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Before you watch the 2018 Winter Olympics skaters throw it down on the ice, first, some adorable videos of them skating as little tykes.

At seven years old, Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen was already performing on ice for rapt audiences. And not just performing: he was a junior champion already, with a program showcasing his preternatural skill to the tune of the Lion King’s classic “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” with Chen outfitted in a yellow lion cub suit in keeping with the theme.

That song choice was fitting; Chen is now the U.S.’s top-ranking male entrant for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, and is one of the main names to beat in the upcoming event.

Take a look at young Chen in his Simba suit — as well as fellow U.S. skating team stars Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu, Maia and Alex Shibutani, and more — back when they were just kids growing into their own skill sets on, and off, the ice. From sibling duo Maia and Alex’s early days learning to stay in sync to Rippon’s first forays onto the national stage as a novice, these throwbacks of the young athletes prove that they were always stars.

Watch a compilations of videos provided to TIME above.

And to see them in all their glory today, tune into the ice skating events of this year’s Games, which kick off on Feb. 9.

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Write to Raisa Bruner at

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