Previewing the 2022 Winter Olympics

Juliet Adams, Staff Reporter

Winter Olympics
Chloe Kim looks to defend her halfpipe gold medal in Beijing. (Jada Roth)

A silver lining to the havoc that the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked, the world is lucky enough to experience both the Summer and Winter Olympics in the recent span of the past seven months. The Winter Olympics commenced on Feb. 4, ringing in the opening ceremonies and the lighting of the torch in host city Beijing, China. 

These games are unprecedented to say the least, with seven new events making their debut, three-time snowboarding gold medalist Shaun White announcing Beijing as his final ride and of course the consecutive Olympics games just six months after the delayed closing ceremonies of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. With the United States having some of the top competitors in the Games, there are many highlighted athletes and events to keep an eye out for.

The U.S.’ figure skating team is a top competitor in its event, going up against the Russian Olympic Committee, Canada, Czech Republic and other notable countries. American athlete Nathan Chen has already set the figure skating team up for good standing in the hunt for a medal, earning the second highest short program score ever on Friday, Feb. 4. 

However, Chen’s teammates Karen Chen and Vincent Zhou unfortunately placed in third and fifth place in their respective team events on Feb. 6, 2022, cutting the Americans’ chances at gold, but the U.S. team was still able to earn a silver medal in the team event final on Sunday, Feb. 6. One of the final events, the Exhibition Gala, will air on Feb. 19, securing the official medalists of the event.

The American snowboarders in both the halfpipe and slopestyle events are some of the most entertaining, including legends like Shaun White and Chloe Kim. The U.S.’ first medal was earned in the women’s slopestyle event of the games. Julia Marino won the silver medal behind New Zealand snowboarder, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott.  

Kim is coming into her second Olympic Games after becoming the youngest female to win a snowboarding gold medal in the halfpipe event at age 17 in 2018. Kim is set to compete in the halfpipe qualifiers on Feb. 8. If she is to advance, Kim will then compete in the Finals on Feb. 9. 

Additionally, these games are particularly special for snowboarding Olympian legend White. These games will be White’s fifth and final Olympic halfpipe competition, and America is anticipating one last medal win. Similarly to Kim’s schedule, White will compete in the men’s halfpipe qualifier on Feb. 8. If he is to advance, he will compete in the halfpipe final on Feb. 10. 

The U.S.’ Alpine Skiing Team includes some of the world’s best. However, one notable athlete has already fallen off the record board. Defending Olympic Champion in slalom racing, Mikaela Shiffrin, suffered a tough fall, costing her a chance to earn a medal. Although Shiffrin will not get the opportunity to compete for a medal, Jaelin Kauf won the silver medal in the freestyle skiing women’s moguls event, the first medal of the games for the alpine team. 

The alpine team has a number of new members all capable of defeating other nations for the chance to win a medal, including Paula Moltzan and Luke Winters.

With the 2022 Beijing Games lasting until Feb. 20, there is sure to be more drama and action in the coming days.

Leave a Comment