Miracles on Ice! Masters Athletes at the Winter Olympics

    Miracles on Ice! Masters Athletes at the Winter Olympics

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    Brian Gianta
    Whether or not they take home hardware, Olympians like "Captain America" Brian Gianta are masters of inspiration.

    Sure, we’ve been cheering the triumphs of young Olympic athletes such as Chloe Kim, 21, and Red Gerard, 17. They’re like, so awesome!

    But let’s tip our toques as well to some of the older athletes in the Olympic Games, such as Noriaki Kasai, 45, the Japanese ski jumper who finished 21st in the Men’s Normal Hill. It’s his eighth Winter Games. Kasai has two more chances to medal—the Large Hill competition gets under way on Friday. And guess what—he hasn’t ruled out competing in 2022…nor 2026.

    Watch for Claudia Riegler next week in snowboarding parallel giant slalom. The Austrian athlete is 44, and a veteran of Salt Lake City, Vancouver, and Sochi.

    German speed skater Claudia Pechstein, 45, is competing in her seventh Olympics. She’s fresh off a World Cup victory, so who knows? “Some of the other athletes could be my daughters,” she says. We know the feeling.

    We enjoyed this NPR story on American biathlete Lowell Bailey, 36, who competes in the 20k event on Thursday. He’s a dad, a regular dude, and an amazing athlete.

    Is a Miracle on Ice in the offing? You bet…by the mere presence of men’s hockey captain Brian Gionta, 39, the oldest American in the Games. Captain America played in the NHL from 2001–17. Grizzled veteran for sure, but want to feel old? Brian was just a year old at the time of the original Miracle on Ice in 1980.

    Of course, Tomi Rantamaeki, 49, is the granddaddy of 2018 Olympic athletes. But the Finn is, well…a curler.


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