Winter Olympics

Winter+Olympics

Ashley Swaw, Staff Writer

Four years of anticipation is finally over with the long awaited start of the Beijing Winter Olympics. 

The 2022 Winter Olympics started on February 4th and ran until February 20th, with each day packed full of competition and excitement. The games included competition in figure skating, snowboarding, bobsledding, and so much more. Some big names represented the United States in China including Chloe Kim, Nathan Chen, and Elana Meyers Taylor. 

Major controversy clouded the current Olympic Games. First and foremost is the dispute involving Kamila Valieva. The 15 year old from Russia initially won gold in the team event, only for there to be no medal ceremony in celebration of her and her team’s win. This lack of ceremony left many to wonder what was going on and if there would be a ceremony in the future. Those questions were answered when it was revealed that Valieva had tested positive for an illegal drug prior to the games. The International Olympic Committee then stepped in and said, “…Valieva can compete for the remainder of this year’s Winter Games, despite testing positive for a prohibited substance ahead of Beijing 2022,” (cnn.com). This angered many, especially after previous rulings on the consumption of illegal drugs before and during the Olympics. Valieva later went on to compete in the Women’s Short Program and place 4th among the other competitors. Another controversy included the exclusion of the NHL from the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. The decision was made because of, “…a surge in COVID-19 cases that impacted the NHL’s schedule,” according to nbcsports.com. All of this was under the backdrop of a diplomatic boycott by many countries including the United States and Canada because of the human rights issues in China. 

Despite all of this, millions of people were excited for the kick off of the games. Some were excited for the addition of many new sports including, “Women’s Monobob, Men’s and Women’s Big Air (Freestyle Skiing), Mixed Team Snowboard Cross, Mixed Team Aerials, Mixed Team Short Track Relay, and Mixed Team Ski Jumping,” says nbcsports.com. Others were excited to see how well their favorite competitor would place. Junior Jessica Gonzalez had this to say about her favorite skater, Nathan Chen, “When I saw Chen’s short program, I was at a loss for words… the choreography was phenomenal…”

The United States closed out the Olympics in fourth place overall for the number of total medals, at a respectable 25. This consisted of 8 gold, 10 silver, and 7 bronze.

While they may have been overshadowed by things like the pandemic and competition controversy, the Winter Olympics promise to be a very exciting experience to bring the world together.