Olympic firsts: 10 athletes who made history

Yahoo Sports

As the stage gets set for the Olympics, we take a look back at some memorable Olympic firsts.

<p>Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga switched from the track to the ice and made history on their way. They’re the first ever African bobsled team to qualify for the Olympics as well as the first Nigerian athletes to compete at a Winter Olympics. </p>
Nigerian Bobsledding Team: Bobsledding, Nigeria

Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga switched from the track to the ice and made history on their way. They’re the first ever African bobsled team to qualify for the Olympics as well as the first Nigerian athletes to compete at a Winter Olympics.

<p>Few athletes have ingrained themselves in the history book as Kim Yu-Na. The South Korean figure skater won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympics, the first South Korean to do so. She retired in 2014, having never finished a competition off the podium. </p>
Kim Yu-Na: Figure Skating, South Korea

Few athletes have ingrained themselves in the history book as Kim Yu-Na. The South Korean figure skater won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympics, the first South Korean to do so. She retired in 2014, having never finished a competition off the podium.

<p>No one has more Winter Olympic medals than the Ole Einar “The King of Biathlon” Bjorndalen. The Norwegian competed in six Olympics from 1994 to 2014, racking up 13 medals. He also swept the men’s gold medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. </p>
Ole Einar Bjorndalen: Biathlon, Norway

No one has more Winter Olympic medals than the Ole Einar “The King of Biathlon” Bjorndalen. The Norwegian competed in six Olympics from 1994 to 2014, racking up 13 medals. He also swept the men’s gold medals at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

<p>Davis was the first African American athlete to win an individual Olympic gold medal, taking first in the speedskating 1000 meter event at the 2006 Turin games. He added another gold to his collection in 2010 as well as two silvers in the 1500 meter race. </p>
Shani Davis: Speedskating, USA

Davis was the first African American athlete to win an individual Olympic gold medal, taking first in the speedskating 1000 meter event at the 2006 Turin games. He added another gold to his collection in 2010 as well as two silvers in the 1500 meter race.

<p>Expect to see jumps galore during the women’s figure skating competition and credit that to Midori Ito. The Japanese figure skater is the first woman to land a triple-triple jump combination and at the 1988 Calgary Olympics where she won a silver medal, she became the first woman to land seven triple jumps in a free skating competition. </p>
Midori Ito: Figure Skating, Japan

Expect to see jumps galore during the women’s figure skating competition and credit that to Midori Ito. The Japanese figure skater is the first woman to land a triple-triple jump combination and at the 1988 Calgary Olympics where she won a silver medal, she became the first woman to land seven triple jumps in a free skating competition.

<p>No one’s done more for Australia in the Winter Olympic Games than Steven Bradbury. He was part of the short track relay team that won Australia’s first Winter Olympic medal, a bronze in 1994, and then followed that up with a gold in 2002 in what was called “the most unexpected gold medal in history.” Bradbury, back in last place, avoided a collision that took out the rest of the competitors to skate away with the gold medal. </p>
Steven Bradbury: Speedskating, Australia

No one’s done more for Australia in the Winter Olympic Games than Steven Bradbury. He was part of the short track relay team that won Australia’s first Winter Olympic medal, a bronze in 1994, and then followed that up with a gold in 2002 in what was called “the most unexpected gold medal in history.” Bradbury, back in last place, avoided a collision that took out the rest of the competitors to skate away with the gold medal.

<p>The Chinese pair already had a pair of Olympic bronze medals when they walked away from ice skating in 2007. But they returned in 2009, unranked and two years removed from competition to go after the elusive Olympic Gold medal. Hongbo and Xue’s combined score set a world record as they became the first Chinese skaters to win a gold medal, ending Russia’s 46-year twelve-Olympic gold medal streak. </p>
Zhao Hongbo and Shen Xue: Pairs Figure Skating, China

The Chinese pair already had a pair of Olympic bronze medals when they walked away from ice skating in 2007. But they returned in 2009, unranked and two years removed from competition to go after the elusive Olympic Gold medal. Hongbo and Xue’s combined score set a world record as they became the first Chinese skaters to win a gold medal, ending Russia’s 46-year twelve-Olympic gold medal streak.

<p>Eighteen year old Maame Biney already made history before even setting foot in PyeongChang. The Ghana-native, who competes for the United States, is the first African American Woman to make the U.S. Speed Skating team. If she medals, she’ll add that to her list of history making accomplishments. </p>
Maame Biney: Speedskating, USA

Eighteen year old Maame Biney already made history before even setting foot in PyeongChang. The Ghana-native, who competes for the United States, is the first African American Woman to make the U.S. Speed Skating team. If she medals, she’ll add that to her list of history making accomplishments.

<p>It wasn’t just that Alexandre Bilodeau won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It was that he was the first Canadian to win a gold medal during a Canadian-hosted Olympics. The skier successfully defended his gold medal in 2010 and was one of 14 athletes to win gold in their home country. </p>
Alexandre Bilodeau: Skiing, Canada

It wasn’t just that Alexandre Bilodeau won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. It was that he was the first Canadian to win a gold medal during a Canadian-hosted Olympics. The skier successfully defended his gold medal in 2010 and was one of 14 athletes to win gold in their home country.

<p>The face of snowboarding, not just in the US but around the world too, Shaun White made the sport popular. He took home two gold medals in the halfpipe in 2006 and 2010, but finished fourth in 2014. White will compete in PyeongChang for his third gold medal. </p>
Shaun White: Snowboarding, USA

The face of snowboarding, not just in the US but around the world too, Shaun White made the sport popular. He took home two gold medals in the halfpipe in 2006 and 2010, but finished fourth in 2014. White will compete in PyeongChang for his third gold medal.

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