ZHANGJIAKOOU, CHINA - FEBRUARY 20: Therese Johaug of Team Norway celebrates winning gold during the Women's Cross-Country Skiing 30k Mass Start Free on Day 16 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at The National Cross-Country Skiing Centre on February 20, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Ten things to know from last week. February 15-21, 2022: Norway wins the Games, Germany's sliders, LeBron's homecoming
Ten things to know from last week
Norway wins the Games. Therese Johaug (NOR) won her third gold medal in the Winter Olympic Games, by winning the Women’s 30 kilometre freestyle cross-country skiing race, ahead of Jessie Diggins (USA). This means she now has 18 gold medals between the Olympic Games and World Championships. In the Men’s Division, Alexander Bolshunov (RUS, ROC) also won three gold medals, taking the 50-kilometer freestyle -that actually ran 28.4 km due to weather conditions- this week. This week also featured the Women’s and men’s team sprint classical races, with Germany and Norway taking each. In Nordic Combined, Jørgen Graabak (NOR) repeated the same double from Sochi 2014, as he won the Individual large hill/10 km and the Team large hill/4 x 5 km competitions. These results helped Norway reach a total of 16 gold medals in Beijing 2022, winning the overall tally.
Germany’s sliding dominion. After sweeping all gold medals in Skeleton and Luge, Germany also won most of the gold medals in Bobsleigh. Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis won the Men’s 2-Man Bobsleigh gold medal, and Candy Bauer and Alexander Schüller joined them to win the Men’s 4-Man Bob gold competition. In both competitions they were followed by a German silver Friedrich now has 17 gold medals between the Olympic Games and World Championships, more than anyone else. Germany also won the other available gold medal this week, the 2-Woman Bob, with Laura Nolte and Deborah Levi, also ahead of another German sled. Germany had a total of 12 gold medals in Beijing 2022, giving them the second place.
The missing gold for Team Edin. Sweden beat Great Britain 5-4 to take the gold medal in the Beijing 2022 Men’s Curling competition, while Canada defeated USA for bronze. Edin and Eriksson, five-times World Champions, won their first Olympic gold, which cements their place as the most successful curlers of all time on the world stage. The women’s competition was won by Great Britain, beating Japan 10-3 in the final, for the only gold medal that Team GBR won. Sweden took bronze.
LeBron’s Homecoming. It was quite the homecoming for LeBron James (USA), who finally played the NBA All-Star Game in front of his hometown of Akron, Ohio. It had to be him that scored the final three-pointer that gave his team the win in the game against Team Durant, although Kevin Durant (USA) did not play. Stephen Curry (USA) was named the Most Valuable Player of the game. LeBron is now an 18-times NBA All-Star, joint first with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (USA).
Alpine for the Alpine. In Beijing 2022’s Alpine Skiing, Austria won the Mixed Team Event, Corinne Suter (CHE) the Women’s Downhill, Clément Noël (FRA) the Men’s Slalom, and Michelle Gisin (CHE) repeated with the women’s combined gold.
Valieva didn’t win, anyway. After the surrounding controversy regarding her adverse analytical finding from January, Kamila Valieva (RUS, ROC) crumbled with the pressure and only achieved a fourth place in the Women’s Figure Skating competition, while her teammates Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova made the 1-2. In the Ice Dance competition, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (FRA) won the gold medal with a World Record 226.98, ahead of ROC’s team of Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov.
Chinese golds. China finished third in the overall Olympic medal table with nine gold medals, of which three came in Ski disciplines this week: 17-year-old Su Yiming won the Men’s Snowboard Big Air -Anna Gasser (AUT) repeated gold in the women’s version-, Qi Guangpu won the Ski Men’s Aerials, Eileen Gu the Women’s Ski Halfpipe. Nico Porteous (NZL) won the Men’s competition, giving his country the second Winter Olympic gold medal. In Ski Slopestyle, Alex Hall (USA) and Mathilde Gremaud (CHE) won the gold medal. In Ski Cross, the gold medals were for Ryan Regez (CHE) and Sandra Näslund (SWE).
Three for JT. Johannes Thingnes Bø won his second and third golds in these Games, by taking the Men’s Biathlon Mass start and Relay golds, while Justine Braisaz-Bouchet (FRA) beat Norwegians Tiril Eckhoff and Marte Olsbu Røiseland in the Women’s Mass Start, and Sweden won the Women’s Relay.
First for Finland. Finland seized the opportunity and their condition as favorites to win their first-ever gold medal in Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey, beating the Russian Olympic Committe 2-1 in the Gold Medal game. Slovakia beat Sweden for bronze. In Women’s, Canada won its fifth Olympic title, after defeating USA 3-2 in the gold medal game. Finland beat Switzerland for bronze. The Men’s tournament did not feature NHL players.
Three for Schouten. Ireen Wüst (NED) closed with a bronze medal in her glorious Speed Skating Olympic career, as Netherlands shared the Women’s Team pursuit podium with Canada -Champions- and Japan. Norway edged the Russian Olympic Committee for the Men’s gold medal. The 1,000 meters were won by Thomas Krol (NED) and Miho Takagi (JPN). In Mass start, Bart Swings gave Belgium its first Winter Olympic gold since 1948, while Irene Schouten (NED) won the Women’s race and her third gold in these Games.
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