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

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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)
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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.”

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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.

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Medal count for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games

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

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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.

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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.

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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