Road to No. 100: A history of U.S. Winter Olympic gold medals

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Team USA is on the cusp of making history at the 2018 Winter Olympics — the next gold medal captured by an American athlete will be the 100th all-time Winter Olympic gold medal for an American athlete.

Shaun White and Mikaela Shiffrin have a chance to make that history on Tuesday night in the men’s snowboard halfpipe final and Alpine skiing women’s slalom, respectively (Watch LIVE on NBC at 8p ET / 5p PT; Stream LIVE here).

Here’s a look at the United States’ gold medal history at the Winter Olympics, and Team USA’s road to 100.

Team USA’s Winter Olympic Gold Medal History

SportMedal Count (99)Events
Speed Skating29Men’s 500m (7), Men’s 1000m (5), Men’s 1500m (3), Men’s 5000m (3), Men’s 10000m (2), Women’s 500m (5), Women’s 1000m (3), Women’s 1500m 
Alpine Skiing16Men’s Slalom, Men’s Giant Slalom, Men’s Downhill (2), Men’s Super Combined (2), Women’s Slalom (4), Women’s Giant Slalom (3), Women’s Super-G (2), Women’s Downhill 
Figure Skating15Men’s Singles (7), Ladies’ Singles (7), Ice Dance
Snowboarding13Men’s Halfpipe (3), Men’s Slopestyle (2), Men’s Snowboard Cross (2), Women’s Halfpipe (4), Women’s Slopestyle (2) 
Freestyle Skiing8Men’s Moguls, Men’s Aerials, Men’s Halfpipe, Men’s Slopestyle, Women’s Moguls (2), Women’s Aerials, Women’s Halfpipe 
Bobsled7Two-man (2), Four-man (4), Women’s
Short Track4Men’s 500m, Men’s 1500m, Women’s 500m (2)
Hockey3Men’s (2), Women’s
Skeleton3Men’s (2), Women’s
Nordic Combined1Individual Large Hill

U.S. Winter Olympic Gold Medal Milestones

# GoldAthleteGamesSportEvent
25th GoldDianne Holum1972 Sapporo GamesSpeed SkatingWomen’s 1500m
50th GoldDan Jansen1994 Lillehammer GamesSpeed SkatingMen’s 1000m
75th GoldSeth Wescott2006 Torino GamesSnowboardingMen’s Snowboard Cross
100th GoldTBDTBDTBDTBD

Notable Facts

  • The very first U.S. Winter Olympic medal was won by Charles Jewstraw in the speed skating men’s 500m at the 1924 Chamonix Games

    • Jewstraw is also the first-ever Winter Olympic gold medalist from any nation — the 500m was the first event to award medals in the first-ever Olympic Winter Games, on Jan. 26, 1924
    • His medal currently resides in the Museum of American History at The Smithsonian
  • The U.S. has won 25 gold medals on home turf:

    • 1932 Lake Placid: 6
    • 1960 Squaw Valley: 3
    • 1980 Lake Placid: 6
    • 2002 Salt Lake City: 10
  • The U.S. won 59 gold medals over its first 18 Olympic Winter Games, but hat number has skyrocketed in recent years, with 40 gold medals in its last five Winter Olympics, including 2018
  • The U.S. has won at least one gold medal in every Winter Olympics. They won exactly one gold in 1924, 1936, 1964 and 1968
  • 11 of the 99 U.S. gold medals have come in team event, with 88 in individual events
  • Speed skater Eric Heiden holds the record for both the U.S. and all countries for most gold medals won in a single games. He won five gold medals at the 1980 Lake Placid Games
  • The oldest U.S. gold medalist is Jay O’Brien, who won four-man bobsled gold at the 1932 Lake Placid Games at 48 years, 357 days old
  • The youngest U.S. gold medalist is Tara Lipinski, who won won ladies’ singles figure skating gold at the 1998 Nagano Games at 15 years, 253 days old
  • Only Norway has won more Winter Olympic gold medals than the United States

Americans with multiple Winter Olympic gold medals

AthleteSportGold Medals
Bonnie BlairSpeed Skating5
Eric HeidenSpeed Skating5
William FiskeBobsled2
Clifford GrayBobsled2
Irving JaffeeSpeed Skating2
Jack SheaSpeed Skating2
Dick ButtonFigure Skating2

Andrea Mead

Lawrence

Alpine Skiing2
Cathy TurnerShort Track2
Apolo OhnoShort Track2
Shani DavisSpeed Skating2
Ted LigetyAlpine Skiing2
Shaun WhiteSnowboarding2
Seth WescottSnowboarding2
Jamie AndersonSnowboarding2

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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