Olympics had shining moments for U.S. athletes

Erin Jackson celebrates after winning gold.

REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Erin Jackson celebrates after winning gold.

By Bryce Beitzel, Staff Writer

“The number one, 500-meter sprinter in the world has performed wonders at a major event, and now she’s the gold medal winner in Beijing 2022!” Exclaimed the television commentator as Erin Jackson of the United States team became the first black woman in Olympic history to medal in a speedskating event.

Jackson earned one of the eight gold medals for the United States. Alexander Hall won gold as a freestyle skier, Nathan Chen won gold as a men’s figure skater, Chloe Kim won gold for the women’s halfpipe snowboarding event, and Kaillie Humphries won gold for the monobob event. The United States freestyle skiing ariels team also captured gold in their visit to China.

While in Beijing, Lindsey Jacobellis became the oldest American woman to ever place at a winter Olympic games. Jacobellis captured gold in the women’s snowboard cross event, as well as the snowboard cross mixed team event with Nick Baumgartner. Only a couple hours after her unbelievable experience of winning her first gold medal, Jacobellis already knows where her new hardware will end up.

Jacobellis told NBC’s Today Show, “I think I’m going to let this stay at my parents house for a little bit, they have been instrumental in supporting my entire journey since the start.”

The United States ended up with a total of 25 total medals. Along with the eight gold medals previously mentioned, they also fought hard to capture an impressive ten silver medals and seven bronze medals. In terms of placement, the United States placed fifth in total medals, tied for fourth in gold medals, tied for second in silver medals, and sixth in bronze medals. While capturing one more medal than the United States, Canada finished with the fourth most medals. Germany earned themselves twenty-seven total medals placing them in third, and the Russian Olympic Committee placed second with thirty-two total medals. On the other end of the spectrum, Ukraine, Spain, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland all tied for last place with one total medal won for each.

One team however, completely separated themselves from the competition, that team being Norway. Norway won thirty-seven total medals. They took home 13 bronze medals, eight silver medals, and a whopping sixteen gold medals. No team in winter Olympic history has ever won as many gold medals as Norway did during these Olympics. The Norwegians broke their previous record of 14 gold medals, which they also shared with the German and Canadian teams.

The record breaking fifteenth medal came after Johannes Thingnes Boe won the men’s biathlon 15 kilometer mass start event. Although this medal was special for the country of Norway, it was also special for Thingnes Boe as it was his fourth gold of the games. Along with the rest of the country, Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere was ecstatic for the team.

Gahr Stoere posted on Twitter, “Congratulations to the biathletes on their impressive medal haul and to Johannes Thingnes Boe with another gold. What an Athlete!”

Although most of the action was through by February19, plenty of teams earned gold on the final day of competition. Therese Johaug earned Norway its sixteenth and final gold in the women’s 30 kilometer cross country skiing mass start event. Finland also captured their second gold of the games from their men’s hockey team on the final day. The finals for the alpine skiing team parallel event were also on the final day, where Finland came out victorious. Also, on the same day as the final ceremony, the women’s curling event was won by the impressive Great Britain team. And with an impressive performance as a country to close out the games, Germany not only earned silver for the four man bobsleigh event, but they also had a crew capture gold.

Although the United States fared well against the competition, they aim to improve their medal count four years from now. The next Olympics will be held in Paris in 2024 and will be the summer Olympics. The next winter Olympics will be held in Milan and Cortina, Italy. It will be the first Olympic games organized by two separate cities.