During the Summer Olympics it is pretty easy to find the tallest athletes. Just head over to the basketball or volleyball games and you’ll usually find them. But as of right now snow volleyball is not yet a Winter Olympic sport (but we hope it is soon), so who are the tallest athletes in the Winter Olympics?
For men, the tallest average height belongs to the ice hockey players at 6’1″. For the women, the tallest average athletes compete in bobsled racing at 5’8″. While those averages are fairly tall, they pale in comparison to the height of the tallest athlete at the 2018 PyeongChang games. That distinction goes to Bryce Bennett, a 6’7″ downhill skier.
In this brief biographical sketch we learn Bennett’s towering height comes as both an advantage and disadvantage. At his size he is not only the tallest downhill skier but also the heaviest, and weight plays a significant role in gaining speed and momentum in downhill skiing. Unfortunately it comes at a price- aerodynamics. That big body creates a lot of drag as well.
Knowing this, Bennett trained in North Carolina and Utah in wind tunnels to learn just how different positions, postures and movements affected his aerodynamics. And he’s done pretty well at his sport, making the Olympic team and picking up several top 20 finishes.
In contrast, the shortest Team USA athletes are a pair of 5’0″ women- a figure skater and a speed skater. It’s probably safe to assume aerodynamics aren’t much of an issue for either of them.
So until the glorious day when snow volleyball comes to the Winter Olympics and tall athletes like 6’10” Phil Dalhausser can compete, Bryce Bennett stands alone and stands tall as the tallest athlete in these 2018 Olympic games.