Olympic Cuties

Jason Brown

I love the Olympics, particularly the Winter Games. I love the personal stories of triumph, watching athletes compete is disciplines that don’t typically get a lot of coverage, and learning more about the host countries. But we’re not talking about those today. We’re talking Olympics cuties. Here are some of my favorites from this year in Sochi.

Jason Brown — This U.S. figure skater is only 19 and just adorable. He always looks like he’s having a good time and knows how to work a crowd. I predict we’ll see a lot more great skates from him in the future, and I hope he’s on the podium in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Iouri Podlatchikov and Shaun White

I’ve decided that snowboarders would be a lot of fun to hang out with. Even when they’re competing, they seem so chill. I’ve really liked Shaun White ever since I first heard the term Flying Tomato. And even though he missed the podium this year, he’s still awesome and has helped to make the sport of snowboarding what it is.

Sage Kotsenburg

Then there’s Sage Kotsenburg, who grabbed the first medal of the Games by winning the snowboard slopestyle event. So the first gold went to the U.S.

I was in awe of Iouri Podlatchikov, who won the gold in the halfpipe snowboard event. He grew up idolizing Shaun White and seemed genuinely stunned to have beat his idol at the Olympics.

Gus Kenworthy and puppies

On to slopestyle skiing, there are cuties aplenty. But this photo of American Gus Kenworthy with four stray puppies he’s taking back home to the U.S. from the streets of Sochi just melted my heart.

Charlie White and Meryl Davis

Now on to more figure skating. I’m looking forward to the beginning of ice dancing today. I’m of course rooting for Americans Meryl Davis and her cutie and very talented partner, Charlie White.

And finally, I have loved pairs ice skating for as long as I can remember. My favorite pair of all time has been Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov, and when I watched the Russian pair of Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar skate this year on their way to winning the gold medal, their connection and beauty of skating reminded me of Gordeeva and Grinkov. I loved their long program set to music from Jesus Christ Superstar.

Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar

I think it really aids a pairs team when they are a couple in real life. That depth of feeling shines through. Maxim’s talent, height (especially compared to a lot of male skaters), and obvious feelings for Tatiana make him one of my favorite Olympic cuties this year.

Are you watching the Olympics? Who have been some of your favorite competitors and/or Olympic cuties in Sochi?



  • Jane says:

    Hello Trish,
    I love hockey, so many of those players are on my cuties list like Henrik Lundqvist. I love watching the snowboarding, skiing and biathlon events and discovered some faves there, too, like Aksel Lund Svindal and Martin Fourcade.

    • My friend Lara loves Aksel. We both also really like hockey, but I’m not able to keep up with it as much as I’d like anymore. But I think I want to put T.J. Oshie on my list now after that shootout in the USA-Russia game today.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Trish

    I have not seen any of them this time around they were on too late for me 🙁 I have always loved watching the figure skating and the hockey

    Have Fun

    • NBC shows a lot of the coverage tape-delayed here since East Coast U.S. is 9 hours behind Sochi time. So I have been having to avoid online spoilers until I watch the coverage.

  • Patty L. says:

    I work nights and have missed so much of the Olympics this year. 🙁 I agree on the couples skating together it brings an additional heat and connection that only love can bring out in a person.

  • Trish. fun post! Although the cabana boys are sulking that you’ve been paying so much attention to cuties who are not them!

    Haven’t watched any of Sochi! I can’t let myself start watching the Olympics or I’m there for the whole three weeks and just now, I don’t have three spare minutes let alone three spare minutes.

    My favorite winter Olympics event ever was Torville and Dean ice dancing to Bolero where he threw her into the volcano at the end. Purple lives! Still find that electrifying even now.

    • That was a fantastic performance, wasn’t it?

      Another performance I always remember is Canada’s Kurt Browning doing a routine to “Brick House” by The Commodores.

  • flchen1 says:

    I love the skaters, Trish! G&G were my all-time favorites, and this year it was fabulous to watch Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar this year. We’ve also been enjoying the ice dancers. Like Anna, I remember Torville & Dean’s Bolero! Loved that dance and when I hear the music now, it reminds me of that performance 🙂

  • MJ Fredrick says:

    I adore Sage. And I like Bode Miller, who also didn’t make the podium this year. I can’t think of anyone else right now…

  • Caren Crane says:

    Trish, you know how I adore the winter Olympics! They are favorite games ever. Many of my favorites have been mentioned, including T.J. Oshi who my mom & I wanted to nibble on yesterday. 😀

    Jason Brown is the cutest thing ever. He takes such obvious joy in performing that you can’t help but have fun with him. Qing Pang and Jian Tong, the pairs skaters from China, have the most romantic story of the year, in my opinion. They are both 31 and have skated together for 21 years. He proposed to her in 2011 and they have been waiting for these Olympics to be over so they can both retire and get married. Every time they end a performance, you can see the love in his eyes. She tries to mask her emotions more, but he looks like he could eat her up. And although they are not quite as spectacular this year as Maxim and Tatiana, their performances are very emotional. I love them!

    My favorite brothers in this Olympics so far are the twin speed skaters, Ronald and Michel Mulder of The Netherlands. Michel took the gold medal and Ronald the bronze in the men’s 500m. They are both just as cute as they can be, very Scandinavian-looking blue-eyed blonds with square jaws, gorgeous teeth and serious dimples.

    Another Dutch skater we fell for last night was Koen Verweij. He took silver in the men’s 1500m speed skating and lost gold by 3 hundredths of a second. Bonus: after he skates,, he immediately starts peeling off all his clothes and lets his long blond hair down. He is marvelous!

    • flchen1 says:

      I loved hearing that story, too, Caren! Wishing Pang and Tong many happy years together, on and off the ice!

    • I agree with everything you said. 🙂 That 1500m finish was crazy! So incredibly close. And yeah, no denying Koen is Scandinavian. 🙂 The Dutch are such good speed skaters.

  • Becke says:

    There are many attractive athletes, but what amazes me is the beauty of their bodies–the toned muscles required to perform the tasks. I can’t imagine skating and holding 100 pounds above my head with one hand! Snowboarding such incredible heights. All of it. That’s the fascination for me.

    And I struggle to pump two twenty pound weights. They are awesome! And the single-minded, task-oriented desire? I can’t comprehend that piece.

  • Rita Wray says:

    I was also a huge fan of Ekaterina and Sergei. It was so terrible when he passed away. I enjoyed Maxim and Tatiana, wonderful skating.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    I’ve been limited in my Winter Olympics watching because of deadlines – which is a shame, because as a former skater, I loved watching the figure skating and the ice dancing. Haven’t caught any of that, this time around.

    In fact, the only think I’ve really been able to make time to watch has been the hockey (I know, big shock!). I’m supporting Team USA, because it’s my second home – even though I love Canada too. I’m able to support my boy Zach again, now that he’s on the right team 🙂

    • I wish I had time to watch the expanded coverage online and through NBC Sports Network. I’d like to watch some of the full hockey games. But like you, I’m on deadline. Book due tomorrow!

    • Caren Crane says:

      The ice dancing short program was so much fun to watch. I saw Charlie White & Meryl Davis’ program this afternoon and they were absolutely flawless. In first place ahead of the Canadians after today! I think the long program is tomorrow. I can’t wait!

  • EC Spurlock says:

    I’m a big Winter Olympics fan and have been enjoying watching the games, although I think NBC’s coverage stinks and wish they would give it back to ABC who IMHO did a much better job back in the day.

    I’ve been very amused by the number of superheroes showing up. When Sage Kotsenburg won I said, “Oh look, Thor just won snowboarding!” Then Koen Verweij got his Silver in speed skating and took off his hood and I said “Oh look, Legolas just won speed skating!” Charlie White reminds me of somebody too but I can’t place who. I have to say I was just heartbroken for Pluschenko when he had to withdraw; I know that’s not the way this champion wanted to go out. But Kanyu is so electrifying I think he will be the new powerhouse. And if I can mention a female cutie, I think Katie Uhlaender is adorable and I was heartbroken for her too, losing by only 1/100 of a second!

    I think the moment I will remember all my life was watching Robin Cousins win his Gold in 1980. We were up in the nosebleed seats at the stadium but he had such presence he just filled the whole arena. Then we came out and were waiting for the bus back to the parking lot and people just started streaming through the streets waving flags and screaming about how the hockey team had just beat Russia. We just couldn’t believe it. That was one big party that night! We also got to watch Eric Heiden win his fifth gold medal from outside the chain link fence at the speed skating oval – that was back in the days when there was a lot less security and things were more relaxed! Later we went to his medal ceremony; the ceremonies were held out on the frozen lake and the winners stood on a podium made of ice blocks. When he was awarded his medal everyone started cheering and stomping their feet, and you could feel the ice under your feet shaking and flexing. Great memories!

    • LOL on superheroes winning medals. In a way, they are superheroes. They can do what the vast majority of the population can’t.

      That is so cool that you’ve gotten to go to an Olympics and the one that had the Miracle on Ice! Yesterday I knew who won the USA-Russia game, and I was still nervous during the shootout! Now I want to buy hockey tickets to a Preds game with the Blues come to town so i can see T.J. Oshie. 🙂

      I agree with you on Plushenko. Bad pain is something people don’t understand unless they’ve had it. What made me even sadder/angry was that he experienced a lot of negative backlash at home for pulling out. A Russian politician called him an invalid and is pushing for a law that stipulates that no Russian athlete can compete in more than 2 Olympics.

    • Also meant to say I agree with you about Katie Uhlaender. My heart broke for her. She was so close and yet so far.

  • catslady says:

    I’ve been watching as much as I can and what is nice is they have it on a cable channel before it switches over and I stay up late to watch too lol. I love all the sports – from ice skating to curling. And what about that Russia/US hockey game yesterday!

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to watch much of the Olympics this year, but the winter games are my fave! I enjoy the figure skating, of course, because it’s such a lovely combo of dance and athleticism. But I also love the snowboarding events! So cool what they can do!

  • I’m boycotting the Olympics this year because of Sochi’s cruel poisoning of dogs made strays by the demolition of homes to make room for the Olympic venues. Because these homes were destroyed and the citizens of Sochi were made to move into apartments, many of those dogs killed as strays were actually pets abandoned when their families moved into apartments. Money was allocated in the Olympic bid to build animal shelters to house these strays, but as often happens in Russia the money disappeared into someone’s pockets. If not for one Russian billionaire with a love of animals far more dogs would be dead. I was forced to deal with Soviet bureaucrats before the Berlin Wall came down and they are some of the most corrupt, selfish, arrogant beasts imaginable.

    Gus Kenworthy is my hero !! What a great guy!

    I do support our Olympic athletes and I am very proud of their performances in what I understand is a difficult venue. (Brown water anyone?)

    I do love figure skating and I hope to watch performances by many of these same skaters in future competitions.

    That Maxim Trankov is definitely hero material! Love ’em tall, dark, and handsome.

    And I think snow boarders have to be the best party guests! They always look like they are having a blast!

    • I understand where you’re coming from because there are definitely things wrong in Russia from a human and animal rights perspective. But I’m watching to support these athletes. They’ve worked so hard for years, almost their entire lives, to get to this moment. Support for them (even the Russian athletes) is apolitical for me. They are not their governments.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Louisa, I was so happy to hear what Gus was doing to feed and vaccinate the stray dogs hanging around Olympic village. What a sweetheart! It made me even happier for him when he medaled in slopestyle. 🙂

  • LOL, Trish, the Jazzman sat down with me during the Slope style snowboarding and said, “OMG this is the Olympics? When did it start looking like the X Games?” I said, “12 year and 3 Olympics ago, right after you stopped watching them.”

    Love Jason Brown. He just makes you smile and you can tell he’s just having a blast.

    I’m a Shaun White fan from way back and am ashamed at what his fellow teammates had to say about him, when they couldn’t even finish their runs and how they’v forgotten all he’s done to make their sport more know among the public and get them edorsements to help support them! Geesh!

    Love Charlie White. He ice dances in a tux and tails!!

    And I’m a Brodie Miller fan. Wish he’d been able to get a few more medals.

    • Totally agree. Jason is just adorable. I’d love to see him skate in person.

      And yes, yes, yes on the backlash against Shaun White. That’s just poor sportsmanship and sour grapes.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Poor Bode. I really hope he lets it go after these games. He’s 36. Enough is enough! And he lost his brother last year to a seizure, which was so tragic.

      I just watched Weinbrecht chew up the Super G and end up grabbing the silver, while Bode tied for bronze. Amazing! I’m so happy Bode is taking home a medal. Now onto the next part of life, Bode!

  • MJ Fredrick says:

    I’m going to add TJ Oshie from the hockey team. What a cutie!