Battling in Bejing

2022 Winter Olympics begin first week of electrifying competitions

Isabella Tranello, Sports Editor

Illustration by Mia Eshima

Silence falls over the ice rink as the figure skater takes her position on the ice. Her face is calm and relaxed as she waits for her music to start, but under the surface, she is so nervous that she could scream. 

Adrenaline begins to pump through her veins as she anticipates the performance ahead of her but suddenly, all the nerves seem to disappear. Her song plays and she begins to float across the ice. It is her time to shine. 

The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing officially began on Friday, Feb. 4  with the emotional and eye-catching opening ceremony. Teams from 84 different nations and countries walked out with their flags held high and with proud smiles on their faces. Some were even clad in high-class athletic wear designed by some of the world’s best designers. 

The United States walked out in patriotic-inspired winter gear created by the highly credited designer Ralph Lauren. Italy also came dressed to impress as they modeled gear inspired by their country’s flag, which was a creation by Giorgio Armani. 

After the excitement of the opening ceremony, the games were officially ready to begin, but two different sports had already begun before the ceremony. The first day of competition began on Wednesday, Feb. 2 with the mixed doubles curling tournament and the first two games of the women’s ice hockey tournament. 


Ten curling teams competed in ten different matches on the first day. Italy won both of their games while the U.S only won one of three games that they played. One of the losses was to Italy. Great Britain also won both of their games. 

Italy continued to dominate throughout the rest of the week and is currently sitting on top of the leaderboard with an undefeated record of 9-0. As of Sunday, Feb. 6, Italy knocked the former Canadian gold medalist team from the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, out of the competition with a close 8-7 victory. 

The bronze and gold-medal games will take place on Monday, Feb.7 and Tuesday, Feb. 8. 


The women’s hockey competition also began on Feb. 2, and two teams are currently battling it out to top the rankings: The United States and Canada. In 2018, the U.S ended their 20-year gold-medal drought in women’s hockey, and they look to repeat that this year. However, Canada is giving them a run for their money. Canada and the U.S are both undefeated with three wins each.

The top of the leader board will be decided as Canada and the U.S face off in what is sure to be an exhilarating battle on Monday, Feb. 7. Only one team will be able to hold onto their winning streak and the other must fall.

Women’s hockey will not conclude until Wednesday, Feb. 16. 


The second official day of the Olympics on Saturday, Feb. 5, saw six champions be crowned. 

The first gold medal was awarded to Norway in the Biathlon after they clocked a time of 1:06.45. France was a close second and lost by only 0.9 milliseconds. 


The second gold medal was won in the women’s cross-country skiing event by Norway’s Therese Johaug. She had a time of 44.13, which barely beat out silver medalist Natalia Nepryaeva from ROC. 

ROC stands for the Russian Olympic Committee, but the athletes are not competing for a particular country at all. They instead are competing under a flag that bears the iconic Olympic rings. 

Russia was banned from competition in 2017 after officials found out the country had been engaged in a doping program, which supplied athletes with performance-enhancing drugs. They will operate under the name ROC until the next Winter Olympics. 


In the third award ceremony of the day, Sweden’s Walter Wallberg took home the gold in the men’s freestyle skiing event. He scored a total of 83.23 points. Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury won the silver. 


The fourth gold medal was taken home by China in the mixed team short track speed skating competition. Their winning time was 2:37.348. Italy barely lost the gold with a time of 2:37.364 and ended up with the silver medal. 

The last two events that were completed were the women’s ski jumping competition and the women’s 3000-meter speed skating. 


In women’s ski jumping, Slovenia’s Ursa Bogataj took home gold with 239 total points. 


The Netherlands athlete Irene Schouten won the gold in women’s speed skating with a clocked time of 3:56.93. 

Sunday, Feb. 6 was another day of glittering gold for these winter athletes. Five gold medals were given out during this day of competition. 


In the men’s 15km cross-country skiing event, two ROC athletes took silver and gold. The gold-winning athlete was Alexander Bolshunov who finished with a time of 1:16.09. The silver medal athlete was Denis Spitsov. 


Australia’s Jakara Anthony beat out the U.S’s Jaelin Kauf in the women’s freestyle skiing competition. She won with a score of 83.09 which was three points higher than Kauf’s score. 


Germany won the men’s luge due to Johannes Ludwig’s time of 3:48.735 which defeated Austrian athlete Wolfgang Kindl’s time by 160 milliseconds. 


In the men’s ski jumping event, Japan took home the gold on behalf of athlete Ryoyu Kobayashi, who scored a total of 275 points. He won the event by five points over the silver medalist from Austria, Manuel Fettner. 


In the women’s slopestyle competition, the U.S won its second silver medal, but once again lost the gold. They were beaten by New Zealand athlete Zoi Sadowski Synnott. The best score of her three tries was 92.88 which secured her the gold medal. The U.S has been unable to win the gold in any event so far. 


The final gold medal of the week was awarded to Sweden’s Nils van der Poel in the men’s speed skating. Poel clocked a quick time of 6:08.84 and beat out Patrick Roest from the Netherlands by exactly 40 seconds. 

After the first week of competition concluded, Sweden had the most gold medals with three. ROC, The Netherlands, China, and Germany are all tied at two gold medals. However, ROC is ranked in the No.2 position for medal wins under Sweden because they have the most silver medals out of all the teams competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

On Monday, Feb. 7, the second week of games and events will begin with the last run of both the men’s and women’s alpine skiing. The winners of the gold, silver, and bronze medals will be decided for both events following the last race.