2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Recap

The winter Olympics are back and for the first time in Beijing. This article serves as a quick recap of all the major stories at the games.

By Niklas da Silva Ekberg, Staff Writer

February 21, 2022, at 7:00 am marked the beginning of the closing ceremony and the end of the 2022 Winter Olympics. This year held lots of controversy, record breakers, and new winners. There’s a lot to unpack, but we’ve got you covered.

Beijing became the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic games this year, but not without controversy. In an interview with PEOPLE about the Olympic village where the athletes stayed, three-time gold medalist Natalie Coughlin said, “I think they think it’s a lot more glamorous than it is. It’s really pretty boring.”

COVID protocols at the Olympic Games were also kept strict. In a press conference in Beijing, International Olympic President, Thomas Bach, stated that the infection rate stayed at 0.01%. The games organizers were also criticized for their use of fake snow. Although fake snow has always been utilized in the Olympics, the organizers in Beijing planned on using 100% artificial snow, even going the lengths of getting rid of the real snow.

The Winter Olympics hosted a wide array of surprising and expected results. Norway dominated, winning not only the most gold medals, but winning the most medals overall. In order by total gold medals, Norway won with 16 gold medals, Germany second with 12 gold medals, and China third with nine gold medals. In order by total medals, Norway won with 37 medals, the Russian Olympic Committee came second with 32 medals, and Germany came third with 27 medals.

In terms of athlete medals, Norwegian biathlon skier, Johannes Thingnes Boe, earned four gold medals, which was more than any other athlete this year. The athletes who came second with three gold medals are as follows: ROC cross country skier, Alexander Bolshunov, Norwegian biathlon skier, Marte Olsbu Røiseland, Dutch speed skater, Irene Schouten, and Norwegian cross-country skier, Therese Johaug.

For the first time at the Olympic Games, Finland has won the Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey after beating the ROC 2-1. Slovakia took bronze after beating Sweden 4-0. Canada and the U.S. were notably absent from the semifinals as they were eliminated by Sweden and Slovakia during the quarter finals. It’s the first time both nations haven’t reached the Olympic Hockey semifinals since 2006. Despite both being eliminated on the men’s side, the Canadian and U.S. women’s teams faced each other in the finals. Canada won 3-2.

Skiing had its own variety of stories as well. Victoria Carl took gold for Germany in the Women’s team sprint classic event, despite not originally being on the German line up. U.S. skier, Jessie Diggins, became the first non-European athlete to win a medal in the women’s 30km mass start event

ROC skiers, Alexey Chervotkin, Alexander Bolshunov, Denis Spitsov and Sergey Ustiugov won the Men’s 4x10km relay. This is the first time the ROC has won this event since 1980 when they entered as the Soviet Union. ROC’s Alexander Bolshunov also became the first male athlete to win five medals in a single Winter Olympic Games.

Confusion was sparked in ski jumping after German, Japanese, Austrian, Norwegian and other athletes were disqualified for wearing too big of suits. This caused Slovenian athletes to take shock victories and securing the most medals in ski jumping.

Sweden took gold against Great Britain in Men’s curling, beating them 5-4. Great Britain had redemption in women’s curling after they beat Japan for gold 10-3. Canada, who historically dominates Men’s curling, took bronze after beating the U.S. 8-5.

Since its introduction in 1998, the U.S has either tied or taken the most medals in Olympic snowboarding, a streak that ended in Beijing. The U.S and Austria tied in gold medals claiming three gold and one silver each. Both were beaten out in total medals by Canada who claimed six medals.

Snowboarding also saw the end of legendary U.S. snowboarder, Shaun White‘s career. White narrowly qualified for the halfpipe finals but did not win any medals. Japanese snowboarder, Ayumu Hirano, took gold for men’s halfpipe snowboarding. Lindsey Jacobellis gave the U.S. their first gold after winning the Women’s Snowboard Cross event.

Germany dominated Bobsleighing, winning gold and silver in every event except for Women’s Monobob event where the U.S. took gold and silver. Another notable event was he return of the Jamaican bobsleighing team, who hadn’t qualified for Olympic bobsleighing since 1998.

Skating saw U.S. skater, Nathan Chen shatter the men’s individual high score with a score of 113.97 to secure gold for the U.S. ROC skater, Anna Shcherbakova took gold in women’s individual skating. Despite Shcherbakova success for Russia, attention was brought to her 15-year-old teammate, Kamila Valieva, after she failed a doping test but was cleared to compete anyway. Valieva made multiple mistakes in her run and placed fourth.

Belgian speed skater, Bart Swings, became the first athlete to win gold for Belgium since 1948. Chinese speed skater, Fan Kexin, was accused by fans of tripping Canadian speed skater, Alyson Charles by sliding a marker under his skates. Kexin was not penalized.

Despite all the excitement, triumph, and disappointment that the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics had to offer, the games drew the lowest U.S. ratings of any Olympic games.