11 Team USA Athletes To Keep An Eye On

11 Team USA Athletes To Keep An Eye On

Team USA Has Some Pretty Cool Athletes...

With the 2018 Winter Olympics underway, national pride is at an all-time high. Before I name my top 11 standouts of Team USA, I want to give a shoutout to all of the Team USA athletes and thank them for representing our country so well on an international stage. With that being said, here are the standouts that I would keep my eye out for for the next couple weeks.

1. Gus Kenworthy

Freestyle skier Kenworthy made a name for himself when he came out during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, most famous for adopting stray puppies and bringing them back to the US. Kenworthy, figure skater Adam Rippon, and speed skater Britanny Bowe are the three out U.S. athletes representing the LGBT community.

2. Jamie Anderson

Not much has to be said except that Jamie Anderson repeated as a snowboard Slope Style gold medalist and is one of the best slope style snowboarders in the world on a consistent basis.

3. U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Team

After fighting for equal pay and earning what they deserve, the Women's national team is on a quest to finally win gold. The US hasn't won a gold medal since the inaugural games in Nagano, Japan in 1998. From 18-year-old Cayla Barnes, to veteran Hilary Knight, the US team is a force to be reckoned with.

4. U.S. Men's Ice Hockey Team

Since NHL players are no longer playing in the Olympics, this Men's national team has a chip on their shoulder to prove to the country and themselves that they deserve to be representing the US and that they deserve a gold medal.

5. Red Gerard

17-year-old Red Gerard won gold in the men's snowboard Slope Style, and it was the US's first medal, and gold medal of the 2018 Olympic Games. That's a pretty sweet milestone for a rookie.

6. Hailey Langland

One of the youngest, if not the youngest member of the Olympic team has to fight for the spotlight between veteran Olympian teammates Jamie Anderson and Jessika Jensen. After placing just outside the top 3 in slope style, Langland hopes to redeem herself during the Big Air competition.

7. Julia Marino

Another Olympic rookie, 20-year-old Julia Marino didn't place as well as she wanted in slope style, even though she won gold in slope style at the 2017 X Games, but like Hailey Langland, had the chance to redeem herself in the Big Air competition.

8. Chloe Kim

17-year-old Chloe Kim is also a snowboarder but is a master at halfpipe. After being too young to compete in the Olympics in 2014, she placed second in the superpipe event in the 2014 X Games.

9. Chris Mazdzer

An American Legend: Mazdzer was the first US man to EVER medal in the singles luge in the history of the Olympics. He won silver, after coming in 13th place in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics.

10. Maame Biney

Born in Ghana, 18-year-old Maame Biney and her father moved to Virginia to help her live a better life, and I think that plan worked out pretty well. Most known for her infectious smile and energy, Biney is also the first black woman to qualify for the US Speedskating team*.

*Erin Jackson made the US Speedskating team in women's long track shortly after Biney.

11. Mikaela Shiffrin

22-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin is ready to take the Olympics by storm. Shiffrin holds the title of Overall World Cup champion and previously won gold in slalom in the Olympics and World Championships. At 18 years old (and 345 days), she became the youngest gold medalist in slalom in alpine skiing history in the Olympics.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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A Reflection On Iron Man, The OG Avenger

My reactions to the 2008 film after a decade of Marvel adventures.


Before the madness of Infinity War and even before the Avengers, Iron Man made his screen debut. As the start of the superhero era, I couldn't refuse watching the movie when I found it on cable. Although I am a huge Marvel fan, it had been a long time since I have seen it.

Tony Stark's character changed in the past ten years. Although he's still the same "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist", he developed from the simple rich boy stereotype. In his first movie, his biggest worries consist of changing his company and stopping terrorism. Although at the time these issues seemed tough, his worries have grown much bigger. Now he fights not only for his planet, but the entire galaxy.

On top of fighting aliens, Tony developed anxiety. Between him falling through a wormhole during the attack on New York and the vision Wanda showed him in Age of Ultron, Tony constantly worries about the fate of his friends, often blaming himself for the danger they are put in. Seeing Tony virtually carefree was bittersweet as I realized being a superhero has changed him forever.

Although I am sympathetic now, there was a time when I was upset with Iron Man. During Captain America: Civil War, I felt especially frustrated with his choice to sign the accords. I thought about how he seemed to be a spoiled man who had his superpower handed to him through his family's wealth. I forgot about how through his wealth, his intelligence and caring for others is how he got started as an Avenger.

Something that always blows my mind is how he built his first suit when he was kidnapped by terrorists using his company's missiles. From there, he decided not only to use his technology to save his own life, but to help the other victims, and eventually life throughout the universe. Although I still don't agree with his argument from Civil War, it was heartwarming to remember the origin and values of Iron Man.

Pepper Potts also surprised me during the film. Although now I recognize her as a side character with sporadic appearances due to Gwyneth Paltrow's fluctuating contracts, she really shined in her first Marvel film. Pepper sees the good in Tony, even through his impulsive decisions, staying by his side when he needs her the most. Not only that, but she gets into the action herself, hacking into Obadiah's computer to find out his plans and taking the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to his hideout to confront and arrest him. She doesn't stay home while Tony's in trouble- she takes charge. Plus, she can run in heels, which is no small feat.

Although the future seems bleak for Tony now, he deserves happiness in his life after everything he's done. I hope Tony and Pepper can live long and happy lives together, even after the madness.

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