Winter Olympics Return in Beijing


  The 2022 Winter Olympics have been long-awaited. Since COVID happened some athletes never thought they would see this time come. The Winter Olympics started on Feb.4 and later that day the men’s short program started.



  How can sliding a rock on ice and sweeping ice be an Olympic sport? Curling is one of the less understood and slower-paced Winter sports, giving it a bit of a bad wrap. Of all the votes for Grand Ledge High School students’ favorite Olympic sports, it received the fewest amount of votes.

  “[It] helps me fall asleep because it’s so boring,” Grand Ledge High School student Logan Schafer stated.

  While curling can be a bit dull, once you understand the rules, it becomes quite fun to watch. 

  “It’s very unique and has a lot of underlying, underrated strategy,” student Landon Birschmeier commented.

  For those who don’t know, two teams take turns throwing five “stones”, trying to make them land in the middle of the target. After the first person throws, a second person scrubs the ice in front of the stone to warm it slightly, reducing the friction, and therefore causing the stone to slide farther. 

  One Olympic event for curling is the Mixed 2v2 Curling Competition. The teams, composed of one man and one woman, made their second-ever Olympic appearance. The final match was between newcomers Italy and Norway’s curling power couple. While the Norwegian power couple put up a good fight, they ended up with only a silver medal, leaving Sweden with bronze, and Italy with their first ever gold medal for curling. 

  The men’s and women’s competition went a little differently.  Firstly, they played in teams of four. Secondly, the medal results were also a bit different. Sweden took the gold for Men’s, Great Britain took silver, one of only two medals they won at this year’s Olympics, and Canada took bronze. Great Britain followed that success up by earning themselves a gold medal in Women’s curling, with Japan and Sweden falling close behind.

  Despite the bad wrap that curling gets, this year’s curling competition was surely one to remember. 



  Hockey reigns superior as one of the most viewed Olympic sports outside of what’s being televised. Hockey is a fast paced, strategic game that keeps viewers on their toes.  

  “Hockey is a very fun sport to watch because it usually comes down to the last couple seconds,” Zachary Rainsberger said.

  Hockey is particularly popular in Michigan, where four of the players on the USA Men’s hockey team are from. This includes two students from the University of Michigan Hockey team, who contributed to the US Men’s Hockey Performance. The US Men’s team ended up being eliminated before they could reach the podium.

  It was an intense match for gold in the Final Men’s ice hockey game between ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) and Finland. The match was well fought from both sides, but Finland just pulled through with a 2-1 win against the ROC.

  The USA Women’s team did exceptionally well, fighting it out for a gold, but ultimately losing to Canada in the end in a tight 2-3 loss. The two teams have been dominating the competition since it was introduced in 1998, as they are the only countries to bring home gold medals in Women’s hockey, and have faced each other in every final match, except in 2006.



  Bobsledding returned for the 2022 Winter Olympics and fans were hyped.

   “I like the speed and pacing of the sport as well as having a sport where people are given equal chances of all heights, weights, age, gender, etc.” Grand Ledge High School student J.T. Campbell commented.

  The three German teams competing in the two-man bobsledding competition made history by sweeping the entire Olympic podium! Germany is the first nation to ever take home bronze, silver, and gold for that competition. The gold-winning team was led by returning champion Francesco Friedrich who completed his team’s run in 3 minutes and 59 seconds.

  The Germans continued their winning streak in the four-man competition, receiving both gold and silver medals once again, though Canada didn’t let them take bronze.

  The USA women went on to make history as well, being the first women from Team USA to take both gold and silver in Women’s Monosledding.


Men’s Figure Skating

  The team event for the men’s short program started on Feb.4. It was a showdown between Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu and the United States’ Nathen Chen. Hanyu was the favorite to win and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Winning in 2014 and 2018 he was the only Asian skater to take gold in the Olympics.


  Nathen Chen is a 22-year-old American who had a not-so-great Olympic debut in 2018. Chen came back from his 4th place loss to go and dominate the sport for the years after. 


  In the end, Chen came and showed up for his first event for an individual medal. He set the record for the highest score in figure skating history with his short program scoring a 113.97. His routine included two quadruple jumps (4 rotation jump) and a triple axel (3 ½ rotation jump).


  Nathen Chen with his final score being 332.60 took gold. Yuma Kagiyama with a final score of 310.05 took silver. Finally, Shoma Uno took bronze with his final score of 293.00 both for Japan. Unfortunately for Yuzuru Hanyu he came up short and ended up in fourth place with his final score being 283.21.


Women’s Figure Skating

  The women’s side of figure skating took a very serious turn with a doping scandal. Russia, which is still under a ban for certain things for past doping scandals has had an athlete test positive for a banned substance. 


  Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old who was a gold medal prospect, tested positive for a banned heart condition drug back in December. Trimetazidine is a heart condition medication usually prescribed to older patients suffering from angina and other heart conditions (NPR). 


  When the test results were discovered by officials she was immediately banned and the team medal ceremony where she won gold was postponed. Her legal team appealed and was successful. She was able to still compete in the individual event.


  The women’s individual event started on Tuesday, Feb.15 with the short program. At the end of the night, it ended with Valieva in first with 82.16 and Anna Shcherbakova in second with 80.20 both with the ROC. Finally, Kaori Sakamoto finished third with 79.84 for Japan.


  When it came to the final event Valieva shockingly had two falls in her free skate. Her final score was 224.09, causing her to take a fourth place finish. Anna Scherbakova took gold with her final score being 255.95, Aleksandra Trusova got silver with 251.73. Finishing third with the bronze medal was Kaori Sakamoto with 153.29.


Men’s Halfpipe

  Men’s Halfpipe qualification rounds started Feb.9 with 25 of the world’s best men’s snowboarders. The favorite for the United States was Shaun White who has been to five Olympics including this one. He’s won three gold medals out of his five Olympics.


  In the qualification, round athletes get two runs with their best scoring run being their final score. Unfortunately run one wasn’t good for White only scoring 24.25, but he cleaned it up with run two scoring 86.25. 


  Another favorite was two-time Olympic silver medalist Ayumu Hirano who scored high with his first and second runs. Having 87.25 in the first and 93.25 in the second. The standing for the top five at the end of qualifying runs was Hirano, James, Hirano R., White, and Guseli.


  On Feb.11 is when the final round for the riders began. In the finals, each rider gets three runs and their best score is counted. White started well with his first run being 72.00 and his second being 85.00. Sadly his third run was a 14.75 ending his final putting him in fourth place. It was an emotional goodbye for White as it was his last Olympics.


  Hirano ended up having a bad first run with a 33.75 but having an amazing last two runs as he scored 91.75 and 96.00 securing him the gold. There was some controversy over his second-run score. Some argued that it was one of the best runs in the games. Even a commentator expected it to be a 98.


  Hirano expressed anger over his scoring which got lowballed to a 91.75 even though it included a triple cork (3 flips in a diagonal rotation) which he was the first to do in the Olympics. Todd Richards, a commentator who has won X Games Medals in the past expressed disbelief at the moment. Even going on to say “as far as I’m concerned, the judges just grenaded all their credibility.”


  In second with the silver came Australia’s Scotty James with his best run score being 92.50. In third with bronze was Jan Scherrer with his best run score being 87.25.


Women’s Halfpipe

  The qualification rounds kicked off on Feb.10 for the women with 22 athletes. Chloe Kim, the favorite for gold going into it won back in 2018 at 17. This qualification is the same as the Men’s where riders got two runs and only their best run counts.


  Kim started pretty well scoring an 87.75 but did not have a great second ending up with an 8.75. She was still able to maintain her stance in first at the end with the second-best being 83.75 scored by Mitsuki Ono. The other three in the top five were Xuetong Cai, Queralt Castellet, and Sena Tomita.


  Similar to its men’s counterpart, there are three runs for the finals. Unfortunately for Mitsuki Ono, the 17-year-old from Japan dropped from second to ninth place with her best run score being 71.50. While others in the top five managed to stay there like Xuetong Cai who came in fourth with a best of 81.25.


  Kim continued her Olympic reign as she took gold for a second time in a row with a 94.00. Just behind her was Castellet taking silver with a 90.25 and Tomita taking bronze with an 88.25.



  All in all, it was an exciting and fun Winter Olympic games to watch, whether it’s watching young athletes breaking records or using a move for the first time in Olympic history.