American women won more medals than they had won in 20 years at the 2018 Winter Olympics

By Diana Pearl
February 27, 2018 04:49 PM

When it came to success at the 2018 Olympics, it was the women of Team USA who reigned supreme.

The medal count for the United States in PyeongChang — a total of 23 — was the lowest it’s been since the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. But for the American women participating in the Games, the numbers were something to celebrate.

Twelve of the 23 medals won for Team USA were won by women, and five of the nine gold medals were won by women, too. That includes a gold and silver for alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, a bronze for veteran skier Lindsey Vonn and a gold for Chloe Kim in the snowboarding halfpipe competition. Men won nine medals, and two were won by teams in mixed-sex events. 2018 marks the first time since Nagano that the medal count for American women tops that of American men.

American women brought several of the history-making moments for Team USA during the PyeongChang games. Cross-country skiers Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall won the U.S.’s first-ever medal in the sport with their gold medal finish in the team sprint. And for the first time since 1998 (the first year women’s hockey was played at the Olympics), the U.S. women’s hockey team won the gold medal, defeating Canada.

The U.S. women's hockey team
Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

Other women to bring home the bling? Bobsledders Elana Meyers Taylor and Lauren Gibbs, who won silver in the two-woman race. Jamie Anderson, who got a gold in slopestyle snowboarding and a silver in the big air event. Arielle Gold, who won bronze in the snowboarding halfpipe competition. There was also a bronze for speed skaters Heather Bergsma, Brittany Bowe, Mia Manganello, Carlijn Schoutens in the Ladies’ Team Pursuit event. Maia Shibutani, Bradie Tennell, Alexa Knierim and Mirai Nagasu also won a bronze medal in the figure skating team competition. Shibutani won another bronze alongside her brother and ice dancing partner Alex Shibutani in the ice dancing event.

The female-led successes in PyeongChang are just continuing the trend of recent years: They won more medals than the men at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and the 2012 Games in London.

Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold
Sam Mellish/In Pictures/Getty

Vonn says she hopes that women’s success at the Olympics will inspire future generations of Olympians — or whatever they want. “Hopefully young girls see that and they want to follow their dreams, whether that’s cross-country or being a doctor or whatever it may be.”