Love in the time of COVID-19: Olympic couples

Madison Hubbell and Adrian Diaz - Credit: Instagram/@splashmadison

Madison Hubbell and Adrian Diaz – Credit: Instagram/@splashmadison

The 2022 Winter Olympics may not be the most romantic place to spend Valentine’s Day, but that’s just another sacrifice some athletes must make to compete at the pinnacle of sport. Having already secured valentines, these athletes are performing their best in hopes of securing an Olympic medal.

See which couples are spending Valentine’s Day inside the Olympic Village:

The Ice Dance Love Rectangle

Ice dance is the biggest “Who’s dating who?” of the Olympics. With all the training and time spent together, it wouldn’t be surprising if figure skating was discovered to be the Olympic sport with the most couples. Here’s a quick dive into some passionate pairings.

Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue, Adrian Diaz and Olivia Smart:

All is fair in love and the Olympics. Figure skating fans may know that American ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue once dated before breaking up to focus on their career as an ice dance team. Hubbell is now engaged to Adrian Diaz, a Spanish ice dancer, who is partnered with Olivia Smart. Smart and Donohue also have a little bit of history, having dated previously. Donohue’s current love interest is Australian figure skater Chantelle Kerry, who is not competing at these Olympics.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZoAyHxglaf/

The skaters have successfully made it work on and off the ice. Both teams competed on Valentine’s Day, with Hubbell and Donohue taking the bronze after being awarded a personal-best free dance score in their final appearance on Olympic ice. Diaz and Smart finished in eighth.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ9XFpCOkjZ/

Madison Chock and Evan Bates:

Madison Chock and Evan Bates started skating together in 2011 before becoming a couple in 2017. During the 2022 Winter Olympics, Chock and Bates impressed the world with their talent and chemistry when they helped the U.S. secure silver in the figure skating team event and finished fourth in the ice dance competition. Relive their rhythm dance here.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZlGq_VtcwL/

More flaming romances on ice:

Cornelius Kersten and Ellia Smeding

Cornelius Kersten and Ellia Smeding are partners in life and business. They’re coffee roasters by day and speed skaters at night. The British couple started Brew ’22 to successfully fund their Olympic journey. They celebrated Valentine’s Day in the Olympic Village with a full spread from KFC.

Kersten placed 19th and 25th respectively in the men’s 1,500m and 500m speed skating races. Watch Smeding compete in the women’s 1000m speed skating event at 3:30 a.m. ET on Feb. 17.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ9hBXrJULq/

Red Gerard and Hailey Langland

Slopestyle and big air snowboarders Red Gerard and Hailey Langland met in 2012 and competed together as Burton team riders. The pair started dating five years later, just before the 2018 Winter Olympics. Gerard won the gold in the snowboard slopestyle competition, but Langland was unable to reach the podium in either discipline. Ever since, Gerard and Langland have been traveling and competing at the same events together. They both qualified for Monday’s snowboard big air final at the 2022 Winter Olympics after stomping solid runs in the qualifiers on Valentine’s Day. How romantic!

Watch Langland tackle the women’s big air final at 8:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Gerard’s big air final is at 12 a.m. ET on Feb. 15.

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Mikaela Shiffrin and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

Alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde are relationship goals. Throughout the Games, Shiffrin and Kilde have repeatedly shown affection and admiration for each other. When Shiffrin skied out of the slalom event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Kilde supported Shiffrin by posting, “…all I see is a top athlete doing what a top athlete does!” Shiffrin posted a good luck photo for Kilde and a Valentine’s Day photo.

Shiffrin is scheduled to compete in the team event and will become the second woman to ski six in Olympic events. Kilde, who represents Norway, won silver in the men’s combined and secured bronze in the super-G.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ9TOl8FBDk/

Elana Meyers Taylor and Nic Taylor

The American bobsled power couple have been married since 2014. Elana Meyers Taylor and Nic Taylor welcomed a baby boy, Nico Taylor, in March 2020 and brought him with them to the Games. Meyers Taylor competed in the inaugural Olympic monobob event and won silver, and will pilot her sled in the two-woman event. Her husband serves as an alternate for the U.S. men’s team.

Meyers Taylor will compete in the two-woman event at 7 a.m. ET on Feb. 18.

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Blayre Turnbull and Ryan Sommer

Canadian athletes Blayre Turnbull and Ryan Sommer compete in two very different events, but their differences make them stronger. Turnbull plays on the women’s hockey team and Sommer is a bobsledder. The couple have been engaged since April 2021, but due to training and the pandemic, they were kept apart for three months leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics. The two finally reunited at the Opening Ceremony.

Turnbull is competing against the U.S. for the women’s hockey gold medal at 11:10 p.m. ET on Feb. 16.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZj1_ERJvp1/

Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman

Canadian duo Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman are partners on and off the ice. They compete as a pair in mixed doubles curling. The engaged couple first met at several competitions before teaming up to win the 2016 Canadian mixed doubles curling championships.

Gallant’s next game as part of the Canadian men’s curling team is against China at 8:05 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Peterman, a member of the Canadian women’s team, will next compete at 8:05 p.m. ET on Feb. 15.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZulaHgpbh0/

Ashley Caldwell and Justin Schoenefeld

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with two gold medals? American freeskiers Ashley Caldwell and Justin Schoenefeld are bringing home the gold after winning the mixed team aerials finals with teammate Chris Lillis. Caldwell and Schoenefeld enjoy sharing the same training and travel schedules, with Schoenefeld supporting her after she missed the podium in PyeongChang.

Following the mixed team event, Caldwell finished fourth in women’s aerials.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZPfwRBpCVM/

Nicole Silveira and Kim Meylemans

Brazil’s Nicole Silveira and Belgium’s Kim Meylemans directly competed against each other in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The power couple competes in skeleton and met at a World Cup event where Meylemans was on the track and Silveira was a volunteer. The pair have found peace in competing in the same races because they’re racing the clock for the best time, not each other.

Silveira placed 13th and Meylemans finished 18th in the women’s individual event.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CX62DRvrPUD/

Marie-Michele Gagnon and Travis Ganong

Marie-Michele Gagnon, a Canadian skier, has been with Travis Ganong, an American skier, since 2008. Both Alpine skiers tore their ACLs within two months of each other in December 2017 and January 2018, missing the 2018 Winter Olympics. Gagnon and Ganong recently got engaged.

Ganong placed 20th and 12th respectively in the men’s downhill and super-G events.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CT2m8ciAn2f/

Emily Sweeney and Dominik Fischnaller

Emily Sweeney and Dominik Fischnaller are lugers. Although Fischnaller, who represents Italy, and Sweeney, who represents the U.S., couldn’t see each other for 11 months during the pandemic, they’ve kept their relationship going and continue to support each other at these Games.

Sweeney finished 26th in women’s singles. Fischnaller won the bronze medal in men’s singles.

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CW_FbABospO/

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