Meet Team Toyota
After all, this marks the first time Toyota has served as the Worldwide Mobility Partner for the Olympic and Paralympic games.
But Toyota’s connection to this international competition goes deeper and gets even more personal than that. As an extension of its partnerships with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Teams, U.S. Figure Skating, U.S. Speedskating, USA Hockey, and the U.S. Men’s, Women’s and Sled national teams — the company is also supporting several of Team USA’s top athletes.
In all, seven members of Team Toyota made the U.S Olympic team. You’ll find their bios below.
Wanna be ready for PyeongChang? Well, take a bit of time to get acquainted with these remarkable individuals. Then, when you beam in the Games via the video screen of your choice, you can cheer them on as they go for the gold against the world’s very best.
Go Team Toyota!
Name: J.R. Celski
Event: Short Track Speedskating
Birthdate: July 17, 1990
Hometown: Federal Way, Washington
Previous Olympics: 2
J.R. has always wanted to do one thing: Go fast. He started speedskating with his family when he was only three years old. “I just loved going fast. I remember seeing videos of myself with a big smile on my face going around the rink.” Shortly after, J.R. joined his local team, and by the time he was six, he was already competing on the national level. At 14, J.R. decided to go all-in and moved to Long Beach, California, where he began seriously training for the Olympic Winter Games.
After overcoming a leg injury just five months before the Olympic Winter Games, J.R. made his Olympic Winter Games debut in the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010. “It’s so cool to wear Team USA on my back and go—especially walking in the Opening Ceremonies knowing you’re representing one of the greatest countries in the world.” In Vancouver, J.R. earned his first two medals, and then won his first silver medal in Sochi. “This third time around, I’m just trying to have fun and live in the moment. The results are going to come, but I’m not focused on that. I’m focused on being the best skater I can be, and going out and executing.”
Name: Lindsey Jacobellis
Birthdate: August 19, 1985
Hometown: Roxbury, Connecticut
Previous Olympics: 3
Once Lindsey experienced the thrill of racing down mountainsides, it was hard to keep her off the slopes. She got into snowboarding after her older brother took up the sport. “My brother is such a natural with anything he does, in life and in sport, and that drove me to push myself harder and harder.”
For the past 16 years, Lindsey has been committed to the sport, challenging herself every day and inspiring others in the process. “I have always been a very driven person. I use the successful moments I’ve had to keep the drive going and to keep me hungry for more.” When she’s not racing, Lindsey stays busy giving back to snowboarding’s next generation and helps coach during the United States Snowboarding Association Nationals. “I want to push the level of my sport higher, especially for women in boardercross.”
Name: Gus Kenworthy
Birthdate: October 1, 1991
Hometown: Telluride, Colorado
Previous Olympics: 1
Gus Kenworthy is easily one of the most decorated freeskiers in the sport today as he continues to collect medals and make headlines. His claim to fame began at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014, where he made the podium alongside two of his U.S. teammates. Not only did he capture silver in Sochi, but he also gained recognition for adopting a family of stray dogs. He harnessed this opportunity to raise awareness for stray and abandoned animals worldwide. Shortly after his time in Sochi, Gus further surprised the media by coming out as the world’s first openly gay action sports athlete. He bravely cast aside his fears in an effort to empower others and spread a public message of acceptance.
Gus’s courage can be seen on and off the slopes as he continues to sweep competitions, with no sign of slowing down.
Name: Chloe Kim
Birthdate: April 23, 2000
Hometown: Long Beach, California
Previous Olympics: 0
When four-year-old Chloe Kim and her dad started snowboarding lessons together, neither of them expected it would lead to Chloe becoming the face of snowboarding’s next generation. In her early days, it didn’t take very long for her coaches to see her potential. And at the age of six—with a $25 snowboard her dad bought off eBay—she was already competing in events across California. When she was eight, her dad took a risk and quit his job so Chloe could pursue her dreams. She became the first female to earn a perfect score in the USAA Grand Prix and is the only athlete to earn three X Game gold medals before the age of 16.
Name: Hailey Langland
Birthdate: August 2, 2000
Hometown: San Clemente, California
Previous Olympics: 0
Big Air snowboarder Hailey Langland is most creative when she escapes the confines of gravity, and she finds new inspiration when she watches others improvise on huge jumps. “I stay inspired by watching other snowboarders get creative with new tricks.” Growing up in Orange County, California, Hailey started snowboarding with her dad in Big Bear when she was five.
She’s been competing since she was seven and made her breakthrough appearance during the 2017 X Games by becoming the first to land a double cork in the women’s Big Air event. Since then, she’s been showing the world she means business every time she drops in.
Name: Ted Ligety
Event: Alpine Skiing
Birthdate: August 31, 1984
Hometown: Park City, Utah
Previous Olympics: 3
With three back-to-back Olympic Winter Games appearances, two gold medals and two dozen giant slalom World Cup wins, Ted Ligety has one of the most respected careers in skiing. When Ted was growing up in Park City, Utah, the mountain was his backyard, and he quickly fell in love with skiing.
At 21, Ted made his first Olympic appearance in Turin and became the youngest American male to win a gold medal in alpine skiing. From then on, Ted has been dominating on the world stage. In his third straight Olympic Winter Games appearance in Sochi, he received Team USA’s first-ever gold medal in giant slalom. A hard worker by nature, Ted started an eyewear and action sports protection company to keep him busy during the off-season. He’s ready to compete despite facing injuries from over a decade of skiing professionally. “Right now, this is the first time I’ve felt really healthy in a while. I’ve overcome a lot to get to where I am today.” Ted is gearing up for PyeongChang hungrier than ever and ready to solidify his spot in skiing history.
Name: Torin Yater-Wallace
Birthdate: December 2, 1995
Hometown: Aspen, Colorado
Previous Olympics: 1
As one of the world’s most talented young skiers, Torin Yater-Wallace has conquered more than the halfpipe. While his family took a hit during the 2008 recession, Torin relied on the generosity of his friends, turning their couches into a temporary home base. Freeskiing became not just a hobby, but a means of escape for the burdened teen. As Torin achieved medal after medal, his passion quickly evolved into a promising career. In 2015, however, Torin’s career took a turn when he suffered a life-threatening infection that required a lengthy hospital stay. Just weeks after coming out of a medically induced coma, he made up for lost time on the slopes and won gold at the 2016 X Games. He followed up this notable performance by claiming a World Cup title the next year.