The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are here, and while we don’t exactly have a lot of winter sports around here, we went through and found every winter Olympic athlete from the South competing in this year’s Games.
There are 223 Americans set to compete in the Games, across a total of 109 events in Beijing. That’s the second-largest number ever sent to represent Team USA as a Winter Olympic athlete (behind the 228 who went to Pyeongchang in 2018). But just 15 of this year’s athletes come from Southern states. This isn’t entirely surprising, as the majority of these states aren’t exactly well known for the wintery vibes we give off.
For the purposes of this exercise, we’re calling the “South” anything from Virginia and below, and anything from Texas to the East Coast. That’s the following states, with the number of athletes in parenthesis: Virginia (3), W. Virginia (0), Kentucky (0), Tennessee (0), North Carolina (0), South Carolina (1), Georgia (1), Florida (7), Alabama (0), Mississippi (0), Louisiana (0), Arkansas (0), Texas (3) and Oklahoma (0). It’s arbitrary, sure, but we’re the one putting together the list, so that’s what we’ll go with.
For comparison sake, California has the most with 29. They are followed by Colorado and Minnesota (23 each), Utah (16), Illinois (13) and Wisconsin (12).
Sadly, North Carolina did not qualify anyone for these games. We did really well with athletes in the Summer Games last year though. So it’s OK.
But there are still a number of excellent U.S. Winter Olympians coming from our friendly regional counterparts. Let’s take a look at who they are, and what they’ll be doing in Beijing.