim? She made headlines back at PyeongChang in 2018 as the youngest female snowboarder to ever take home a medal, let alone gold! Repping Team USA, the now-21-year-old snowboarder, is back to make her country proud with another podium finish in Beijing.
The Long Beach, California-born trickster is also coming off a gold medal win from the 2021 World Championship competition, where she claimed the first spot in the halfpipe event. And to top it all off, she was featured on the Time cover for the Winter Olympics edition.
Laura Nolte: 23 Years Old
Since breaking onto the Youth Olympics scene in 2016, German bobsledder Laura Nolte has been a name to know. She took home the gold medal that year and went on to clinch the 2021 European champion title in the two-woman event. Throw in a couple of bronze medals, and that's a pretty impressive resumé!
And she's taking all of that experience with her as she competes in her first-ever Olympic Games this February. But she won't be alone. The 23-year-old bobsledder is competing both in the monobob event and also with her partner, Deborah Levi, in the 2-woman event.
Sebastian Samuelsson: 24 Years Old
Coming back for more wins, Sebastian Samuelsson traveled to Beijing with gold medals on his mind. But can we blame him? He had the Olympic debut of a lifetime back in 2018 when he took home both a silver and gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
And in the years following, he kept the winning streak going. In the 2021/2022 season, the Swedish biathlon competitor won big on his home turf in Östersund for the first two sprints of the season. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old finished just shy of a podium spot in the mixed relay and 30th in the 20km event.
Nico Gleirscher: 24 Years Old
Just like the Oeberg family mentioned above, Nico Gleirscher is part of an Olympic dynasty. His brother David took home the gold medal just four years ago in the men's singles event. But what about this 24-year-old Austrian athlete? He, too, is competing in Beijing as a luge athlete.
He's coming off a 2021 season win as the world champion in the men's sprint event - but unfortunately, the winning streak didn't continue this February. Finishing 12th overall in the men's singles event, the young athlete didn't get a chance to stand on a podium at this year's Olympics, but there's always Milano Cortina 2026!
Hannah Neise: 21 Years Old
While this may be Hannah Neise's first time competing in the Winter Olympics, she has a lifetime of experience when it comes to skeleton racing. The 21-year-old German athlete has been building her reputation since placing second at the Youth Olympics back in 2016, and later junior world champion in 2021.
2020 saw her move into the senior competitive circuit, where she managed to place fourth not once, but twice at the World Cup. But Beijing is a whole different ball game, and the young athlete is overjoyed at the chance to compete. "Feels good to be back," she captioned her photo commemorating the first track walk.
Marius Lindvik: 23 Years Old
At just 23 years of age, Marius Lindvik has the winning track record that other ski jumpers could only dream of. The Norwegian daredevil has a silver medal from the 2016 Youth Olympics to his name, in addition to finishing in the top ten at the world cup for the 2020/2021 season. But that's not all...
He boasts a total of 12 World Cup podium finishes to his name! While the normal hill and mixed teams didn't land him a spot in the top three, at the time of writing, the young athlete still has his eyes set on the large hill competition to bring a medal home to Norway.
Gao Tingyu: 24 Years Old
Speaking of young Olympic athletes competing with home turf advantage this year... Meet Gao Tingyu, the Chinese speed skater who made serious athletic history when he competed for the first time back in PyeongChang in 2018. It's safe to say that his home country was proud...
In his first Olympics ever, the then-19-year-old clinched a bronze medal finish, marking the first podium placement in China's history of Olympic speed skating. This year, he's hoping to bring more national pride by grabbing gold. Keep scrolling for more of the youngest faces competing in Beijing!
Tessa Maud: 18 Years Old
Only 18 years old and already at her first Olympics! Team USA snowboarder Tessa Maud is living the dream in Beijing. "This has been her goal since she was a little kid," the athlete's father shared with Yahoo Sports. "There are no expectations for her to come back with a model or anything like that."
For Tessa, it was all about the experience, and she learned a great deal at her first Winter Games. Finishing 16th overall in the women's snowboard halfpipe, the teenager gained lessons that she will no doubt take with her to future competitions. It's only up from here!
Nathan Chen: 22 Years Old
With three World Championships to his name, Nathan Chen is not our average 22-year-old. But that's because he's living it up as a figure skater for Team USA! From his five National Champ titles to a bronze at the last Winter Olympics, he's got a lot of experience in the bank.
At the time of publishing, he's already got a silver medal on his neck thanks to the team event, with men single skating still to come. "I would say it was pretty close to my best," the young athlete shared after the event. On top of it all? He's also a college student at Yale! These young champs really can do it all...