Beijing Olympics

Thrills and Controversy in the First Week


Courtesy of IOC

The 2022 Olympics take place amid rising political tensions, and, or course, a pandemic.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics have started off with a bang, with the greats and young phenoms all competing to win on the world’s biggest athletic stage.
Some of the most decorated olympians of all time have competed in this Winter Olympics. Names like Shaun White, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Lindsey Jacobellis instantly come to mind. This is White’s final Olympics of his career, a five time Olympian and a three-time Gold medalist in Men’s halfpipe snowboarding, he was hoping this final appearance would add to his already extraordinary career. Unfortunately, he was unable to medal, narrowly missing out by placing in fourth after Japan’s Ayuma Hirano ended a stellar run, being the first ever snowboarder to land a triple cork in competition. Mikaela Shiffrin also is competing in this Olympics. After two
disappointing runs in the giant slalom and slalom events in which she had two DNF’s, she finished ninth in the super-G. After this final run Shiffrin was relieved with her last performance, feeling re-energized. She will compete in three more events in these Olympics, in the downhill and in the Alpine combined and team event, hopefully being able to perform to the best of her ability. Lastly, 36 year old Lindsey Jacobellis finally won gold in both the women’s snowboard cross and the mixed snowboard cross competitions. After being largely considered the greatest women’s snowboard cross competitor of all time, all Jacobellis had left to do in her illustrious career was to win Olympic gold. After the 2006 Torino Olympics, when she blew a gold medal finish because she began celebrating too early, this was a great comeback story for Jacobellis.
Of course as with any other Olympics, young talents steal many of the headlines. Young phenoms like Chloe Kim, Nathan Chen and Russia’s Kamila Valieva have done just this. Chloe Kim is only 21 years old, and has already proven herself in past Olympics, winning a gold medal in women’s halfpipe in 2018, and in this Olympics, she was expecting no less. She came out with an incredible first run, with a score of 94.00. This score could not be beaten by any other competitors and Chloe Kim finished in first, winning the gold. Nathan Chen, despite being only 22 years old, has proven his complete dominance in his sport, figure skating, and everyone in the world was watching intently as he competed in this Winter Olympics. Chen first got a silver medal in the U.S. team figure skating event, and he won gold in a remarkable performance in men’s singles. Kamila Valieva from the Russian Olympic Committee, at only age 15 has been widely considered the greatest figure skater of the moment, and in this Olympics, her first, she had one goal, to be the first woman ever to land a quad jump in the Olympics. She met this goal and more, landing three quads in her team performance, and ensuring the ROC’s first place finish in the team event. However, some controversy has risen surrounding this performance, as Valieva had a positive drug test in December for Trimetazidine, a banned performance enhancing drug. This has led to widespread suspicion of the Russian Olympic Committee, the lab responsible for testing, and of Valieva’s performance. As of this writing, the IOC has approved Valieva to continue competing.
After an already exciting Olympics in which incredible athletes from around the world have proven their greatness, there is still much more to comeThe medal count is being led by Norway so far with a total of 21 medals, followed by Germany with 14, and the U.S. with 12 – six gold medals, five silver, and one bronze.