Top 5 U.S. Winter Olympians of All Time

Top 5 U.S. Winter Olympians of All Time

#5 Eric Heiden – Speed Skating

Credit: Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

• Gold Medals: 5

• 1980 Lake Placid

Heiden remains the only skater to have won all five distances in a single olympics and the only skater to earn a Gold medal in each event. If Heiden sustained this brilliance for multiple Olympics he would likely be at the top of this list. 


#4 Michelle Kwan – Figure Skating

Credit: Anacleto Rapping/LA Times via Getty Images

• Silver Medal: 1
• Bronze Medal: 1

• 1998 Nagano
• 2002 Salt Lake City

Kwan is arguably the greatest figure skater in U.S. history. Her longevity and consistent success are a testament to her love of the sport and willingness to evolve as a skater. In between Olympic competition, Kwan won five world championships and nine U.S. championships.


#3 Shaun White – Snowboarding

Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports

• Gold Medal: 3
• (Fourth place finish in 2014)

• 2006 Turin
• 2010 Sochi
• 2014 Vancouver
• 2018 PyeongChang

Shaun White is the most dominate snowboarder in Winter Olympics history. His retirement from the sport will usher in a new era, but he stands alone atop the list of all time greats. His most recent Olympic gold medal came in epic fashion, with White entering the final run trailing by a full point. Only to pull off back-to-back 1440s to win gold. 


#2 Bonnie Blair – Speed Skating

via Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

• Gold Medal: 5
• Bronze Medal: 1

• 1984 Sarajevo
• 1988 Calgary
• 1992 Albertville
• 1994 Lillehammer

Blair is the first skater to ever win the 500m sprint in back-to-back Olympics. The quick two-year turn around after the Olympic committee decided to stagger the Olympic games by two years, allowed Blair to win her third consecutive Gold Medal in the 500m race.  Also at the 1994 Olympics,  Blair obliterated the competition in the 1,000m. Her 1.38 second margin over the Silver medalist is the largest margin of victory in the history of the event. Blair's second Gold Medal at the 1992 Olympics made her the most decorated Winter Olympian in U.S. history at the time.  


#1 Apolo Anton Ohno – Speed Skating

Credit: Damian Strohmeyer/Sports Illustrated

• Gold Medal: 2
• Silver Medal: 2
• Bronze: 4

• 2002 Salt Lake City
• 2006 Turin
• 2010 Vancouver

In between his Olympic brilliance, Ohno won eight World Championships and seven World Championship runner-ups. Ohno's eight-year reign made him the face of Olympic speed skating. Having an American be the face of anything related to the Winter Olympics (that isn't snowboarding) is a feat all its own. Ohno is the most decorated Winter Olympian in U.S. history. 

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