U.S. athletes Gregorio and Sean Hollander compete in a men’s luge doubles.
After 2 full weeks of competition in China, the 2022 Winter Olympics ended on February 20. These games, like the 2021 Summer Olympics, were overshadowed by COVID-19. The athletes were required to compete in a “bubble.” By isolating the athletes from the public, Olympic officials hoped to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Athletes from the country of Norway brought home the most gold medals, winning 16. This set an Olympic record for most gold medals won by a country at the Winter Olympics. Germany was next with 12 gold medals. China won 9 gold medals. The United States came in fourth place with 8 gold medals
Among the American athletes, Nathan Chen stood out as the best men’s figure skater. He won a gold medal with a world record score of 113.97. Erin Jackson won a gold medal for speedskating. She became the first African American woman to win gold in the event.
At 37 years old, Elana Meyers Taylor also made history. She became the winningest African American athlete and winningest bobsledder in Winter Olympics history with 5 medals. These winter games also marked the end of a long career for legendary snowboarder Shaun White. He has competed in the last 5 Winter Olympics. He is still the only snowboarder to have won 3 gold medals in the sport.
For the host country, Chinese-American athlete Eileen Gu dominated the freestyle skiing events. Born to a Chinese mother and American father, Gu chose to represent China at the Winter Olympics. She won 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal. Skaters Sui Wenjing and Han Cong brought home another gold medal for China in pairs figure skating.
Most Olympic Games are remembered for the great competition among world-class athletes. Unfortunately, these games will also be remembered for scandal. One of the favorites to win gold in figure skating was 15-year-old Russian athlete Kamila Valieva. Just before the games, she tested positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Valieva and her Russian teammates won gold in the figure skating team event. However, the team was not awarded the medal. Olympic officials are waiting until the investigation is complete before they decide whether to award the Russian team the gold.