At the Olympics, love is seen in all sorts. The most common type is the love of family and friends. But, there are also four married couples competing in PyeongChang. Add to that the well-documented less-permanent type of love. There’s love for everyone.
What’s better than competing in the Olympics? Getting to compete with your significant other by your side. When the cards align and it’s Valentine’s Day, it really is meant to be.
Last night, Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim took to the ice for the pairs’ short program just two days after winning bronze in the team event. With the time difference, it was already Feb. 14th in PyeongChang. They're the first married American couple to compete together in 20 years. After the couple finished performing, Chris had a special Valentine waiting for his wife along with a giant Teddy bear.
For the Knierims, it was love at first sight, and they wouldn’t change anything for the world.
The Knierims aren’t the only American couple skating at the Olympics. Madison Chock and Evan Bates compete in the ice dance event together. This is the first Winter Games where they will officially compete as more than just partners.
The duo believes being romantically involved will make it easier for the emotion to translate in their routines. Their love story started as young teenagers, but they briefly broke up. In 2011, they got back together and the rest is history.
Love doesn’t stop at the border. In speed skating, Jorrit and Heather Bergsma form a speed-skating power couple. She competes for Team USA and he competes for the Netherlands. Heather is a sprinter, but Jorrit is a distance skater. The two met competing, married in 2015, and now live in the Netherlands.
American Jamie Anderson made history earlier this week when she repeated as Olympic champion in the women’s slopestyle. She didn’t do it alone, she had Canadian boyfriend (and snowboard Olympian) Tyler Nicholson cheering her on. The two are always seen cheering for each other at competitions and live in Whistler, B.C. together.
Tucker West became America’s sweetheart when his dad let it slip in Sochi that he was shy and very single. The 18-year-old luger at the time received tons of love messages offering to date or even marry him.
West didn’t end up meeting any of his internet courters, but the story does have a happy ending. West ended up dating a fellow luger he’s known since he was 13. Tucker first met his girlfriend Raychel Germaine at a USA Luge camp, and now the two can be seen going on dates across the world.
Behind every successful athlete is usually the love of a mom or dad. Most parents would sacrifice anything for their child. The details of these sacrifices usually make some of the best feel-good stories of the Games.
Take Chloe Kim’s dad for example. Kim’s dad quit his job when he realized Chloe was that good at snowboarding. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. Her dad, Jong-Jin Kim, would drive six hours each way on the weekends to Mammoth Mountain in California so his daughter could have the best training possible.
Mikaela Shiffrin’s mom is everywhere Mikaela is. While that would drive some girls nuts, it’s exactly what Mikaela says she needs. Mikaela has even called her “her best friend”. Eileen Shiffrin balances being a mom and coach to her daughter. Eileen beamed with pride, even choking up, talking about Mikaela to Katie Couric.
A family’s love took front and center stage when Shaun White regained his title as the Olympic halfpipe champion. The snowboarder was seen sobbing to his parents, repeating over and over that “he had done it.” White said part of the reason he cried so hard was because he pulled off the feat in front of his friends and family.
Chris Mazdzer’s family was on fully display when he became the first American to win a medal in men’s single luge.
They became a sensation in their crazy America outfits and Chris cutout heads. Chris’ mom was even loved on TV.
Speaking of Mazdzer, athletes love all sorts of food. As serious competitors they often restrict their diets in order to be in optimal training condition, but that doesn't mean they don't yearn for their favorite carb. Mazdzer made it well known there was one thing he wanted after winning silver, a good-old fashioned slice of pizza. His love couldn’t be denied.
Chloe Kim turned heads earlier in the week when she tweeted about her fondness for “bomb churros”. She then took tweeting again. With an Olympic gold on the line, you definitely love ice cream if you’re talking about it in the middle of your two runs.