Beijing Winter Olympics Start Off With a Bang


The Winter Olympics of 2022 began on Friday, February 4. This year they were held in Beijing, China, despite the running controversy regarding the potential genocide of Muslim minorities throughout the country. The United States government made the decision to send only athletes and news reporters, but did not send any government officials. 

After the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics, Winter Olympic athletes have been anxious about whether or not the Olympics would be canceled once again in 2022. However, with strict COVID-19 safety protocols and a whole lot of luck, the games were allowed to continue just six months after the ending of the Summer Olympics in 2021. 

Despite the controversy regarding the location of the Olympics, athletes from all across the world gathered in the Beijing National Stadium to participate in the Parade of Nations and to watch the LED screen floor light up with images of resilience, love, and acceptance. Many regarded this theme as ironic, but sincere or not, it was an image that would be burned into the minds of the 2,874 athletes participating. 

In addition to the previously mentioned controversy, Russian skater Kamila Valieva fell under fire when drug tests came back positive for a performance-enhancing heart medication. With Kamila being only 15 years old, many have blamed her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, who asked Kamila when she took fourth place overall, “Why did you let it go? Why did you stop fighting?” This was after Kamila fell on nearly every jump she attempted, clearly shaken by those who have been arguing against her being allowed to compete. 

Throughout the games, the United States won 25 total medals, which was only one behind Canada, two behind Germany, and 7 and 12 behind the Russian Olympic Committee and Norway respectively. In terms of gold medals specifically, however, the United States took 3rd with 8 gold medals, compared to Norway’s 16 and Germany’s 12. 

Salt Lake City had their fair share of representation when it came to Olympic athletes. With at least 26 athletes participating in the games from Utah, 5 are from Salt Lake City, and the rest are from Park City. Nick Goepper, who lives right beside Rosecrest Elementary School, took silver in Men’s Slopestyle, and was the one Salt Lake City athlete who medaled in this year’s Olympics.