Arts & Entertainment

Meet the SoCal athletes competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics

Hailey Langland trains during a snowboard practice session ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 7, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Hailey Langland trains during a snowboard practice session ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 7, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Al Bello/Getty Images

Ten athletes from Southern California are in South Korea competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics.* It's a long road from Torrance to Pyeongchang. Here's a little bit about how they made the journey.

*That number doesn't include athletes who were born in Southern California but have made their homes elsewhere, like bobsledder Lauren Gibbs, who was born in Los Angeles but lives in Denver.


Chris Knierim

Figure Skating 

Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim compete in the figure skating team event pair skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 9, 2018.
Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim compete in the figure skating team event pair skating short program during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 9, 2018.
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Birthplace: Tuscon, AZ

Born: November 5, 1987

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Knierim began competing with partner Alexa Scimeca in 2012 — and married her in 2016. His hobbies include fishing, working on cars, camping and hiking. MORE DETAILS


Shaun White

Snowboarding

Gus Kenworthy and Shaun White of the United States enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 9, 2018.
Gus Kenworthy and Shaun White of the United States enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 9, 2018.
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Hometown: Carlsbad, CA

Birthplace: San Diego, CA

Born: September 3, 1986

Olympic History: 2006 Gold (Halfpipe), 2010 Gold (Halfpipe), 2014

Fun Facts: White began competing professionally at age 13 and has won 10 ESPY awards for Best Male Action Sports Athlete and Best Male U.S. Olympic Athlete. MORE DETAILS


Hailey Langland

Snowboarding

Snowboarder Hailey Langland poses for a portrait during the Team USA Media Summit ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on September 27, 2017 in Park City, Utah.
Snowboarder Hailey Langland poses for a portrait during the Team USA Media Summit ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on September 27, 2017 in Park City, Utah.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Hometown: San Clemente, CA

Birthplace: Irvine, CA

Born: August 2, 2000

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Langland competes on the Tahoe Select Snowboard Team. When she's not on the snow, she plays the ukulele, piano and guitar. MORE DETAILS


Jonathon Blum

Ice Hockey 

Jonathon Blum (#7) of the Nashville Predators looks to make a play against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on February 23, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.
Jonathon Blum (#7) of the Nashville Predators looks to make a play against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on February 23, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Hometown: Ladera Ranch, CA

Birthplace: Long Beach, CA

Born: January 30, 1989

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Blum became the first Californian-born man to be selected in the first round of the NHL draft when he was chosen 23rd overall by the Nashville Predators in 2007. MORE DETAILS


Carlo Valdes

Bobsled

Bobsledder Carlo Valdes poses for a portrait ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on September 26, 2017 in Park City, Utah.
Bobsledder Carlo Valdes poses for a portrait ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on September 26, 2017 in Park City, Utah.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Birthplace: Newport Beach, CA

Born: February 11, 1990

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Valdes played wide receiver for UCLA's football team before shifting to track and field as a decathlete then switching to javelin. One of his college teammates introduced him to bobsled and his head coach encouraged him to pursue it. Valdes has a Bachelor's degree in history from UCLA. MORE DETAILS


Chloe Kim

Snowboarding

Chloe Kim looks on after finishing in second place in the final round of the Ladies' Snowboard Halfpipe during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on January 20, 2018 in Mammoth, California.
Chloe Kim looks on after finishing in second place in the final round of the Ladies' Snowboard Halfpipe during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on January 20, 2018 in Mammoth, California.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Hometown: Torrance, CA

Birthplace: Long Beach, CA

Born: April 23, 2000

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Kim began snowboarding at age four. She spent the third and fourth grades studying in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to English, she speaks French and Korean. In 2016, she was nominated for an ESPY award for Best Breakthrough Athlete. MORE DETAILS


Cayla Barnes

Ice Hockey 

Cayla Barnes (#3) of the United States Women's Hockey Team poses for a portrait on January 16, 2018 in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
Cayla Barnes (#3) of the United States Women's Hockey Team poses for a portrait on January 16, 2018 in Wesley Chapel, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Hometown: Eastvale, CA

Birthplace: Eastvale, CA

Born: January 7, 1999

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Barnes has four brothers. Her hobbies include roller hockey, soccer, lacrosse and reading. MORE DETAILS


Adam Rippon

Figure Skating 

U.S. skater Adam Rippon practices at Gangneung Ice Arena ahead of the team event of the men's figure skating before the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 7, 2018.
U.S. skater Adam Rippon practices at Gangneung Ice Arena ahead of the team event of the men's figure skating before the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 7, 2018.
MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Birthplace: Scranton, PA

Born: November 11, 1989

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Rippon began skating at age 9. He has choreographed programs for fellow skaters Mirai Nagasu, Ashley Wagner and Christina Gao. He was born deaf and underwent corrective surgery at Yale University just before his first birthday, allowing him to hear almost perfectly. MORE DETAILS


Mirai Nagasu

Figure Skating 

Mirai Nagasu competes in the Ladies Short Program during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the SAP Center on January 3, 2018 in San Jose, California.
Mirai Nagasu competes in the Ladies Short Program during the 2018 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships at the SAP Center on January 3, 2018 in San Jose, California.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Hometown: Arcadia, CA

Birthplace: Montebello, CA

Born: April 16, 1993

Olympic History: 2010

Fun Facts: This will be Nagasu's second Olympic Games. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, she placed fourth. In 2014, she narrowly missed making the team for the Sochi Olympics. Nagasu has been skating since she was five years old. MORE DETAILS


Maddie Mastro

Snowboarding 

Maddie Mastro reacts on the podium after placing third in the final round of the Ladies' Snowboard Halfpipe during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on January 20, 2018 in Mammoth, California.
Maddie Mastro reacts on the podium after placing third in the final round of the Ladies' Snowboard Halfpipe during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on January 20, 2018 in Mammoth, California.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Hometown: Wrightwood, CA

Birthplace: Wrightwood, CA

Born: February 22, 2000

Olympic History: None

Fun Facts: Mastro started out skiing as a toddler and transitioned to snowboarding after her parents brought her a pink snowboard when she was six years old. MORE DETAILS