Love in the time of COVID-19: Olympian couples

Madison Hubbell and Adrian Diaz - Credit: Instagram/@splashmadison

Madison Hubbell and Adrian Diaz – Credit: Instagram/@splashmadison

The 2022 Winter Olympics may not be the most romantic place to spend Valentine’s Day, but that’s just another sacrifice athletes make to compete at the highest level. After already securing a valentine, these athletes are putting down their best performances in hopes to secure a gold medal.

Check out which couples are spending Valentine’s Day at the Olympic Village.

The Ice Dance Love Rectangle

Ice dance is the biggest “Who’s dating who?” of the Olympics. With all the training and time spent together, it would be no surprise if figure skating were the Olympic sport with the most couples. Take a quick dive into which pairs’ passion is flaming off the ice.

Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue, Adrian Diaz and Olivia Smart:

All is fair in love and the Olympics. Figure skating fans will no doubt know that American ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue once dated before breaking up to focus on their career as an ice dance team. Hubbell is now engaged to Adrian Diaz, a Spanish ice dancer, who is partnered with Olivia Smart. Smart and Donohue also have a little bit of history having dated previously. Donohue’s current love interest is Australian figure skater Chantelle Kerry, who is not competing at these Olympics.

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Regardless of their past, the skaters have successfully made it work on and off the ice. Both teams competed on Valentine’s Day, with Hubbell and Donohue taking the bronze after being awarded a personal-best free dance score in their final appearance on Olympic ice. Diaz and Smart finished in eighth.

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Madison Chock and Evan Bates:

Madison Chock and Evan Bates started skating together in 2011 before becoming a couple in 2017. During the 2022 Winter Olympics, Chock and Bates impressed the world with their talent and chemistry when they helped the U.S. secure silver in the figure skating team event and finished fourth in the ice dance competition. Relive their rhythm dance here.

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More flaming romances on ice:

Cornelius Kersten and Ellia Smeding

Cornelius Kersten and Ellia Smeding are partners in life and business. They’re coffee roasters by day and speed skaters at night. The British couple started Brew ’22 to successfully fund their Olympic journey. They celebrated Valentine’s Day in the Olympic Village with a full spread from KFC.

Kersten placed 19th and 25th respectively in the men’s 1,500m and 500m speed skating races. Watch Smeding compete in the women’s 1000m speed skating event at 3:30 a.m. ET on Feb. 17.

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Red Gerard and Hailey Langland

Slopestyle and big air snowboarders Red Gerard and Hailey Langland met in 2012 and competed together as Burton team riders. The pair started dating five years later, just before the 2018 Winter Olympics. Gerard won the gold in the snowboard slopestyle competition, but Langland was unable to get on the podium in either discipline. Ever since, Gerard and Langland have been traveling and competing at the same events together. They both qualified for Tuesday’s snowboard big air final at the 2022 Winter Olympics after stomping solid runs in the qualifiers on Valentine’s Day. How romantic.

Watch Langland tackle the women’s big air final at 8:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Gerard’s big air final is at 12 a.m. ET on Feb. 15.

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Mikaela Shiffrin and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

Alpine skiers Mikaela Shiffrin and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde are relationship goals. Throughout the Games, Shiffrin and Kilde have repeatedly shown affection and admiration for each other. When Shiffrin skied out of the slalom event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Kilde supported Shiffrin by posting, “…all I see is a top athlete doing what a top athlete does!” Shiffrin posted a good luck photo for Kilde and a Valentine’s Day photo.

Shiffrin is scheduled to compete in the women’s downhill event at 10 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Kilde, who represents Norway, won silver in the men’s combined event and secured bronze in the super-G event.

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Elana Meyers Taylor and Nic Taylor

The American bobsled power couple have been married since 2014. Elana Meyers Taylor and Nic Taylor welcomed a baby boy, Nico Taylor, in March 2020 and brought him with them to the Games. Meyers Taylor competed in the inaugural Olympic monobob event and won silver, and will pilot her sled in the two-woman event. Her husband serves as an alternate for the U.S. men’s team.

Meyers Taylor will compete in the two-woman event at 7 a.m. ET on Feb. 18.

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Blayre Turnbull and Ryan Sommer

Canadian athletes Blayre Turnbull and Ryan Sommer compete in two very different events, but their differences make them stronger. Turnbull plays on the women’s hockey team and Sommer is a bobsledder. The couple have been engaged since April 2021, but due to training and the pandemic, they were kept apart for three months leading up to the 2022 Winter Olympics. The two finally reunited at the Opening Ceremony.

Turnbull is competing against the U.S. for the women’s hockey gold medal at 11:10 p.m. ET on Feb. 16.

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Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman

Canadian duo Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman are partners on and off the ice. They compete as a pair in mixed doubles curling. The engaged couple first met at several competitions before teaming up to win the 2016 Canadian mixed doubles curling championships.

Gallant’s next game as part of the Canadian men’s curling team is against China at 8:05 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Peterman, a member of the Canadian women’s team, will next compete at 8:05 p.m. ET on Feb. 15.

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Ashley Caldwell and Justin Schoenefeld

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with two gold medals? American freeskiers Ashley Caldwell and Justin Schoenefeld are bringing home the gold after winning the mixed team aerials finals with teammate Chris Lillis. Caldwell and Schoenefeld enjoy sharing the same training and travel schedules, with Schoenefeld supporting her after she missed the podium in PyeongChang.

Following the mixed team event, Caldwell finished fourth in women’s aerials.

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Nicole Silveira and Kim Meylemans

Brazil’s Nicole Silveira and Belgium’s Kim Meylemans directly competed against each other during the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. This power couple competes in skeleton and met at a World Cup event where Meylemans was on the track and Silveira was a volunteer. The pair have found peace in competing in the same races because they’re racing the clock for the best time, not each other.

Silveira placed 13th and Meylemans finished 18th in the women’s individual event.

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Marie-Michele Gagnon and Travis Ganong

Marie-Michele Gagnon, a Canadian skier, has been with Travis Ganong, an American skier, since 2008. Both Alpine skiers tore their ACLs within two months of each other in December 2017 and January 2018, missing the 2018 Winter Olympics. Gagnon and Ganong recently got engaged.

Gagnon will race in the women’s downhill event at 10 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Ganong placed 20th and 12th respectively in the men’s downhill and super-G events.

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Emily Sweeney and Dominik Fischnaller

Emily Sweeney and Dominik Fischnaller are lugers. Although Fischnaller, who represents Italy, and Sweeney, who represents the U.S., couldn’t see each other for 11 months during the pandemic, they’ve kept their relationship going and continue to support each other at these Games.

Sweeney finished 26th in women’s singles. Fischnaller won the bronze medal in men’s singles.

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