2022 Beijing Olympics: A day-by-day recap of the 24th Winter Games

Fireworks display at the end of the closing ceremony at the Beijing 2022 Olympic games.
Fireworks explode over National Stadium in Beijing during the Winter Olympics closing ceremony on Feb. 20, 2022.
(Gary Ambrose / For the Times)

Recapping the news, results and highlights from The Times’ team of reporters who covered the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games.

Photos: Highlights from the Beijing Olympics closing ceremony

Dancers perform at the 2022 Olympics.
Dancers perform during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday in Beijing.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Dancers perform at the 2022 Olympics.
Dancers perform during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday in Beijing.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Flag bearers march at the 2022 Olympics.
Flag bearers march into the stadium for the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday in Beijing.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)
Olympic Stadium is illuminated for the 2022 Olympics closing ceremony.
Athletes enter Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)
Dancers wear white iridescent costumes at the 2022 Olympics.
Dancers perform during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday in Beijing.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)
Performers carry lights at the 2022 Olympics.
Performers participate in the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)
Athletes join hands in a ring at the 2022 Olympics.
Athletes dance in a circle as they enter Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics Sunday in Beijing.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)


Breaking down the U.S. medal haul for the Beijing Games

BEIJING — With a final silver medal from cross country skier Jessie Diggins in Sunday’s 30-kilometer mass start, the United States finished the Beijing Olympics with 25 medals, ranking fifth overall by total. Norway continued its dominance of the Winter Games with 37 total medals.

The United States’ eight gold medals were tied for fourth-most in 2022, but it’s the fewest for the country in a single Winter Olympics since five in 1998.

Three of the U.S. gold medals came in snowboarding, where Chloe Kim defended her halfpipe title and Lindsey Jacobellis won two gold medals in snowboard cross, first in the individual women’s race and then in the mixed team event with Nick Baumgartner.

With Kim and Jacobellis leading the way, U.S. women claimed more than half of the country’s medals for the second consecutive Winter Olympics. Excluding the four medals from mixed team events, U.S. female athletes won 13 medals in Beijing compared to eight for American men. The 52% of medals won by women continues a recent trend of female Olympic success for the United States after women won just 32.4% of the U.S. medals in 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

“Girls run the world, right?” freeskier Maggie Voisin said with a smile. “Everyone is just pushing the limits and I really feel like on the female side more than anything, it’s really, really, taken to the next level.”

Kim, Jacobellis, bobsledder Kaillie Humphries and speedskater Erin Jackson took gold medals in individual women’s events while figure skater Nathan Chen and freestyle skier Alex Hall were the only U.S. men to win individual gold medals.

Freestyle skiing, which includes aerials, moguls, halfpipe, slopestyle and big air, was the most successful sport for the United States.

Freestyle skiers combined for eight medals, including golds in the mixed team aerials event and men’s slopestyle. Hall and Nick Goepper won gold and silver, respectively, in men’s slopestyle, where the United States has won six of the nine medals awarded since the event made its Olympic debut in 2014.

“Action sports was born in America, in Southern California,” Nick Goepper said. “It has this individualistic, creative spirit and that’s just what Americans are all about.”


American Jessie Diggins makes history with silver finish in cross-country skiing

American Jessie Diggins celebrates after earning a silver medal in women's 30-kilometer mass start.
American Jessie Diggins celebrates after earning a silver medal in women’s 30-kilometer mass start cross-country skiing at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Sunday.
(Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press)

ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Norwegian great Therese Johaug won her third gold medal of the Beijing Olympics on Sunday and Jessie Diggins took silver for the best result by an American in an individual cross-country skiing event since 1976.

Fighting fierce winds and brutal temperatures, Johaug went out front early in the 30-kilometer mass start race and held on to win in 1 hour, 24 minutes, 54 seconds. Johaug also won the skiathlon — the first gold medal of the Olympics — and the 10-kilometer classic race.

“I’m born in a small place where there’s a lot of wind and a lot of cold temperatures in the region, so this was nothing for me,” Johaug said.

Diggins, also skiing alone for much of the race, kept a steady pace behind the Norwegian as gusts whipped across the tracks and battered the skiers, many with tape on their faces to protect from the cold. She dropped to the ground after crossing the finish line, 1:43.3 behind Johaug.

Jessie Diggins competes during the women's 30km mass start free cross-country skiing.
Jessie Diggins competes during the women’s 30-kilometer mass start cross-country race Sunday.
(Alessandra Tarantino / Associated Press)

“Every last drop of energy went into that race,“ Diggins said. “The last two laps, my legs were cramping. We had amazing cheering out there, and I thought, I just can’t give up, I have to put everything I had into the snow today and finish with nothing left. I did try really, really hard.”

Diggins said she was sick with food poisoning the day before, spending the Saturday in bed and force-feeding herself.

“I was feeling pretty bad 24 hours ago,” the American said. “I was talking to my parents and my mom said, ‘Don’t decide how you feel right now. Just go out there and ski because you love to race.’ And she was right.

“That might have been the best race of my entire life, I’m not going to lie,“ Diggins said. “It was also maybe the hardest race of my whole life.”

Kerttu Niskanen of Finland led a chase group to the line for bronze, 2:33.3 behind.


Medal count for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games

Here’s the final medal count for the Beijing Olympic Games:


Finland defeats Russian Olympic Committee in historic upset for men’s hockey gold

Finland players celebrate after defeating the Russian Olympic Committee.
Finland players celebrate after defeating the Russian Olympic Committee 2-1 for the gold medal in men’s hockey at the Beijing Winter Games.
(Petr David Josek / Associated Press)

BEIJING — Finland ended the Olympic hockey tournament with a historic upset, as its men’s team won gold for the first time on the strength of a fiercely contested 2-1 victory over the Russian Olympic Committee on Sunday at National Indoor Stadium.

Hannes Bjorninen’s tip of a shot by Marko Anttila 31 seconds into the third period proved the difference as the Finns outplayed the favored Russians, who were able to build a roster around players in their domestic Kontinental Hockey League after the NHL decided not to allow its players to represent their homelands here. Finland, considered a hockey power for the last three decades, had won Olympic silver medals in 1988 and 2006 and won bronze medals in 1994, 1998, 2010 and 2014.

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Mikaela Shiffrin and U.S. miss out on medal in mixed parallel team event

U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin competes in the quarterfinals of the mixed team parallel Alpine race.
U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin competes in the quarterfinals of the mixed team parallel Alpine race on the final day of the Beijing Olympic Games.
(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)

BEIJING — Mikaela Shiffrin’s forgettable Winter Olympics ended just short of a medal Sunday.

Competing as part of the U.S. squad in the mixed parallel slalom event, Shiffrin and three teammates lost to Norway in the bronze medal match at the Yanqing National Alpine Centre.

Shiffrin’s sixth event at the Games — only one other woman has matched the feat — ended in disappointment like the five individual events that preceded it, though the world’s top female skier pushed back against that idea.

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U.S. figure skaters lose appeal to receive silver medals before Olympics end

U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen performs in the team competition at the Beijing Olympics on Feb. 4.
(Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

BEIJING — The Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected an application filed by the American figure skaters who had won silver medals in the team event requesting that the International Olympic Committee present their medals before the Beijing Games end on Sunday.

The IOC decided it would not hold a medal ceremony until an investigation is completed regarding Russian skater Kamila Valieva’s pre-Olympic positive test for a banned substance. Valieva led the athletes of the Russian Olympic Committee to the gold medal in the team event. The U.S. won silver and Japan won bronze. The ROC skaters who competed in the event would be disqualified if Valieva is disqualified and the teams below them in the standings would move up.

Singles skaters Karen Chen, Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou, ice dancers Madison Hubbell, Zachary Donohue, Madison Chock and Evan Bates, and pairs skaters Brandon Frazier and Alexa Knierim had asked the CAS to order the IOC to give them their medals before the closing ceremony. In a statement, the CAS said a three-person arbitration panel had dismissed the skaters’ application. An explanation of the decision is scheduled to be published in the next few days.


American Elana Meyers Taylor adds to medal haul, takes bronze in two-woman bobsled

Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman of the United States celebrate after their final run.
Elana Meyers Taylor and Sylvia Hoffman of the United States celebrate after their final run in two-woman bobsled at the Beijing Games.
(Pavel Golovkin / Associated Press)

BEIJING — After winning silver in the Olympic debut of women’s monobob, Elana Meyers Taylor gave her medal to her son Nico. The two-year-old wore the red lanyard around his neck and turned the silver medal around in his hands as he rolled onto his back in a heart-warming video Meyers Taylor shared on Twitter. With two Olympic medals in tow, Meyers Taylor will get a re-do during Sunday’s closing ceremony. Her United States teammates again elected her as the flagbearer.

Nico now has another new toy.

Meyers Taylor became the most decorated Olympic U.S. bobsledder Saturday with a bronze medal in the two-woman event, bringing her total to five. The 37-year-old pilot, who paired with brakewoman Sylvia Hoffman, is the first U.S. Winter Olympian to enter five events and win a medal in all of them after taking two-woman silver in Pyeongchang and Sochi and bronze in Vancouver.

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Sui Wenjing and Han Cong win gold for China in pairs figure skating

Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China compete during their free skate program.
Sui Wenjing, left, and Han Cong of China compete during their free skate program on their way to winning gold in pairs figure skating Saturday at the Olympics.
(David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

BEIJING — Sui Wenjing and Han Cong won the pairs figure skating gold medal in their home country Saturday night, performing a smooth and elegant free skate program to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to top three duos from the Russian Olympic Committee.

The Chinese couple, who won the silver medal four years ago at the Pyeongchang Games, beat a strong field by skating the top-ranked program in both segments of the competition. They made one small mistake but earned a world-record 155.47 points Saturday for a total of 239.88, edging out Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (239.25) and 2021 world champions Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov (237.71).

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Pleasant or difficult? Olympic Village experiences at Beijing Games vary by athlete

Diners are separated by plastic dividers in the Olympic Village cafeteria in Beijing.
(Wang Zhao / Associated Press)

BEIJING — Lime-green buses, temporary buildings and volunteers braced against zero-degree wind whipping off the Xiaohaituo Mountain Area are scattered around the desolate parking lot that served as an important waystation for new arrivals at the Winter Olympics.

On one side of the sprawling lot, cordoned off by waist-high barriers and assisted by workers in white hazmat suits, athletes changed buses from Beijing Capital International Airport for the final leg of their journey into the mountains.

When the last athlete boarded the bus at the Banquan Service Area, workers methodically sprayed the entire lot with disinfectant. Even sections far from the bus were doused. Then the workers sprayed each other.

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Niklas Edin leads Sweden to curling gold over Great Britain

Sweden and Britain face off in men's curling at the 2022 Olympics.
Sweden’s Niklas Edin throws a rock during the men’s curling final against Great Britain on Saturday.
(Nariman El-Mofty / Associated Press)

Sweden’s Niklas Edin has claimed the only major title missing from a career in which he’s established himself as the most decorated skip in curling history.

Four years after losing in the Pyeongchang final to American upstart John Shuster, Edin led Sweden to the gold medal on Saturday, beating Britain 5-4 in the first extra-end men’s final in Olympic history.

With the medal podium already set up, and Canada standing by to collect the bronze it won Friday by ending the Americans’ repeat hopes, Edin took advantage of the last-rock advantage in the first tiebreaker end and put his penultimate stone into the center of the target area.

When British skip Bruce Mouat failed to knock it out on a ricochet, the Swedes had clinched it. They paused — it’s not polite to celebrate an opponent’s miss — and then let out a yell.

Their alternate and coaching staff hurried down to the ice to join the celebration.


China strives to flex its tech innovations to worldwide audience at Olympics

A robot sprays disinfectant in a hallway of the Crowne Plaza Sun Palace hotel in Beijing.
A robot sprays disinfectant in a hallway of the Crowne Plaza Sun Palace hotel in Beijing. China is using robots to cut down on human contact and slow the spread of the coronavirus during the Olympics.
(Gary Ambrose / For the Times)

BEIJING — An automated basket tips frozen wonton into boiling water. Within minutes, the dough-wrapped bits of pork are cooked, deposited into a black plastic bowl and transported onto a conveyer belt, untouched by human hands. Pink lights flash as your lunch order arrives at the counter.

The robotic café inside the media center at the Beijing Olympics has received worldwide coverage the last few weeks. It makes for good television and eye-catching social media posts.

There are cyber-boilers and fryers and even a one-armed bartender. Unmanned servers glide across overhead tracks, lowering meals by cable, like Tom Cruise dangling from the ceiling in “Mission Impossible.”

Beneath all this mechanical flash, there might be some important political context.

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Netherlands’ Irene Schouten wins gold on final day of Olympic speedskating

Irene Schouten pumps her fist and shrieks after skating at the 2022 Olympics
Irene Schouten of the Netherlands reacts after winning the gold medal ahead of silver medalist Ivanie Blondin of Canada, right, and bronze medalist Francesca Lollobrigida of Italy in the women’s speedskating mass start finals at the 2022 Olympics.
(Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

BEIJING — Irene Schouten of the Netherlands captured her third gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, chasing down Canada’s Ivanie Blondin to win the women’s mass start on Saturday.

In the final speedskating event of the Winter Games, Schouten established herself as the biggest star at the Ice Ribbon with a furious push to line to overtake Blondin.

Blondin grabbed the lead on the backstraight, but Schouten roared back with an all-out sprint to the finish line to win by 0.06 seconds.

Schouten let out a scream as she crossed the stripe, celebrating another gold after her victories in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. In a nifty bookend, she won the first and last speedskating events in Beijing, two weeks apart.

Bart Swings of Belgium won the men’s mass start on a frustrating final day at the oval for the American team.

Joey Mantia was edged out by the tip of a blade for the bronze medal in the men’s race. The 36-year-old Floridian complained that he was grabbed by another skater, costing him his second medal of the Beijing Games.

Mia Manganello Kilburg matched Mantia with a fourth-place showing in the women’s race, though she was a bit farther back.

Blondin settled for the silver, adding to the gold she won as part of team pursuit. The bronze went to Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida, her second medal of the Olympics after claiming a silver in the 3,000.

Swings improved on the silver he won at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in the frenetic event — the only individual speedskating race with head-to-head competition instead of racing against the clock.

South Korea grabbed the other men’s medals. Chung Jae Won took the silver and defending Olympic champion Lee Seung Hoon settled for bronze this time.

Mantia, a three-time world champion, initially posted the same time as Lee. But the replay showed the tip of the South Korean’s skate crossed the line just ahead of Mantia’s blade, giving him the bronze by 0.001 seconds.

The Netherlands again topped the speedskating medal table, finishing with six golds and 12 medals overall. The United States finished with three medals, its best showing since 2010.

The mass start races marked the Olympic farewells for two speedskating greats.

Sven Kramer of the Netherlands ranked last in the men’s final, pushing the pace early on but dropping back when the contenders turned on the speed at the end of the 16-lap race.

The 35-year-old Dutch star finished his Olympic career with a total of nine medals, including four golds.

Claudia Pechstein of Germany made the women’s final just three days before her 50th birthday. She took points in one of the interval sprints and finished ninth.

Pechstein was competing in her eighth Olympics, the most ever by a female Winter Olympic athlete. She won five golds and nine medals in a career that also included a doping ban she continues to dispute.


U.S. skaters file appeal to get Olympic medals

Karen Chen and Nathan Chen after figure skating at the 2022 Olympics
Silver medalists Karen Chen and Nathan Chen after the team figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics on Feb. 7 in Beijing.
(David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Attorneys for the U.S. figure skaters whose Olympic silver medals are being withheld have notified the IOC that they have filed an appeal to have them awarded before the end of the Beijing Games, the Associated Press has learned.

In a letter sent to IOC president Thomas Bach on Saturday in China, a copy of which was obtained by the AP, attorneys said they would ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a ruling before Sunday’s closing ceremony.

Kamila Valieva led the Russian team to a victory in last week’s team event, and the U.S. finished second. Soon after, a positive doping test for the 15-year-old skater was disclosed. CAS allowed her to continue skating at the women’s event, but the International Olympic Committee said it would not award medals in any events in which she finished among the top three.

She finished fourth in the women’s event — crying as she left the ice, then criticized by her coach after a mistake-filled long program.

This case involves the team event held the previous week. The Russians won the event by a large margin. Japan was third and Canada finished fourth.

The letter sent on behalf of the American runners-up says the IOC’s “own rules mandate that a victory ceremony ‘to present medals to the athletes shall follow the conclusion of each sports event.’”

In a meeting earlier this week with the skaters, Bach offered them Olympic torches as something of a holdover memento while the doping case, which could take months, or even years, plays out.

The attorneys said they hoped the IOC would reconsider but that because of the urgency, they were filing the appeal.

U.S. Figure Skating executive director Ramsey Baker sent the AP a statement standing in support of the skaters.

“Having a medal ceremony at an Olympic Games is not something that can be replicated anywhere else, and they should be celebrated in front of the world before leaving Beijing,” Baker said.

The letter to Bach, sent by attorney Paul Greene, who represents athletes in doping and other cases against Olympic authorities, said the IOC president had asked the athletes for their input.

“A dignified medal ceremony from our clients’ vantage point is one in the Medals Plaza as originally planned and afforded to all other medalists,” he wrote.

After Valieva’s test became public, Russia’s anti-doping agency at first put her on provisional suspension, then lifted the suspension. That triggered the IOC and World Anti-Doping Agency to lead an appeal to CAS, which acted swiftly and said Valieva could still compete.

That did not resolve the larger question about the result from the team competition.

Nine Americans stand to get some sort of medal out of that — either the second-place prize they’re aiming to receive this weekend, or a gold that could become theirs if the Russian’s are disqualified because of Valieva’s doping case.

Because she is 15, Valieva is considered a “protected person” under anti-doping rules, and is not expected to receive a harsh penalty. Her coaches and doctors are being investigated by Russian and world anti-doping authorities.


South Korea’s Lee Seung Hoon, American Joey Mantia qualify for men’s mass start speedskating final

Joey Mantia, of the U.S., competes with a crowd during the men's speedskating mass start semifinals
Joey Mantia, of the United States (5), competes along with Jorrit Bergsma (6) and Livio Wenger of Switzerland (4) during the men’s speedskating mass start semifinals at the 2022 Winter Olympics Saturday in Beijing.
(Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

Defending champion Lee Seung Hoon of South Korea has qualified for the final of men’s mass start speedskating.

Lee won the event that made its debut four years ago in his home country.

Also moving on to the final are 2018 silver medalist Bart Swings of Belgium, three-time world champion Joey Mantia of the United States, and 2020 world champion Jorrit Bergsma of the Netherlands.

Sven Kramer of the Netherlands qualified for the last Olympic final of his career. The 35-year-old skater who is a nine-time medalist finished seventh in the semifinals.


Final Alpine skiing race pushed back a day due to strong winds

Gate flags bend after high winds caused a delay in the start of the mixed team parallel skiing event
Gate flags bend after high winds caused a delay in the start of the mixed team parallel skiing event Saturday in the Yanqing district of Beijing.
(Alessandro Trovati / Associated Press)

The last Alpine skiing race of the Beijing Olympics has been pushed back a day because of strong winds.

The mixed team parallel event was rescheduled from Saturday to Sunday, the last day of the Winter Games. It will start at 9 a.m. Beijing time.

It was supposed to start Saturday morning and was delayed twice because of gusts of up to about 40 mph (65 kph) before it was scrapped for the day.


Chinese organizers say 97,000 spectators have attended Olympic medal events

Spectators wait for China's Eileen Gu to compete during the women's freestyle skiing big air finals
Spectators wait for China’s Eileen Gu to compete during the women’s freestyle skiing big air finals on Feb. 8 in Beijing.
(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Chinese organizers say a total of 97,000 spectators have attended medal events at the Beijing Olympics.

That’s less than two-thirds of the 150,000 predicted on the eve of the Olympics more than two weeks ago. The games close Sunday.

The number was revealed at a meeting of IOC members by the executive vice president of the local organizing committee, Zhang Jiandong.

Venues in Beijing and Zhangjiakou could have invited spectators attend but fans were not allowed at Alpine skiing and sliding sports in Yanqing.

Plans to sell tickets to international visitors were scrapped last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and the block was extended to residents of China in January.

Spectators were to be invited from international communities living in mainland China, members of diplomatic missions and marketing partners.


Beneath its placid façade, curling is a sport about precision and prognostication