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Sochi Olympics make history with family ties

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:34 PM
  • 9 Replies


Three siblings competing against each other in same event is a rarity only seen twice before at Winter Olympics, in 1960 and 1976; Sochi sets record with three

Sochi Olympics

The Dufour-Lapointe sisters competed against each other in freestyle ski moguls at the Sochi Olympics. From left, Chloe, Maxime, and Justine. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Winter Olympics is definitely a family affair, what with dozens of sibling pairs competing together, against one another, or in the same discipline at various events in Sochi.

For instance, Switzerland has 11 of them, and the U.S. has seven.

But while sibling pairs at the Winter Olympics might be commonplace, the Sochi Olympics has the distinction of becoming the first Winter Games to feature three sets of three siblings competing against each other in the same individual event.

Sochi Olympics

Justine, left, and sister Chloe walk over the podium after receiving gold and silver medals, respectively, from freestyle ski moguls at the Sochi Olympics. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

How rare is that?

Well, considering it’s only happened twice before (according to OlympStats), in 1960 and 1976, it’s pretty rare.

Of course, with the growing number of events and competitors, it would stand to reason that there’s been an increase in a statistic like this, but that doesn’t diminish the fact.

The most notable family threesome at the Sochi Olympics would be Canada’s Dufour-Lapointe sisters, who competed against each other in the freestyle ski moguls. Justine won gold, Chloe took silver, and Maxime finished 12th.

Switzerland’s Gasparin sisters each competed in the 15K individual biathlon. Selina won the gold, Elisa finished 33rd, and Aita finished 62nd. The three are scheduled to compete together in team relays during the second week of the Games.

And last are New Zealand’s Wells brothers—Jossi, Byron, and Beau-James—who will be competing against each other in the freestyle ski halfpipe on Tuesday. Their brother Jackson, 16, didn’t make the team, which is coached by their father.

Sochi Olympics

The Wells brothers from New Zealand will be competing against each other in freestyle ski halfpipe on Tuesday at the Sochi Olympics. From left, Beau-James; Jossi; their father, Bruce; and Byron. Photo by Doug Pensigner/Getty Images

And in case you’re interested, the Team USA family members who are (or were) competing at the Sochi Olympics are Sadie and Erik Bjornsen (cross-country skiing), Erica and Craig Brown (curling), Taylor and Bryan Fletcher (ski jumping), Taylor and Arielle Gold (snowboarding), Amanda and Phil Kessel (ice hockey), Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux (ice hockey), and Alex and Maia Shibutani (figure skating).

Sochi Olympics

Taylor Gold, left, and sister Arielle competed in snowboard halfpipe at the Sochi Olympics, though this photo is from a World Cup event in December. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The first time three siblings competed against each other in the Winter Olympics was in alpine skiing women’s slalom at Squaw Valley, California, in 1960. They were French sisters Anne-Marie, Marguerite, and Therese Leduc. The best finisher was Therese, who was fifth in women’s combined.

Argentina’s Marcos Luis, Martin Tomas, and Matias Jose Jerman competed against each other in 15K cross-country skiing in the Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria, in 1976. None made the top eight.

by on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:34 PM
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SarahSuzyQ
by Bronze Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:45 PM

Didn't I also see some Dutch twin brothers in speed skating? I think it would be really interesting to compete on such a level with your sibling... Some good support, and also some unique challenges. I bet they keep one another honest!

momofsixangels
by Gold Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:51 PM


Quoting SarahSuzyQ:

Didn't I also see some Dutch twin brothers in speed skating? I think it would be really interesting to compete on such a level with your sibling... Some good support, and also some unique challenges. I bet they keep one another honest!

I think so too.I think it would be nice to have a sibling know what its like and be there for each other

momofsixangels
by Gold Member on Feb. 14, 2014 at 10:51 PM
1 mom liked this


Families abound at the Olympics, and not just those cheering from the sidelines. There are literally dozens of sibling pairs competing together (and against each other) at Sochi this year, with the majority of them practicing the same sport. Of course, having a sibling at the Games isn't exactly rare — Switzerland has 11 pairs in its delegation alone, and the U.S. has seven. But that doesn't make it any less special to see these family members (there's even a father-son pairing!) sharing in the incredible moments of the Olympics together.

MamaMandee
by on Feb. 15, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Makes sense as a mom to only have to drive to one sport lol
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graycalico
by on Feb. 16, 2014 at 12:08 AM
1 mom liked this
Ha! True.

Quoting MamaMandee: Makes sense as a mom to only have to drive to one sport lol
graycalico
by on Feb. 16, 2014 at 12:09 AM
That makes for an interesting dynamic. I wonder what thanksgiving dinner is like at their houses
graycalico
by on Feb. 16, 2014 at 12:09 AM
Neat!

Quoting momofsixangels:


Families abound at the Olympics, and not just those cheering from the
sidelines. There are literally dozens of sibling pairs competing
together (and against each other) at Sochi this year, with the majority
of them practicing the same sport. Of course, having a sibling at the
Games isn't exactly rare — Switzerland has 11 pairs in its delegation
alone, and the U.S. has seven. But that doesn't make it any less special
to see these family members (there's even a father-son pairing!)
sharing in the incredible moments of the Olympics together.

TigerofMu
by Gold Member on Feb. 16, 2014 at 2:43 AM

I saw the sisters ski!

TigerofMu
by Gold Member on Feb. 18, 2014 at 11:56 AM

My daughter was watching the sisters and thought they were pretty cool.

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