Winter Games Athletes
Though Richardson didn’t medal at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, she laid the groundwork for future success and is currently the U.S. team's best contender to win multiple medals in Sochi. She finished sixth in the 500 meters, ninth in the 1,000 and 16th in the 1,500 in Vancouver, all the while turning enough heads to believe she can fare even better - especially in the 500 and 1,000 - in 2014. Richardson’s strongest event is the 1,000, where her toughest competition could come from U.S. teammate, good friend and world-record holder Brittany Bowe. Russia’s Olga Fatkulina also remains a strong contender. Richardson, though, has enough talent and stamina to possibly find her way to the podium in the other two races. She won the gold medal at the 2013 World Sprint championships in Salt Lake City two years after her first significant medal finish, a third-place in the 1,000 at the World Single Distance championships in Germany. Perhaps most impressive is that Richardson is the world-record holder with 147.735 sprint combination points. A 35-time World Cup medalist, 11 of which are of the gold variety, Richardson was the circuit’s overall winner in the 1,000 for the 2013 season. She is a national record-holder in the 500 (37.12 seconds), 1,000 (1:13.09) and the 1,500 (1:53.84). Richardson was introduced to the sport by her parents, but she began as an inline skater before switching over to the ice. She is engaged to 2014 Olympic medal contender Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands.