What Scares the World's Most Daring Olympians
In the New York Times exclusive multimedia feature, What Scares the World's Most Daring Olympians, published Feb. 1, 2022, journalists explore the five biggest fears of Winter Olympic athletes – getting hurt, new tricks, bad weather, uncertainty, and skiing nearly blind. Five parts, five stories, one for each fear.
Each piece walks readers through an interactive, visual experience that depicts the thoughts and feelings that race through the minds of the athletes as they push themselves to new speeds and new heights. As a whole, it is a testament to the grit, determination, and focus that every athlete channels when they put their bodies on the line in pursuit of a feeling – a feeling that defies fear and derives exuberance. The Olympic stage is one most athletes spend their entire lives pursuing, an opportunity none of them will take for granted, no matter the stakes.
The article features three dozen active and retired Winter Olympians, including U.S. Ski & Snowboard's very own Jamie Anderson, Erik Arvidsson, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Billy Demong, Red Gerard, Faye Gulini, Breezy Johnson, Casey Larson, Ben Loomis, Annika Malacinski, Alice Merryweather, Steven Nyman, River Radamus, Logan Sankey, Shaun White, and Jackie Wiles.
"The Winter Olympics are a carnival of danger, a spectacle of speed and slick surfaces, powered mostly by the undefeated force of gravity. Skiers hurtle themselves down mountains faster than cars drive on highways. Sliders ride high-speed sleds down a twisting chute of ice. Ski jumpers soar great distances through the air, and snowboarders and freestyle skiers flip and spin in the sky and hope for a safe landing. The next wipeout always feels moments away. The athletes who perform these daring feats are not crazy. They are not reckless. But they do have one thing in common that might surprise those of us who watch.
They are scared. Every one of them."