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Seven Princetonians to compete in Beijing Winter Olympics

<h5>Claire Thompson ’20 on the ice</h5>
<h6>Shelley M. Szwast / <strong>goprincetontigers.com</strong></h6>
Claire Thompson ’20 on the ice
Shelley M. Szwast / goprincetontigers.com

After seven Princetonians competed in Tokyo in the Summer Olympics last year, Princeton is sending seven more to the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. 

Five Princeton graduates, one current student, and one former student have qualified for the Games, representing the largest group of Tigers to compete at a Winter Olympics in school history. 

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Starring on the snowboard for Team USA will be former Princeton student, Chloe Kim. The Torrance, Calif. native burst onto the international stage when she won the gold medal in the Women’s Halfpipe competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Kim was just 17 at the time. 

Since then, Kim has won two more golds in the SuperPipe at the Aspen Winter X Games, one in 2019 and the other in 2021. Kim was admitted to the class of 2022, but has since taken two leaves of absence to train for competitions. She attended Princeton during the 2019-20 school year, but has since said she likely won’t return, according to The New York Times.

Joining Kim on Team USA will be Charlie Volker ’19, best known for his football talents during his time at Princeton. The Fair Haven, N. J. running back rushed for 1,849 yards and 32 touchdowns as a Tiger, while also running varsity track at Princeton. Volker transferred these skills to become a bobsledder after graduating.

Last year, The Daily Princetonian’s Daybreak spoke to Volker about his journey to the Olympics.

“Making the team means that I’ve achieved a life long goal of competing at the highest level,” Volker told the ‘Prince.’ “When the football door closed, I was a bit lost. The sport of bobsled was a natural fit for me and like Princeton, I’ve met tons of great people and learned so much in such a short time. I’m super grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to represent at the games!”

Another Princeton graduate will be joining Volker on the ice track at the 2022 games. Nathan Crumpton ’08, who triple-jumped for the Princeton track and field team and was a Second-Team All-Ivy selection during his senior season, will be representing American Samoa in skeleton at the Olympics. The 36 year-old began competing in skeleton in 2012, after a brief stint as a bobsledder, and he finished the 2021 season as the 26th-ranked competitor in the sport globally. Notably, Crumpton becomes just the 140th person to ever compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics; just last summer, he represented American Samoa in the 100 meter race in Tokyo.

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In another icy discipline, Kim Newell ’16 will be representing China as a goalie for the nation’s women’s hockey team. Newell has the most wins and saves of any netminder in Tigers history, with 52 and 3,096, respectively. Newell, who grew up in Canada and whose mother hails from China, has played for the KRS Vanke Rays in Shenzhen, China for the last two seasons after being retired from hockey between 2016 and 2020.  

In addition to Newell, two other Princeton women’s hockey players will be representing their home countries. Claire Thomspon ‘20, who won gold with Canada at the World Championships in 2021, and fellow Canadian Sarah Fillier ‘24, will both make their Olympic debuts. During her career, Thomspon managed 31 goals and 56 assists from the position of defender. Fillier, meanwhile, is a forward; she has scored 44 goals and notched 70 assists in two full seasons with the Tigers. 

Finally, one other Princeton hockey player will represent Canada, this time on the men’s side. Max Véronneau ‘19, who played in 12 NHL games in 2019 and currently plays professionally in Sweden, scored 52 goals and dished out 92 assists during his time playing at Baker Rink. He too will be making his olympic debut.

Kim and Volker will be the second and third Princetonians to ever compete in a non-hockey sport in the Winter Olympics. The first Princetonians to compete, Gerald Hallock III ’26 and Robert Livingston ’31, won silver with the US men’s hockey team at the 1932 games in Lake Placid, NY. Since 2000 though, three of the four representatives have been women’s hockey players, the most recent being Caroline Park ’11, who played for the united Korea team at Pyeongchang 2018. The only non-hockey Princetonian to compete before Beijing 2022 was Joey Cheek ’11, who won a combined three medals in speed-skating at the 2002 Salt Lake City and 2006 Turin games before attending Princeton.

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Stay tuned for Olympics coverage from the ‘Prince’ sports as the Games begin on Feb. 4.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the recent qualification of Nathan Crumpton ’08, Kim Newell ’16, and Max Véronneau to the 2022 Beijing Olympics. The ‘Prince’ regrets these omissions from the previous version.

Wilson Conn is an Associate Sports editor at the ‘Prince.’ He can be reached on Twitter @wilson_conn and via email at wconn@princeton.edu.

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