9 Athletes That Have Set the Internet on Fire During the 2018 Winter Olympics
The 2018 Winter Olympics are well under way, and there have been plenty of viral moments from the athletes.
The internet has been abuzz about everything from the tangible chemistry between (allegedly platonic) Canadian ice skating couple Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue to US snowboarder Shaun White’s dramatic victory (and ensuing backlash).
Read on for an up-to-date roundup on all of the 2018 games’ most-talked-about athletes.
Shaun White was the most emotional he’s ever been after a race, recapturing gold. pic.twitter.com/T6cD2LADQT
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 14, 2018
Snowboarder White won gold for the men’s halfpipe competition, becoming the first US male competitor to take gold home during three separate Winter Olympic games. His reaction took the internet by storm, as he became extra emotional.
Right after winning, some viewers were dissatisfied with all of the positive headlines surrounding White, who as recently as last May settled a lawsuit for alleged sexual harassment. The star athlete had been accused by a former bandmate, who claimed White would make inappropriate comments and send crude sexual content to her phone. Twitter had a lot to say about that:
People out here acting like Shaun White didn’t just write a check to silence a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct. He makes for good after dinner TV during the #Olympics2018 so it’s okay, it seems. You can’t be #MeToo whenever it’s convenient.
— John Grice (@TheyCallMeGrice) February 14, 2018
Shaun White got the gold at the Olympics yesterday, but no one is talking about the fact that he is also accused of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Just because he’s an incredible athlete, doesn’t mean he didn’t do that too. #ShaunWhite #MeToo
— #OfficiallyPatty (@OfficiallyPatty) February 14, 2018
While the world celebrates Shaun White for his athletic accomplishments at the Olympics we need to remember his bandmate, Lena Zawaideh, a woman White repeatedly sexually harassed. #MeToo
— Simar (@sahluwal) February 14, 2018
In an attempt to repair his reputation, White made things worse when he referred to the allegations as “gossip.” Further backlash led him to appear on Today to excuse his poor word choice .
Scott Moir & Tessa Virtue
Platonic or not?
The Canadian figure skaters have been paired together since they were kids but maintain they’re not a couple—despite the clear connection they have on the ice. Of course, their insistence hasn’t stopped viewers from shipping them hard on social media.
— Morgan (@miss_meaux) February 13, 2018
Still thinking about the passion between Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir idk if they’re in love but they’re definitely in love pic.twitter.com/HNpmYFOWXN
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) February 12, 2018
— Amy Liu (@Amyliu29) February 11, 2018
me explaining to my friends/family/co-workers/barista why tessa virtue and scott moir are actually together but just can’t make it public before they retire pic.twitter.com/gr1GXEksj6
— Moira Wyton (@moirawyton) February 13, 2018
The 24 year old figure skater became the first American woman to nail a triple axel in the Olympics ever. Undoubtedly one of the biggest achievements in the games so far, Nagasu’s excitement was palpable, as was the excitement of those who witnessed her victory.
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) February 12, 2018
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 12, 2018
— U.S. Olympic Team (@TeamUSA) February 12, 2018
Radford became the first openly gay athlete to snag gold at the Winter Olympics when the Canadian team member won alongside pairs partner Meagan Duhamel. While there are other openly gay athletes competing in the games this year—Gus Kenworthy, Brittany Bowe, and Adam Rippon are representing the US—Radford’s win is certainly historical.
So proud that @Adaripp and I get to wear these medals and show the world what we can do! #represent🏳️🌈 #olympics #pyeongchang2018 #pride #outandproud #medalists #TeamNorthAmerica pic.twitter.com/eXMlZ2Utrw
— Eric Radford (@Rad85E) February 12, 2018
The openly gay Team USA member made headlines over his comment about Mike Pence. Essentially, he said that he wanted to focus on the games and ignore the political drama, but alas this wasn’t the case. In response to Rippon’s comment, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted at the athlete, saying not to focus on Pence, who isn’t concerned about the matter. Plenty of people were quick to point out that the vice president had, in fact, tweeted at the skater, wishing him success.
Really? Then Perhaps you shouldn’t have spent the past few weeks talking about him. I haven’t heard him mention you once??? https://t.co/8lcCsoyBsq
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 14, 2018
.@Adaripp I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 8, 2018
Alexa Scimeca Knierim & Chris Knierim
Keeping Love Alive
The US figure skating duo are actually married in real life, and took to the ice for a steamy Valentine’s Day routine that captured viewers’ attention. The pair also advanced to the next round of competitions.
It’s already Valentine’s Day in #PyeongChang, and here’s how Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim are spending it… #WinterOlympics #figureskating #TeamUSA #RelationshipGoals (via Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/8dKccbVeCC
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2018
The F-Bomb Heard Round the World
The 17-year-old is the youngest competitor to take home Gold for the USA in a snowboarding category at the Winter Olympics. Gerard’s win has now become infamous after he overslpt before the event and then dropped an F-bomb when he discovered he’d won. Since then, he’s returned to the US for interviews.