2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Logan Kinajil-Moran, Senior Writer

With a spectacular closing ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 20, we saw the conclusion of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. It was another sporting event adversely affected by COVID, but that didn’t stop several U.S. athletes from standing out in China.

Erin Jackson, a skater from Florida, for example, became the first Black woman to medal in speed-skating when she won gold in the women’s 500-meter event. The last time an American woman won the event was 1994. 

The win is all the more significant when one considers that she should have missed out on the event altogether; she was ranked third in the event going into the games following an uncharacteristic stumble in the U.S. trials, disqualifying herself from the games. However, teammate Brittany Bowe gave up her spot so that she could compete.

Jessie Diggins, a skier from Minnesota, became the first American female skier to win individual cross-country medals after she secured silver in the women’s 30-kilometer. This also made her the first non-European to bring home a medal from the event, earning the accolade just 30 hours after contracting food poisoning.

American figure skater Nathan Chen had something to prove coming into the Winter Games after a disastrous performance at the 2018 games. As the last skater of the day, Chen broke the world record for a short program score at 113.97, taking home the gold medal. That also made him the first Asian-American man to win a medal in men’s figure skating singles.

These were just a few of the performances from the games where, overall, the United States won 25 medals, consisting of eight gold medals, ten silver and two bronze medals. This marked more overall medals than the 2018 winter games, but the fewest gold medals since 1998.

The end of the games signified the conclusion of a very hectic few years for the Olympics, with the summer games just a year earlier, and controversies (both sporting and political surrounding the games) indicate that these few years will change the landscape of world sporting forever.

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