Winter Olympics 2022 stars: Five to watch in Beijing
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Winter Olympics 2022 stars: Five to watch in Beijing

From 15-year-old figure skaters to 35-year-old snowboarding superstars, there will be no shortage of big names competing at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

We have already analysed Canada’s medal chances and now we pick out five international Winter Olympics 2022 stars to watch and highlight their odds to win gold in China.

Kamila Valieva

At the age of just 15, Valieva has emerged as the new figure skating superstar.

Having only made her international debut last year, she has already shattered existing world records in the short program and free skate, and won the European Championships in Tallinn this month by a huge 22 points.

She now looks set to be one of the Winter Olympics 2022 stars and is the clear favourite at 1.12 to win gold in the ice skating odds.

Francesco Friedrich

Friedrich, the reigning Olympic two and four-man bobsleigh champion, reigned unbeaten across both disciplines through the entirety of 2021.

Despite his run coming to an end at the start of the Olympic year, the German remains the overwhelming favourite to sweep the board once more in the Chinese capital.

The 31-year-old is 1.15 to win gold in the two-man event and the same odds for success in the four-man competition, making the double a very realistic prospect.

Shaun White

The 35-year-old American is one of the Winter Olympics 2022 stars who needs little introduction due to his previous success.

He may not be in the best shape to successfully defend his snowboard halfpipe title; he has battled Covid, and reached only one podium since his Pyeongchang heroics.

But having edged his way back into the US team, the sight of White in Olympic action for the last time will still be one to savour.

His experience still makes him a realistic champion and he is the fourth favourite at 7.00 in the snowboarding odds to retain his title.

Mikaela Shiffrin

Shiffrin warmed up for Beijing by winning a record 47th World Cup slalom title in January.

Having under-performed by her own soaring standards in Pyeongchang, the American returns with multiple medal chances, not least in the slalom where she will do battle with the overall World Cup champion in the discipline, Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova.

Shiffrin is the joint-favourite at 3.50 along with Sara Hector of Sweden, while Vlhova can be backed at 8.00.

Wu Dajing

Wu saved the day for his country in Pyeongchang in 2018, popping up on the final day of the short-track competition to claim China’s solitary gold medal of the Games in the men’s 500m.

With China qualifying a full quota of short-track athletes, Wu will once again carry the hopes of an expectant host nation on his shoulders.

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