Winter Games Athletes
Edmunds is headed to Sochi at just 15, the same age her idol Tara Lipinski was when she won gold at the 1998 Games. While Lipinski’s finish wasn’t a surprise considering she also won gold at the world championships a year earlier, Edmunds was competing at the junior level until the middle of 2013. The 2014 U.S. championships were her first taste of senior level competition, and she did better than anyone expected. Edmunds placed second in the short program and the free skate, winning the silver medal and surprisingly being selected for a spot in Sochi despite never competing in an international senior event. Often compared to a ballerina on the ice, Edmunds had the most technically difficult free program among the American ladies, performing eight triple jumps and a pair of separate triple-triple combinations. Edmunds’ mother, who helps coach her, grew up in Russia, and her brother and uncle still live there. Edmunds also understands Russian and speaks the language a bit, so the Games may feel like a bit of a homecoming even though she hasn’t been there since she was 2. It’s unlikely that Edmunds will find herself on the medal stand even after her breakthrough performance at the U.S. championships, but Sochi could be her first of many Olympic experiences.