OLYMPIC UTAH

Members of Team USA reunite with family, friends in Utah following Olympics

Feb 21, 2022, 5:07 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:45 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — With the Beijing Olympics in the books, Olympians returned home to a warm welcome at the Salt Lake International Airport.

It was the first time many have seen their family and friends in weeks, since spectators were not allowed to attend the Games.

A crowd of supporters – young and old – waited anxiously for their Olympians to land at Salt Lake International Airport Monday.

The first glimpse of Team USA athletes emerging from the security gate – like Olympic Gold medalist Nathan Chen – and adoring fans got loud.

“I was not expecting this. This is pretty cool,” Chen said.

The 22-year-old from Utah took home a Silver medal from the team figure skating event, and broke the record for the highest score in the men’s program – all while navigating Beijing’s strict COVID rules.

“We tried to stay as safe as possible. We’re really lucky to have had the opportunity that we had,” Chen said.

The opportunity to compete in Beijing was a proud moment for Maame Biney — the first Black woman to make the Team USA short track speed skating team.

“I wasn’t like expecting anything. I just really wanted to have fun and I did. I don’t regret anything that happened,” she said.

Team USA created lasting bonds and closed this chapter on a high note.

“It was amazing. I made the most of my time there,” said Team USA Speedskater Ryan Pivirotto.

Chen was proud to represent Utah.

“I’m really grateful for what the Salt Lake community has done and given to me.”

Athletes say they’re ready to resume some of their “everyday routines.”

”I’m really looking forward to some good ol’ American food, getting my phone back,” said Team USA Skeleton Racer Katie Ulander.

As for Pivirotto, his first meal will be tacos, tacos, tacos.

Biney says she’s not ready to commit to any competitions right now beyond Beijing. She plans on partying with friends in Miami and said to ask her in six months.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Olympic Utah

FILE: PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn of the United States at...
Matt Rascon, KSL TV

Bid for SLC Olympics gets boost from Lindsey Vonn at meeting in Switzerland

The bid to bring the Olympics back to the state got a boost Wednesday, as Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn joined officials for a meeting with the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland.
22 days ago
ZHANGJIAKOU, CHINA - FEBRUARY 18: Gold medallist Ailing Eileen Gu of Team China poses with their me...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Olympic Champion Eileen Gu will represent Salt Lake City for Olympic bid

Olympic athlete Eilee Gu will serve as the global ambassador for Salt Lake City's bid to host either the 2030 or 2034 Winter Games.
29 days ago
Utah team in Special Olympics...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

Wasatch represents Utah at National Special Olympics with cheers, fun

The Wasatch High School Unified Basketball team competed Tuesday at the National Special Olympics in Orlando. One of the athletes had everyone cheering her on, even though she didn't make a single basket.
30 days ago
USA Climbing competition in SLC on May 21st, 2022...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

World’s best climbers in SLC for competition

It's the perfect time for Salt Lake to be at the forefront of the sport’s popularity.
2 months ago
Nathan Chen of Team United States reacts during the Men Single Skating Short Program on day four of...
Morgan Wolfe, KSL TV

Gold medalist Nathan Chen returns to the ice at Maverik Center

Salt Lake City showed Nathan Chen they’ll always support him.
2 months ago
Nathan Chen at Utah Capitol (KSL TV)...
Alex Cabrero, KSL TV

‘Nathan Chen Day,’ Olympic gold medalist honored at Utah Capitol

Nathan Chen had been working his whole life for that gold medal moment during the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Today he is back in Utah to celebrate.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah Voters 50+ Support Increased Access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Members of Team USA reunite with family, friends in Utah following Olympics