Asian athletes to watch in 2022 Olympics (Part 2)

Learn more about some of the Asian athletes participating in the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games

Asian athletes in the 2022 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics

This is a two-part series Asian athletes to watch in the Beijing 2022 Olympics and Paralympics. Part 1 is available here: Asian athletes to watch in 2022 Olympics (Part 1)

Vincent Zhou (Figure Skating)

Vincent Zhou Asian Athlete 2022 Olympics
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Palo Alto’s Vincent Zhou is another strong contender to watch out for in men’s figure skating this year.

During the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018, Zhou was the first figure skater to successfully land a quadruple lutz – a jump where the skater spins four times in the air before landing. He finished sixth overall in the men’s singles event.

When asked about how it feels to be competing alongside Nathan Chen on Team USA, Zhou says he’s been inspired by Chen’s ability and talent for so long.

As a Chinese American growing up in the Bay Area, competition in academics was very fierce. Its high Asian population played a huge role in helping Zhou understand his family’s expectations for academics and sports.

My parents were willing to make sacrifices for my skating career that no parents in our community, or anyone we had heard of, were willing to,” he said.

The values his parents instilled helped shape his character in and out of sports.

Keep an eye out for that quad lutz on the ice next month.

Alysa Liu (Figure Skating)

Alysa Liu Asian Athlete
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith-ISU/Getty Images

Another figure skater to watch out for on the ice is two-time national champion Alysa Liu.

When Liu was just 13 years old, she became the youngest-ever national champion after winning the 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She won the title again in 2020.

Jeffrey Webb (Alpine Skiing)

Jeffrey Webb 2022 Olympics Asian Athlete
Photo Credit: AGENCE ZOOM

Alpine skier Jeffrey Webb was one of the first athletes to represent Malaysia at the Winter Olympics in 2018.

Born in Kuala Lumpur to a Malaysian mother and an American father, Webb moved with his family to the U.S. at the age of five. Growing up, he would spend the winters in Chelan, Washington and the summers in Malaysia.

Webb began skiing for the Mission Ridge Ski Team at the age of five. He emerged as the best skier in the Southeast Asia region at the 2017 Sapporo Games in Japan.

Hardly anyone talks about winter sports in Malaysia. But times are changing as more young Malaysian athletes are now competing at a high caliber in winter sports.

Eileen Gu (Freestyle Skiing)

Eileen Gu Asian Athlete 2022 Olympics
Photo Credit: AFP

Eileen Gu is an American-born freestyle skier representing Team China.

On the road to the Beijing Olympics, the San Francisco native won the halfpipe competition at the FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup in Calgary and the U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe contest in Copper Mountain, Colorado. She also clinched gold at the freeski half-pipe at the Winter Games in New Zealand, and won China’s first ever Winter X Games gold medals in the superpipe and slopestyle.

Born to an American father and a Chinese mother, Gu opted to represent China in 2019. She hopes to unite people from the two countries, despite facing controversy since Chinese nationality law does not recognize dual citizenship.

Gu follows the wisdom from her mother – competing to win, but not letting her athletic career define her as a person.

There’s no doubt she will continue making headlines at the Olympic Games next month.

Grace Miller (Nordic Skiing)

Grace Miller Asian Athlete
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Nordic skier and Chinese adoptee Grace Miller was born without a left forearm. She was adopted from China at the age of three and raised in Palmer, Alaska, by ski coach Kymberly Miller.

Miller began skiing at the age of four and joined the Nordic ski team in middle school and high school. She then went off to the University of Alaska – strapping on her skis to train in the mornings, attending a full slate of classes, then hitting the trails again in the afternoon.

Miller made her debut at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang – finishing 10th in the 15km cross-country, 12th in the 4×2.5km cross-country, and 18th in the 7.5km cross-country in the standing category.

She recently graduated from college and hopes to one day work in the medical field.

When you’re a college athlete, everyone is under the same pressure of trying to perform in both school and our sport,” she said.

There is still a long way to go when it comes to increased diversity in the Olympics. Not just for Asian Americans, but for other people of colour as well.

However, watching these incredible athletes on the slopes, on the ice, in the arenas, in front of the cameras, and on the podiums, is a statement in and of itself.

See also: 9 Asian North American athletes we’re excited about

See also: 6 Asian North American Olympians who made history

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