Here are the top U.S. athletes to watch during the FIS World Championships
February 1, 2019
Chloe Kim, halfpipe snowboarding
Chloe Kim burst into the national consciousness last year by taking gold in halfpipe snowboarding at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, earning her a spot on TIME's 100 Most Influential People list. But the 18-year-old's emergence was no surprise in the winter sports world, where she's been a star for years. She won the first of her seven X Games medals at 13 and appears primed to be the face of women's snowboarding for years to come.
McRae Williams, slopestyle skiing
Born and raised in Park City, McRae Williams will have a chance during the World Championships to show out in front of a hometown crowd. And if he does, it won't be the first time the 28-year-old has delivered on the mountain. Williams won gold in the 2017 World Championships and has three X Games medals — most recently a silver in 2017. He also finished first in the 2017 FIS World Cup slopestyle standings. After failing to medal in his Olympic debut last year despite being a favorite, Williams will attempt to regain a spot on the top of the podium.
David Wise, halfpipe skiing
David Wise is no stranger to showing out on a big stage. In fact, he's the only man to ever win an Olympic gold medal in halfpipe skiing. He took first place in the 2014 Winter Games, the Olympic debut for halfpipe skiing, then did it again last year in Pyeongchang, where he notched the winning score on his third and final run. He also has three X Games gold medals, making him one of the most decorated athletes competing in the World Championships.
Jaelin Kauf, moguls
When Jaelin Kauf returns to the moguls course at Deer Valley Resort, she'll be carrying with her fond memories of the last time she competed there. Kauf, who lives in Park City, took first place last year in front of a friendly crowd during the FIS Freestyle World Cup at Deer Valley. Though she was unable to capitalize on that momentum in the 2018 Olympics, she will be among the favorites to medal in moguls at the World Championships.
Red Gerard, slopestyle snowboarding
Red Gerard became a celebrity in America overnight when he stunned his competition — and himself, judging by his memorable post-run reaction — by taking first in slopestyle snowboarding at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. His performance made him the youngest person to ever win an Olympic gold medal in snowboarding. And a year later at 18, he has plenty of time to continue etching his name into the record books.
Brita Sigourney, halfpipe skiing
Among the 2018 Winter Games medalists seeking a strong follow-up to their Olympic performances is Brita Sigourney, who won bronze in halfpipe skiing in Pyeongchang. Sigourney, a two-time Olympian who lives and trains in Park City, also has a handful of World Cup wins and X Games medals and enters the World Championships as a top contender to reach the podium. And it will be the second time she has competed in the World Championships in Park City. She finished sixth when the event was last held here in 2011.
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Jamie Anderson, slopestyle snowboarding
The dominant figure in women's slopestyle snowboarding, Jamie Anderson has won both Olympic gold medals since the sport was introduced in the 2014 Sochi Games. That's in addition to a silver medal in big air at the Pyeongchang Games. But her medal haul doesn't end there — she has also earned podium finishes more than a dozen times during the X Games. She's a good bet to add another medal to her collection in Park City.
Ashley Caldwell, aerials
Another hometown hero, Park City resident Ashley Caldwell will feel at home performing on Deer Valley Resort's aerials course. She'll use the boost from a friendly crowd in her attempt to defend the World Championship she won in 2017. The three-time Olympian is among the most experienced U.S. athletes and is known for being one of the only women in the world who can bust big tricks in competition like The Daddy — a quadruple twisting triple backflip.
Alex Hall, slopestyle skiing
Alex Hall has already left his mark on the season, taking first place in slopestyle skiing at the X Games in Aspen last month. The Winter Sports School graduate, who splits his time between Park City and Switzerland, will try to double up with another gold medal at the World Championships. If he can pull it off, it would mark him as nothing less than a force to be reckoned with within slopestyle skiing.
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