Let’s face it: as far as Olympic competition goes, the Winter Games have always been a little sister to the athletic fanfare and exotic locals that are highlighted during the summer.

Even with that said, if you ignore this year’s Winter Olympics, you’ll miss your chance to see some of the best Black athletes in the world compete at the highest level ever in sports that we traditionally have never dominated. From history makers like the Nigerian Bobsled Team to newcomers like Alpine skier Shannon Ogbani Abeda to Olympic legends like Shani Davis, the Pyeonchang games are a must-watch.

Here’s our guide to the Olympians you need to know and watch.


Lauren Gibbs is headed to her first Olympics this winter. (Courtesy of @nbcolympics on Facebook)

Where She’s From: Denver

Sport:: Bobsled

How She Became an Olympian: Gibbs won a Bronze medal at the IBSF World Cup in Koenigssee, Germany last month. She finished just 0.32 seconds behind Germany’s winning team.

Why She’s One To Watch:  As the “push” and power in the women’s two-person bobsled competition, Gibbs is responsible for giving the sled momentum before hopping in and leaving it to the pilot to direct them both to the finsish line. Word on the street is that Gibbs can deadlift 425 pounds. With her strength and bobsled partner and pilot, Elana Meyers Taylor’s expert direction, we see them both on the highest pedestal possible at the Winter Olympics.