Commentary

Teen Winter Olympians

Updated: January 26, 2010, 10:21 AM ET
By Jon Mahoney | ESPN RISE

Shaun WhiteJoe Klamar/AFP/Getty ImagesShaun White won gold in the men's halfpipe at the 2006 Torino Olympics at age 19.

Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu aren't the first to balance high school and Olympic dreams. Here are five other teenage winter athletes who thrived on the world stage.

Tara Lipinski

Women's Figure Skating
As a 15-year-old in 1998, Lipinski became the youngest individual athlete to earn gold at the Winter Olympics.

Shaun White

Men's Snowboarding
At 19, The Flying Tomato entered the 2006 Olympics having already earned plenty of titles at the Winter X Games. He left with his first Olympic gold.

Sarah Hughes

Women's Figure Skating
Hughes was only 16 when she took home an Olympic gold medal in 2002. It would be her only Winter Games appearance.

Apolo Anton Ohno

Men's Speed Skating
The world's best speed skater, Ohno tasted Olympic success for the first time as a 19-year-old in 2002 when he won gold and silver.

Kelly Clark

Women's Snowboarding
As an 18-year-old, Clark became the first U.S. woman to earn gold in snowboarding when she won the halfpipe title in 2002.

Ready Or Not

If not in 2010, these teenagers could be ready for Winter Olympic glory by 2014:

Faye Gulini

Women's Snowboarding
A senior at Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy (Minturn, Colo.), Gulini captured first at the 2008 USA Snowboard Association Nationals and placed ninth at last year's Junior World Championships.

Trevor Jacob

Men's Snowboarding
A home-schooled 16-year-old from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., Jacob was only 13 when he placed 15th at the 2007 US Open. He's a member of the 2010 U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team.

Maddy Schaffrick

Women's Snowboarding
The Steamboat Springs (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) sophomore opened plenty of eyes last year when she finished third behind Olympic medalists Kelly Clark and Gretchen Bleiler during a U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix event.

Ben Watts

Men's Snowboarding
As a 13-year-old, Watts captured the overall freestyle championship at the USA Snowboard Association Nationals. Now a sophomore at Summit (Bend, Ore.), Watts is on the 2010 U.S. Snowboarding Rookie Team.

Jon Mahoney is a football and baseball editor for ESPNHS. Email him at jon.mahoney@espn.com.

SPONSORED HEADLINES