With the 2018 Winter Olympics right around the corner, the Super Bowl's featured a serious push to allow viewers to get a glimpse into the mind of an Olympic athlete. Whether it was the fierce devotion of Lindsey Vonn, the ceaseless concentration of Shaun White, the parent-child journey of Chloe Kim, the defiant nonchalance of Mikaela Shiffrin or the constant strides toward perfection of Nathan Chen, every athlete has a story to tell.
Shaun White's commercial was all about his absolutely absurd drive. Set to "Iron Man," it features White's vision of the world. No matter where he is, he sees a halfpipe. The veteran snowboarder is coming off of heartbreak in Sochi, and anything less than gold in Pyeongchang would be an abject failure if his spirit in the commercial is to be believed. He's done reveling in old victories, for White, this year is about grabbing new ones.
Then there's another veteran, Lindsey Vonn. Vonn's spot, set to Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire," is also steeped in nostalgia. It showed highlights of Vonn's career, while also showing her prepping for the future. The two-time Olympic medalist took gold in the downhill in Vancouver, and she's trying to complete what has already been an epic comeback. It's been a long road for Vonn, but it all comes to a head this year.
22-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin has already enjoyed the success of a much more seasoned competitor. The defending slalom champion from Sochi is looking to defend her title. Her motto: "Always be faster than the boys," was prominent in her spot. Chuck Berry's timeless "Johnny B Good" underscored Shiffrin constantly rushing to every objective, beating everyone in everything. She's looking to continue the trend.
Chloe Kim is a new face to the U.S. snowboarding team, but. Kim's spot wasn't about a need to be the best. It was a love letter from her father set to "America the Beautiful", a touching tribute to the journey that the 17-year-old has already been on. With Shaun White competing in what many expect to be his last Olympics, Kim is the heir to throne as the face of American snowboarding, and she certainly has the talent to do it. Her ad just reaffirmed the support that she already has.
Finally, Nathan Chen paid the cost to be the boss, and he let James Brown remind us of that as he showcased failure after failure in his training for the Olympics. Every failure led the 18-year-old Salt Lake City native to where he is now, and now he's looking to leave his mark on the Olympics.
There are a lot of faces, both new and old in this year's Olympics, but these five either already are or are looking to become perennial mainstays for the United States. White, Vonn and Shiffrin have paid their dues, at least to some degree, while Kim and Chen are looking to etch themselves in Winter Games lore. These commercials gave us insight into what these athletes represent, and they're just a glimpse into the stubbornness it's taken for these athletes to get where they are.