The U.S. Figure Skating international committee have announced that 19-year-old Bradie Tennell earned a coveted spot on the 2018 Olympic team. Here's what you need to know about the young, up-and-coming skater.
1. She was considered a long-shot for the Olympic team.
Tennell suffered stress fractures to her lower back in 2015 and 2016, and wasn't considered an Olympic frontrunner, as The New York Times notes. Even Tennell wasn't banking on an invitation to the Pyeongchang, South Korea Olympics.
“Coming into this year, my main goal was to stay healthy,” Tennell said. “I knew it was an Olympic year and somebody had to go. I just kind of kept it in the back of my mind. I put out clean programs and relied on my training, really.”
2. But she's been on a winning streak for months.
In November, the young skater earned a bronze medal at the 2017 Bridgestone Skate America competition, her grand prix debut. Notably, she was the only U.S. woman to medal at the event.
Then, she won the 2018 Nationals with a Cinderella-inspired routine that left viewers in awe.
3. Tara Lipinski is a fan.
Tennell's spot on the Olympic team wasn't a surprise to everyone. Tara Lipinski, who won a gold medal in the 1998 Olympics, predicted the news.
"When I watched her skate in comparison to the rest of [the] group she had not only a very consistent technical arsenal and she never misses, that mentally she has blinders on, and that’s very difficult as a competitor to do,” Lipinski said, according to The Los Angeles Times.
4. She posts the most adorable throwbacks on Instagram.
Tennell is well worth a follow on Instagram, where she posts pictures of her recent wins and adorable throwbacks to her early skating days and family photos.
5. She doesn't remember why she wanted to start skating.
Tennell has been skating since she was two, but she doesn't remember what got her interested in the sport.
"I don’t even know how I figured out what skating was," she told People. "My parents were in between houses at the time and I just kept begging my mom to go ice skating. She looked it up in the yellow pages, for the closest rink. And she took me to go skating."