Favorite Female-Athlete Moments of #PyeongChang2018
The main character in my brand new novel, Leaving Everest, is Emily Winslowe, a powerful, world-class mountaineer. Even though she’s only twenty, she has already shattered records and she has unlimited potential to continue doing so on more difficult and deadlier peaks.
I chose to write about an elite female athlete because being active has always been an important part of my life and groundbreaking female athletes are my role models just as much as women who are known for business, scientific, civic, or artistic accomplishments.
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games started eleven days before to Leaving Everest’s release and it’s been such a treat to camp out on the sofa every night with my laptop and watch the Olympics as I finish last-minute tasks related to the book launch.
Watching any Olympic event is inspiring, but especially so in combination with NBC’s well-crafted backstory profiles on the athletes where you really come to understand the stakes involved for the people in that competition. It’s like reality TV, a motivational speaker, and a tearjerker movie all in one!
Here’s my list of favorite female-athlete moments of the winter games thus far:
1. ALIONA SAVCHENKO, Pairs Figure Skating, Germany
I loved the fun, jazzy, roaring twenties routine this pair performed for the team competition and again for the short program. Savchenko had been to four previous Olympics (winning a cumulative two bronze medals) and it was so obvious how badly she wanted to leave with a win. And despite a disappointing score the previous evening with that favorite short program of mine, she and her partner still managed to grab the gold and their reaction is priceless!
2. MIKAELA SHIFFRIN, Alpine Skiing, USA
Four years ago in Sochi, after winning one gold medal, Shiffrin said she wanted to win five gold medals next time. Talk about putting the pressure on yourself! In an NBC backstory clip, Shiffrin is open about how much the pressure of keeping ahead of the competition affects her and shared that the “I am” message written on the backs her ski gloves is a coping technique. So, when she scored her first gold medal during Wednesday night’s giant slalom, I was elated and relieved right along side her as she falls into the snow.
3. RYOM TAE-OK, Pairs Figure Skating, North Korea
Nobody knows much about what it’s like to be a young adult in isolated and strict North Korea, but it must be quite a shock of experiences for Ryom in the modern and global mash-up of the olympic village that is on the wrong side of the DMZ for her. But watching Ryom, there didn’t seem to be stress, only joy. I loved the moment in the team competition when she and her partner were thrilled with their scores and for a few minutes, they were in second place on the leaderboard.
4. ALEXA SCIMECA KNIERIM, Pairs Figure Skating, USA
Pretty much all ice skating routines are like super-condensed romance novels, right? The bummer is that it’s only with pairs skaters who are in a relationship that you get the actual HEA kiss at the end. The Knierims are married, so we got a kiss to end their short program, which was on Valentine’s Day. (Also, I love that in pairs skating the men and women are true equals in ability and how they are scored. In Leaving Everest, Emily and her childhood sweetheart, Luke, are equally matched athletes and are always pushing each other harder when they workout and climb mountains.)
5. CHLOE KIM, Snowboard Half Pipe, USA
She’s young and surrounded by hype and high expectations. The pressure was on, but she came, she performed, and she got it done!
6. JESSIE DIGGINS, Cross Country Skiing, USA
Like Emily in Leaving Everest, Jessie Diggins passed up college to focus solely on her sport. Diggins was not expected to shine at the ladies’ sprint classic earlier this week, but against the odds, she qualified for the finals, which in itself was a milestone for USA cross-country skiing. Again, the reaction is priceless!
Let’s share even more favorite female-athlete PyeongChang2018 moments and backstories in comments. Any sport, any country!
Don’t miss Megan’s new release, Leaving Everest!
Twenty-year-old Emily Winslowe has had an adventurous upbringing. Daughter of a Himalayan mountain guide, she has climbed Mount Everest and other peaks most Americans only dream of. But for all her mountaineering prowess, she’s lacking some key experiences. Namely, guys. Especially one guy in particular—Luke Norgay, her childhood best friend who she hasn’t seen since he left for college in the United States two years ago.
Luke unexpectedly reappears as a guide just in time for the Everest climbing season. He’s even more handsome than she remembers, and that something that had been building between them during their last season together is back in front of them, bigger than ever.
The problem is, there’s a detail about Emily’s past that Luke doesn’t know. It’s the reason she ended up in the Himalayas in the first place…and the reason she must make it to the summit of Mount Everest this year. It’s also the reason she would never consider following him back to Washington after the climbing season ends.
But first, they’ll have to survive the mountain.
Megan Westfield has dabbled in many hobbies and pastimes through the years, including an array of outdoor adventure sports. Eventually, she discovered the only way to do it all was though writing—her first and strongest passion. Megan grew up in Washington state, attended college in Oregon, and lived in Virginia, California, and Rhode Island during her five years as a navy officer. She is now a permanent resident of San Diego where she and her husband count family beach time with their two young kids as an adventure sport.