Texas Connects Us to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games

Clockwise from top left, Jonathan Garcia, Sam McGuffie, Justin Olsen and Katie Uhlaender. Getty Images and NBC 5

Four Texans will join the Team USA at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. And five others competing in PyeongChang, South Korea, have some Texas connection.

THE TEXANS

Jonathan Garcia, who grew up in Katy, will compete in speed skating. Garcia will take the ice in the 500 meter and team pursuit. Garcia started his skating career as an inline skater.

Texas athlete Sam McGuffie tries not to think about the upcoming 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

(Published Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017)

Sam McGuffie, of Houston is a push athlete, tasked with rocketing the heavy sled off the starting line. McGuffie joins Evan Weinstock and Steve Langton on the push crew. McGuffie was also selected to be Codie Bascue's brakeman in two-man.

28-year-old McGuffie started his athletic career as a football and track and field star at Cy-Fair High School in Cypress, Texas. He also played football in college before spending time in both the National Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Model Olympian: Justin Olsen

Justin Olsen, of San Antonio, was selected alongside Codie Bascue and Nick Cunningham to pilot the three Team USA sleds.

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Olsen, 30, was a push athlete for Steven Holcomb’s Night Train four-man crew that won gold, the first for a U.S. men’s sled since 1948. He later lost 35 pounds after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, to be come a bobsled driver. Olsen was born in Lubbock and raised in San Antonio.

Model Olympian: Katie Uhlaender

Katie Uhlaender, who hails from McGregor, will once again join Team USA in skeleton.

Uhlaender, a three-time Olympian, finished sixth at the 2006 Torino Games, 11th at the 2010 Vancouver Games and fourth at the 2014 Sochi Games.

TEXAS CONNECTS US

Ashley Caldwell is a freestyle skier who has become a force to be reckoned with in women's aerials. She became the first U.S. woman to perform a full, full, full and land herself a 10th place finish at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Caldwell has never lived in Texas but her family now lives in Houston.

Model Olympian: Ashley Caldwell

Aimee Buchanan moved to North Texas from Massachusetts to train with Peter and Darlene Cain at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Euless. She has dual citizenship and skates for Israel where she was the 2016 Israeli National Champion.

Aimee Buchanan is in her final stretch of training before reaching her childhood dream. After 20 years on the ice, she will compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in ice skating, but she won't be representing the United States.

(Published Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018)

Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere will represent Nigeria after becoming the first-ever African bobsled team to qualify for the Olympics.

Formerly a track athlete, Adigun decided to create the Nigerian bobsled program from scratch right here in Texas. She first saw the movie 'Cool Runnings' as a child and first saw bobsled on TV during the 2014 Winter Olympics. When she saw all three push athletes came from the summer sport of track and field, she decided to try bobsled.

Meet Seun Adigun, a member of the history-making Nigerian women's bobsled team. The women are not only the first bobsled team from Africa to qualify for the winter Olympics, but also the first Nigerian athletes to ever compete in the winter games.

(Published Monday, Feb. 5, 2018)

With a makeshift wooden bobsled, she recruited fellow track and field stars, Omeoga and Onwumere, to join her in Houston to train. Until now, Nigeria did not have an active bobsled program and never sent an athlete to the Winter Olympics.

Historic Nigerian Bobsled Team Leader: Through the Years

2018 Winter Olympics begin Feb. 9 and run through Feb. 25.