First things first – competition at the 2018 Peyoncheng Olympics begins this Thursday, but the official opening ceremony isn’t until Friday. You curling enthusiasts get an early start.
But once the more exciting competitions like ice hockey, downhill skiing, snowboarding and figure skating begin, U.S. fans will be wondering which sports the Americans are in medal contention for.
Here are the names of some teams and athletes representing the Stars and Stripes, who have the best shot of taking home the gold:
Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, Alpine skiing: Team USA features two female skiers on opposite ends of their respective careers. Vonn, 33, has always seemed to be plagued by injuries but has still be named among the most successful ski racers in the world. These will be her fifth Olympics, however she has only two medals to her name (2010: gold, downhill; bronze, super-G).
Then there’s 22-year-old Shiffrin, who some believe could eventually match or beat Vonn’s five World Championship medals. She already has the second-most World Cup victories of any U.S. female skier – behind Vonn. As an 18-year-old in 2014, she became the youngest athlete ever to win an Olympic gold in the Winter Olympic sport of slalom. We’ll find out if she can repeat this year.
Nathan Chen, figure skating: “He is America’s best chance at a figure skating gold.”
You’ll hear that quote more than once throughout the next few weeks, because 18-year-old Chen made history at the 2016 U.S. national championships. He became the first man in to land five quadruple jumps in one 4 ½-minute long program, international skating history.
He is expected to compete in the short program for the U.S., on February 16, and may also be a part of the team figure skating events during the first weekend of competition.
Chloe Kim, snowboarding: If Olympic rules would allow 13-year-olds to compete, Kim, now 17, might already have an Olympic medal. The California-based snowboarder was the first woman to land back-to-back 1080s in a competition last year and sits at the top of world rankings for the sport.
She’s a favorite to win gold in the halfpipe event on February 13. Earlier this year, TIME also named Kim one of the 30 Most Influential Teens in 2017.
Women’s ice hockey: In 2014, the U.S. women came 55 seconds from taking down Canada, who has won gold in every games since 1998. The American women may even be more popular than the men this year, since the NHL hasn’t give its players approved time off to represent their countries.
The U.S. and Canada are in a league of their own in ice hockey, which almost cause the sport to be dropped from the Olympics after the 2010 games. The likely gold-medal match between U.S. and Canada is set for February 22.
Lindsey Jacobellis, snowboardcross: The 32-year-old will seek the perfect ending, to a historically consistent career. She’s never finished worse than seventh overall in the Olympic race, making it to the final race in each of the last three games. In last year’s World Championships she won her fifth gold medal (2005, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017) in snowboardcross.
Her best Olympics was a silver medal in 2007, but she may need just a little bit of luck (as many races come down to) when her racing begins on February 16.