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PARK CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 25: Figure skater Mariah Bell poses for a portrait during the Team USA Media Summit ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games on September 25, 2017 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The Winter Olympics kick off this week and when you tune in, you’ll get a chance to see Mariah Bell, an “ancient” athlete compete. Mariah Bell is actually considered over the hill in the sport of women’s figure skating … and she’s only 25. She recently won her first national title and became the oldest U.S. women’s national champion in 95 years and when she heads to the Beijing Games, she’ll be the oldest American woman to compete in Olympic singles skating since 1928.

Figure skating tends to favor younger athletes and after becoming champs early in their careers, many retire while they’re still really young. But Bell hopes to change that. “I want it to be a known fact that skating doesn’t end at a certain age,” she said after winning gold at the national championships last month.

Let’s get to know this record-breaking skater:

  • Bell trains under coach Rafael Arutyunyan, who also trains six-time national men’s champion and Olympic medal contender Nathan Chen. They’ve been friends since they were kids and he’s gearing up for his third Olympic Games as a Team USA member.
  • She credits her family with nurturing her love of skating. Bell says her family has kept her grounded and focused on finding the joy in skating, not just going after medals. She says her parents gave up a lot so she could chase her dreams and never expected anything other than for her to work really hard, adding, “I think that’s why I love skating so much.”
  • Adam Rippon is also one of her coaches and good friends. He competed in the 2018 Olympics and previously trained with Bell under Arutyunyan. She says their coaching styles are different, with Rafael being the strict one and Adam bringing the fun.

“Ancient” at 25? Only in figure skating! Are you excited about the Winter Olympics? I know I am! I can’t wait to watch Shaun White snowboard! What events will you be tuning in to watch? Tweet us @theMRLshow

SOURCE: PopSugar