A record-breaking first week of the Winter Olympic Games

A week of ups and downs… but mainly ups


Photo courtesy of Wikicommons

The Biathlon event at the Winter Olympics

Riley Ruiz, Sports Editor

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics had just finished up it’s first week of events. As of now, the US is in the Top 10 for the medal count with a total of 10 medals, four of those being gold. Here is a quick recap of some important events from the past week.

As it goes for the gold medalists, Nathan Chen, a men’s figure skater made history on Thursday evening. Beating the previously held short program record of 330, Chen scored a 332.6 to win the gold and set a new world record. Not only is this significant in Olympic history, but he is the first Asian American to earn a medal in men’s figure skating which is a prideful moment for the Asian American community, according to NBC News. In addition, he is the first American to win this event since Evan Lysacek in 2010. 

Next, winning the first gold medal for the US, and her second, was snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, where she competed in the women’s snowboard cross event. As this was her fifth Olympics, she has become the oldest American woman to win gold in the Winter Olympic Games in any sport. 

On Thursday, the trio of Ashley Caldwell, Justin Schoenefeld and Chris Lillis competed and placed first in the first-ever mixed team freestyle aerial event. In this event, every country that competes cannot have more than 2 competitors per gender. All teams that proceeded to the final had two males and one female. This is team USA’s first gold medal in aerial skiing since 1998 and the last time USA medaled in an aerial event was 12 years ago in 2010. Schoenefeld secured the gold for this group by earning 114.48 points in their final run by completing a back double full, full, full. 

On Wednesday evening, Chloe Kim competed in the women’s halfpipe and attempted a 1260; a three and a half turn in the air trick which had never been accomplished by a female snowboarder in competition and Kim had wished to be the first. Unfortunately, she fell on her second and third run attempting this, however it did not affect her chances of winning the gold with a wapping 4.25 points between her and silver medalist Queralt Castellet from Spain.

On the other end of the spectrum, Shaun White’s final Olympic games did not end how he had wished. At the age of 35, White had competed in his fifth and final Olympic event this week. White says in an interview with Today, “It’s tough to say goodbye… I’ve had an amazing run and I’m so thankful for everything I’ve achieved.” For his last-ride, he competed in the men’s halfpipe; the event where his three previous medals have come from. A fall during his final run unfortunately led him 2.5 points short from the podium, finishing fourth. White says, “I would have loved to walk out there with everyone for one last time, but you can’t always get what you want, you get what you need.”

Overall, the first week has come with loads of success for team USA and hopefully, there’s more to come!