Beijing made history as it was the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The 2022 Winter Olympics included a record 109 events with 7 new events being added to increase female participation, and it is estimated to have cost about $3.9 billion.
These Olympic Games were rather controversial – many thought that the proposed outdoor venues would not have reliable snowfall in winter for snow sports, raising concerns that snow may need to be transported at great cost, with potentially adverse environmental consequences. In addition, some countries announced a diplomatic boycott of the games, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, India, the UK and the US.
The Beijing 2022 Organising Committee announced that no public tickets would be sold due to the COVID-19 pandemic; instead, groups of spectators would be invited to the Olympics.
A roundup of the Winter Olympics:
World Cup winning Alpine Skier Dave Ryding and Sochi 2014 curling bronze medallist Eve Muirhead waved Team GB’s flag around the stadium. Muirhead said, “It’s going to be a very special evening, getting the chance to lead the athletes out from Great Britain will be a moment I’ll never forget.”
Days 0-5 (4 Feb to 9 Feb):
No medals for Team GB yet. The first medals were awarded for the women’s skiathlon –Therese Johaug of Norway won the first medal of the game, winning in 44 minutes and 13.7 seconds. China won their first gold medal in the short track mixed team relay, with Qu Chunyu, Fan Kexin, Wu Dajing and Ren Ziwei beating the Italian team with a time of 2 minutes 37.348 seconds. Irene Schouten, a Dutch speedskater, set an Olympic record in the 3000 metres. On day 3, Jakara Anthony won Australia’s first gold medal since 2010. On day 5, the US finally won their first gold medal, as Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis won her first gold.
Days 6-10 (10 Feb to 14 Feb)
Still no medals for Team GB. Day 6 was an excellent day for Team USA, with three gold medals in snowboarding, figure skating and the mixed-teams aerials event in freestyle skiing. The men’s figure skating was especially interesting, with 22-year-old Nathan Chen beating out two-time champion Yuzuru Hanyu.
Dutch Skater Suzanne Schulting won her second consecutive Olympic gold medal in the women’s 1000m.
Day 10 marked a monumental occasion as Erin Jackson became the first Black woman to win a speedskating medal, completing the 500m in 37.04 seconds for gold.
Day 10 was an incredibly controversial day: Kamila Valieva was allowed to continue competing at the Olympics even though she failed a drug test. It was announced that no flower or medal ceremony would occur if she finished in the top three.
Days 11-15 (15 Feb to 19 Feb)
Team GB’s disappointing streak came to an end during these few days, with the men’s curling team claiming silver on 19 February after a 5-4 defeat to Sweden. Day 11 was a great day for Norway as they increased their lead with three golds. 15-year-old Kamila Valieva took the lead in the women’s singles figure skating, qualifying for the free skate event on Thursday. Unfortunately for her, she placed 4th..
Day 16 (20 Feb)
The last gold medal of the games went to Finland, beating the Russian Olympic Committee in the men’s ice hockey final. Team GB won their first gold of the competition, with the women’s team beating Japan 10-3 in curling. Norway won 16 gold medals and a total of 37 medals, keeping its title as the most successful team. J.T. Bø of Norway was the athlete with the most medals, with 4 gold and 1 bronze.
The Winter Olympics closed in style, with the Olympic flame being extinguished and the flag being passed onto the Italian mayors of Milan and Cortina-D’Ampezzo.