by Ashley Lodato
The 2018 Winter Olympics are long over, but like any good amateur sports showcase, the PyeongChang Olympics did not disappoint. We love the theater of the Olympics, the backstories, the tales of overcoming challenges, the pursuit of dreams, and the displays of truly amazing willpower, grit, and talent. We tear up when the torch is lit, we gasp at surprise endings. We feel unified in our national pride, drawn together by our armchair warrior status in support of the people who followed such different paths than we did.
But most of all, we love the unabashed athletic prowess of these girls and women who are not afraid to be strong. That's right: strong. Because no matter whether you're a tiny teenage figure skater or a burly slalom skier, if you've made it to the Olympics, one of your inherent qualities is your strength.
1 and 2: Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall
If you missed Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall's historic gold medal finish in the Nordic team spring freestyle race, you'd better watch it now. Go ahead, we'll wait.
Got it? We think you'll agree that this race was a real knuckle-biter, and any enthusiastic screaming of "Go Jessie" that issued forth from your mouth was well-justified. Kikkan and Jessie became the first ever--let that sink in a moment, first EVER--American women to win a medal in a Nordic skiing event in the Olympics. And it was a freaking GOLD medal, people! We hardly even need mention that their gold is only the second EVER medal won in a Nordic event by an American; the last was in 1976, Bill Koch's silver medal.
Randall and Diggins are tough gals on skinny skis, but both have more than a touch of feminine in them. Should we ever get the chance to accessorize them, here's what we'd put on them: Tiny Charm Snowflake Necklace (of course!), Gold Eclipse Earrings (because that photo-finished eclipsed all other Olympic moments!), Beleza Bangles (sweet, yet sturdy as all get-out, just like these gals), and Mixed Metal Star Rings (because these skiers are truly Nordic stars)
3: Evgenia Medvedeva
Medvedeva is an 18-year-old Russian powerhouse figure skater who has been dominating the world scene for 3 years, including winning a silver medal at the 2018 Olympics. She's got an unusual combination of graceful artistry and raw, explosive power, which makes her performances athletically and aesthetically inspiring to watch.
Medvedeva has been described--in entirely loving terms--as a "goth jock weirdo," which gives us a special affinity for her. This is a gal who is not afraid to be who she is at her core, both on and off the ice. Medvedeva leverages the drama and emotion of skating with what some might call a morbid obsession with mortality. Her routines have featured unorthodox elements such as audio recordings from 9/11 news broadcasts, a Chopin piece associated with the Holocaust, and the sounds of an approaching train in the Anna Karenina soundtrack. Her jumps are death-defying, her spins are killer, and her overall effect is simply full of life.
How would we style Medvedeva's jewelry? On the ice, we'd go Tiny Charm all the way, for elegant simplicity in a sweat-proof design. Tiny Charm Arrowhead Necklace (she's just as swift and sharp), Tiny Charm Feather Earrings (she floats down from her jumps), and Toltec Rings (mixed metals are edgy, just like Medvedeva). Off the ice, definitely an ear jacket, such as the Nefertiti or the Arrowhead; the Beaded Aurelia Necklace, and a Condesa Cuff.
4. Kim Boutin
Canadian speedskater Kim Boutin has only been on the international racing circuit for 4 years, but she's been a frequent visitor to the podium in that short time, By 2015, she was ranked 7th in the world and was named Speed Skating Canada's Rising Star of the Year.
In PyeongChang, Boutin finished 4th in the 500m final, but ended up winning the bronze medal after a South Korean athlete was disqualified for interfering. Instead of being allowed to bask in her glory, however, Boutin was subjected to an onslaught of abuse and threats from angry Korean fans. We respect Boutin for honoring the spirt of competition and handling an uncomfortable situation with grace and dignity.
Boutin comes across as a no-frills kind of gal, but we've heard that in her spare time she enjoys painting and knitting, so we know she has the soul of an artist. That's why we'd choose some of Bronwen's more unique artisan jewelry to style her, starting with our Artisan B line. We think she'd look stunning in our Amulet Necklace, accentuated by one of our Leather Cuff Bracelets and a pair of Amazon Woman Earrings, underscoring the brave and strong woman she is.
5. Simidele Adeagbo
Simidele Adeagbo is not only a lifelong athlete with an impressive history of achievement, but she's also a trailblazer in the world of winter sports. Adeagbo was the first Nigerian athlete to compete at the 2018 Olympics and the first African or Black female to compete in the skeleton (the terrifying sport that involves lying face down and headfirst on a skeleton sled and hurtling down an icy track) at the Winter Olympics.
In PyeongChang, Adeagbo finished 20th overall with the 3rd best start time, but an even bigger distinction was being selected to carry the national flag and represent Team Nigeria in the closing ceremonies. Says Adeagbo, “It was an incredible honor to be selected as the flag bearer and represent the success of Nigeria during the Olympics and show all Nigerians what’s possible through sport. It was an amazing end to a powerful experience that I will never forget.
Adeagbo wants to see "strong, smart, vivacious, courageous, beautiful and ambitious women unapologetically blazing a trail in sports." She's certainly serving as a role model in this area. So we'd accessorize Adeagbo with jewelry that says "Look out, here I come." Aztec Silverstack Rings, Thai Trail Anklet, Todos Leather Necklace, and Bar Drop Earrings. Oh yes, Adeagbo sets the bar.
You go, girls.