Jessica Booth
Updated Feb 09, 2018 @ 8:45 am

The 2018 Winter Olympics are officially a few days away — on Friday, February 9th, the Olympic games begin. Viewers are excited to watch the competitions, but it’s always more fun to tune in when you have at least a little knowledge of the athletes participating. For those who want to see the ladies win big, you might be wondering how many female athletes are competing in the Olympic Games this year.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that, historically, the Olympics have always featured more male athletes than female athletes. Sports have long been a male-dominated industry, and though we are making strides in creating equality within sports culture, we aren’t all the way there just yet. This year, as in years past, there are still more male athletes than female athletes participating in the Olympic Games. Remember: It wasn’t until 2012 that women were able to participate in every single Olympic sport.

The good news? According to the official Olympics website, “the number of women athletes at the Olympic Games is approaching 50%.” The International Olympic Committee has increased the number of women’s events in the Games, and all new sports are required to contain events for women. While we haven’t reached 50% yet, we’re getting a lot closer. An Olympic fact sheet shows that female participant numbers have been increasing steadily over the past few decades. In 1924, there were only 11 women participants in the Winter Olympics. In 2014, there were 1,120 female athletes. If you’re looking at Team USA this year, there are 243 athletes (135 men and 108 women).

We don’t have an official number of female athletes are participating in the Games this year, or an exact percentage either. What we do know is that we’re almost at 50% — and since we were at 40.3% in 2014, one would imagine we’re either close to or above 45 percent. There are a total of 2,952 athletes participating in the Olympic Games.

And trust us: There are plenty of amazing female athletes to keep an eye on this year from Team USA. For alpine skiing, there’s Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn. In snowboarding, you’ll want to watch Chloe Kim. Mirai Nagasu is one to look out for in figure skating, and Devin Logan is a star in free skiing. Amanda Kessel is expected to kick butt in hockey, and Elena Meyers Taylor is one to watch out for in bobsledding.

This is only a very small fraction of the list of incredible female athletes we’ll be seeing and hearing about during the Olympic Games. We can’t wait to see how these ladies do!