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2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Chloe Kim?

Chloe Kim has become one of snowboarding’s most renowned names. The 17-year-won the gold medal at the 2018 Games Feb. 13, making her the youngest female medalist in the halfpipe category.

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She has won back-to-back X Games titles in 2015 and 2016 and two gold medals at the 2016 youth Olympic Games.

Kim qualified mathematically for the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, but at age 13, was not old enough to compete

 >> More Olympics coverage at WPXI.com

She could become the youngest female snowboarding medalist at the age of 17, but she may be beaten to the record by Hailey Langland, since the slopestyle competition falls one day before half-pipe. 

About Kim 

Kim was born April 23, 2000, in Long Beach, California. She was on a snowboard by the age of 4, but was not thrilled with the sport at first. Kim grew up taking trips to Mammoth with her father, who would drive six hours each way on the weekends. He would form a makeshift bed for Kim in the back seat of their SUV. 

At the age of 6, Kim entered her first competition and won junior nationals the following year. 

South Korea connection 

Kim is a first generation Korean-American. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1998. Kim is fluent in Korean and her mother's side of the family lives in Seoul.

Other interesting facts:

  • Won the season-opening World Cup in New Zealand in 2018
  • Had a year-long streak that started in January 2016 at the X Games and was broken in late January 2017 at the X Games, where she finished third
  • Won gold at the 2018 Euro X Games
  • Became the first female snowboarder to land back-to-back 1080s and scored a perfect 100 to win at the 2016 U.S. Open
  • Won silver at the 2014 X Games at the age of 13

2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Nick Goepper?

Nick Goepper is a 2014 Olympic bronze medalist in slopestyle and a three-time X Games champion.

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Goepper started out the 2017-18 season with a fourth-place finish at the World Cup in New Zealand.

2014 Sochi Games

Goepper was the top-ranked skier heading into Sochi. He nabbed an early lead in the slopestyle final with a promising first run, in which he landed a triple cork, but he was upstaged. Goepper's first run score was enough to score bronze. This was only the third time in history that the U.S. swept the podium at the Olympic Winter Games.

About Goepper

Goepper was born March 4, 1994, in Lawrenceburg, a small farming town in Southern Indiana. He is the eldest of four children. His two sisters were competitive gymnasts. Goepper would practice his jumps on the trampoline under the guidance of his sisters’ coach, Mary Lee Tracy, who was the assistant coach for the gold medal-winning 1996 women’s gymnastics team. 

During his middle school days, Goepper would mow lawns, pull weeds and sell candy bars in order to earn enough money to buy a ski pass for the winter. He would buy the candy bars in bulk from Costco and then sell them out of his backpack on the school bus.

>> More Olympics coverage at WPXI.com

Goepper was discovered at an action sports camp in Ohio at the age of 15 and was later offered a scholarship to a sports academy in Oregon.

Other interesting facts:

  • Finished second at the 2017 Euro X Games.
  • First impressive results came during the 2010-2011 season, when he placed third at the Dew Tour stop at Killington, then later won the Dumont Cup that winter.

2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Lindsey Vonn?

Lindsey Vonn is a two-time Olympic medalist who holds the women’s record for most FIS Alpine Ski World Cup wins. She won gold in downhill and bronze in super-G at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. 

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Pyeongchang will be Vonn’s fourth Olympic Games. She has competed in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Games. 

The 32-year-old was unable to defend her title at the 2014 Sochi Olympics after suffering a serious knee injury.

>> More Olympics coverage at WPXI.com

Vonn began to ski at Buck Hill Ski Area near her family home in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her father, Alan Kildow, is a three-time national junior champion who blew out his knee at the age of 18. It was Kildow who mapped out Vonn’s skiing future. 

At the age of 11, Vonn wanted a bigger challenge than Buck Hill. Her mother quit her job of 17 years and they moved to Vail, Colorado, for the winter to train at the Ski Club Vail. The following year, her father and two brothers and two sisters also moved to Vail.

Vonn has dealt with a laundry list of injuries, including a broken arm she suffered in a November 2016 training crash, but she still managed to rewrite the record books.

Other Interesting Facts

  • Owns seven world championship medals.
  • Fourth-time winner of the overall World Cup title.
  • Owns the women’s record for most World Cup wins.
  • Closing in on the overall record of career World Cup wins.
  • Owns the women’s record for most World Cup discipline titles.
  • Eight-time winner of the World Cup downhill title.
  • Has won more World Cup downhill races than any other skier.
  • Has won more World Cup super-G races than any other skier.
  • First alpine skier to win 20 crystal globes.

2018 Winter Olympics: Who is Shaun White?

Shaun White, 31, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in halfpipe. No male snowboarder has more than two medals. 

White has competed in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He competed sparingly since 2014, focusing on his business ventures.

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White was born on Sept. 3, 1986, in San Diego. He had a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot and had two major surgeries before his first birthday. In his younger years, White had to wear corrective leg braces at night because he had bow legs. 

>> More Olympics coverage at WPXI.com

White began skiing during his family’s twice-a-year trips to Mammoth, California. He wanted to start snowboarding lessons when he was 6 years old, but resort rules said he had to be 12. Instead, White and his father took a lesson to learn how to get on a snowboard.

At age 7, he won his first amateur contest. His win earned him a wild card to the national championships, where he finished 11th

White's snowboarding career cost his parents $20,000 a year, putting a financial strain on his family. During the early days of his career, the family would drive to Mammouth, a six-hour drive, every Friday in their 1964 Econoline van. The entire family would sleep in the van in place of paying for a hotel room.

White turned pro at 13. 

Torino 2006

White was considered the favorite to take gold after entering the 2006 Torino Games, where he did not disappoint. White, then 19 years old, racked up 46.8 out of 50 points in the first run of the final round by landing back-to-back 1080s followed by a pair of 900s. 

Vancouver 2010White entered the Vancouver 2010 games as one of the most recognizable athletes at the games. White clinched the gold medal with his first two runs in the final with back-to-back double corks and that earned him 46.8 out of 50 points. His win boosted him from No. 51 to No. 2 on the "Bloomberg Power 100" list of the most marketable athletes in the country.

Sochi 2014

White entered the Sochi Games as a two-time defending Olympic halfpipe champion. He attempted to become the first American man to win the same event three Winter Games in a row. He was supposed to compete in both the halfpipe and slopestyle, but pulled out of slopestyle less than 24 hours before start time. He wanted to focus on the halfpipe and wanted to avoid injury. White left Sochi empty-handed after finishing fourth.

2016-17 season

White had ankle surgery in 2016 after a training session in New Zealand. He said his ankle was bothering him for years. He had a piece of chipped bone removed.

White debuted at the U.S. Grand Prix after returning from his ankle surgery but did not qualify for the final. He had a strong showing at the Olympic Test Event later that month. White scored 95 in his best of three runs but was beaten by Australia's Scotty James by one point in the final run. White defeated James several weeks later at the U.S. Open.

Other interesting facts:

  • He has an event series (Air + Style), a men's clothing line (WHT SPACE) and is part-owner of Mammoth Mountain, where he grew up riding. 
  • First athlete to win gold at both the Winter and Summer X Games in skateboarding.
  • Won a record 18 medals, including 13 gold, at the Winter X Games, the biggest snowboarding event besides the Olympics.
  • Won five X Games medals in skateboarding.
  • Scored a perfect 100 at the U.S. Grand Prix event in January 2018.
  • Attempted to qualify for the 2002 Olympics in halfpipe at the age of 15, but narrowly failed to make the team. 

USA Gymnastics board of directors to resign

UPDATE, Jan. 26, 6:40 p.m. local time:

The Associated Press reported that the entire board of directors of USA Gymnastics will resign, per the request of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

ORIGINAL STORY, Jan. 26, 3:21 a.m. local time: 

The chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee has threatened to decertify USA Gymnastics unless the remaining 18 members of its board of directors resign by Wednesday, ESPN reported.

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In an email sent Thursday to the USA Gymnastics board, Scott Blackmun said an interim board must be assembled by Feb. 28, and that none of those members can be from the current board.

On Monday, three USA Gymnastics board members -- Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley -- announced they were resigning.

Blackmun wrote that a non-interim board must be in place within a year, ESPN reported.

>> 3 members of USA Gymnastics board resign

His request comes after a sexual abuse scandal that involved former national team doctor Larry Nassar, CNN reported. More than 150 women and girls claimed they were sexually abused by Nassar, including Olympic champions Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber and Simone Biles. 

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison Wednesday. Nassar also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in November and received a 60-year sentence.

Blackmun said replacing the entire 21-member board of USA Gymnastics would guarantee a fresh start.

“We do not base these requirements on any knowledge that any individual USAG staff or board members had a role in fostering or obscuring Nassar's actions,” Blackmun wrote in his email. “Our position comes from a clear sense that USAG culture needs fundamental rebuilding.”

Blackmun also said that USAG must cooperate with an independent investigation to determine if anyone knew of abuse allegations against Nassar and neglected to report them.

>> NCAA opens investigation into Michigan State’s handling of Nassar abuse

In a statement Thursday night, USA Gymnastics said it “completely embraces” Blackmun’s requirements. 

“We understand that the requirements imposed by the letter will help us enhance our ability to accomplish change for the betterment of our organization, our athletes and our clubs,” USA Gymnastics said. “Our commitment is uncompromising and we hope everything we do makes this very clear.”

3 members of USA Gymnastics board of governors resign

Three members of the board of directors for USA Gymnastics resigned Monday as criticism increased over the organization’s handling of a sex-abuse scandal that involved former team doctor Larry Nassar, NBC News reported.

>> Read more trending news

Board Chairman Paul Parilla, Vice Chairman Jay Binder and Treasurer Bitsy Kelley announced they were resigning, a move that was supported by Kerry Perry, the organization’s president and CEO.

"We support their decisions to resign at this time," Perry said. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.

"As the board identifies its next chair and fills the vacant board positions, we remain focused on working every day to ensure that our culture, policies and actions reflect our commitment to those we serve.”

USA Gymnastics, based in Indianapolis, trains Olympians, including nearly 100 competitors who said that Nassar sexually assaulted them, NBC News reported. Monday was the fifth day in which victim impact statements were given in Nassar’s sentencing, the New York Post reported.

>> USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 60-year prison term

Nassar, who spent more than 20 years working at Michigan State University and as a physician for USA Gymnastics, has admitted to sexually assaulting gymnasts, ESPN reported. In December, Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison on charges of child pornography. 

Monday was the fifth day of victim impact statements in Nassar’s sentencing.

USA Gymnastics has been criticized by Olympic gold medalists Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles and Jordyn Weiber -- all of whom allege Nassar molested them.

Shirtless flag-bearer from 2016 Olympics qualifies for 2018 Games

The flag-bearer from Tonga who walked shirtless in the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics will need to pack some warm shirts for the South Korean games.

>> Read more trending news

Saying that “a miracle happened,” Pita Taufatofua qualified for the Pyeongchang Olympics in cross-country skiing Saturday, The Wall Street Journal reported. Taufatofua had failed in two previous attempts to qualify for the Winter Olympics, but on Saturday, he met the standards in five races to qualify, ESPN reported.

“I gave it absolutely everything,” he told the Journal. “I died at the end.”

Taufatofua qualified in taekwondo at the Rio de Janeiro Games, ESPN reported. He was eliminated in his first bout.

Jim Johannson, GM of USA Hockey, dead at 53

Jim Johannson, the assistant executive director of USA Hockey and general manager of the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team, died in his sleep Sunday morning, USA Hockey said in a statement. He was 53.

>> Read more trending news

USA Hockey said Johannson died at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We are beyond shocked and profoundly saddened,” USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher said in the statement. “As accomplished as Jim was in hockey, he was the absolute best, most humble, kind and caring person you could ever hope to meet. His impact on our sport and more importantly the people and players in our sport have been immeasurable. Our condolences go out to his entire family, but especially to his loving wife Abby and their young daughter Ellie.”

Johannson’s death comes a few weeks before the United States competes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The Games begin Feb. 9.

Johannson has been with USA Hockey since 2000. This season was going to be a challenge for the American team, as it would be competing without NHL players for the first time since 1994.

Johannson played college hockey at Wisconsin from 1982 to 1986 and led the Badgers to an NCAA title as a freshman. He played for the U.S. men’s hockey team in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics.

This year’s U.S. hockey squad is coached by Tony Granato, who was Johannson’s teammate on the 1988 squad.

Michael Phelps reveals he considered suicide after 2012 Olympics

Swimmer Michael Phelps has revealed that after the 2012 Olympics, he considered suicide.

>> Michael Phelps and wife Nicole expecting second child

“Really, after every Olympics I think I fell into a major state of depression,” he told David Axelrod at the fourth annual conference of the Kennedy Forum, an organization for mental health advocacy, according to CNN. Phelps revealed that after winning four gold medals and two silver medals at the 2012 Olympics, the depression got worse, and he couldn’t leave his room for days.

“I didn’t want to be in the sport anymore … I didn’t want to be alive anymore,” he said.

Eventually, Phelps decided he needed to seek help.

>> Read more trending news 

“I remember going to treatment my very first day. I was shaking, shaking because I was nervous about the change that was coming up,” Phelps said. “I needed to figure out what was going on.”

After getting his life back on track, Phelps started the Michael Phelps Foundation, which works with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He also has been open about his struggles with mental health and depression.

>> WATCH: Michael Phelps races great white shark ... sort of

“I think people actually finally understand it is real. People are talking about it, and I think this is the only way that it can change,” he said. “That’s the reason why suicide rates are going up; people are afraid to talk and open up.”

Phelps said that now, he is thankful to be alive. He is now married to his longtime love, Nicole Johnson, and has a son, Boomer, with another on the way, due later this year.

“I am extremely thankful that I did not take my life,” he said.

USA Gymnastics says it will not fine McKayla Maroney if she speaks out against team doctor

USA Gymnastics said Tuesday evening it will not fine gymnast McKayla Maroney if she speaks publicly about the alleged abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Maroney, who signed a nondisclosure agreement for $1.25 million with USA Gymnastics in in December 2016 in exchange for her silence, is currently suing USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic Committee and Michigan State University with the claim that the nondisclosure agreement she signed after claiming Nassar molested her was illegal. 

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Chrissy Teigen offers to pay McKayla Maroney's possible $100K fine to speak out about team doctor

USA Gymnastics said in a statement it has not and will not seek retribution if Maroney speaks about alleged abuse by Nassar during his four-day sentencing.

As of Wednesday morning, Maroney was not expected to speak at Nassar’s sentencing.

"USA Gymnastics has not sought and will not seek any money from McKayla Maroney for her brave statements made in describing her victimization and abuse by Larry Nassar, nor for any victim impact statements she wants to make to Larry Nassar at this hearing or at any subsequent hearings related to his sentencing,” the statement to USA TODAY read. “This has been her right and USA Gymnastics encourages McKayla and anyone who has been abused to speak out. USA Gymnastics remains focused on our highest priority — the safety, health and well-being of our athletes and creating a culture that empowers and supports them."

In response to reports Tuesday that USA Gymnastics could fine Maroney up to $100,000 if she spoke out against Nassar at his sentencing like nearly 100 other alleged victims, model Chrissy Teigen offered to pay the fine.

>> Read more trending news 

“The entire principle of this should be fought – an NDA to stay quiet about this serial monster with over 140 accusers, but I would be absolutely honored to pay this fine for you, McKayla,” Teigen wrote.

After Nassar pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in November, his sentencing on seven sexual assault charges began Tuesday. 

The former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor is currently serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison on child pornography charges.

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