The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games has come to a close

The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games ended on Feb. 20 and the U.S. is not as excited about their performances compared to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games last year. One fascinating thing about the Winter Olympics is that all events are played on snow or ice.

The Beijing Winter Games did not attract as many viewers as did the Summer Olympics here in the U.S. Viewership for Beijing 2022 plummeted, though streaming services attracted a little more viewers. However, the viewership was better in China and Japan.

Angelica Pantoja is a freshman theater acting major who watches sports occasionally.

“I knew that the Winter Olympics were going on, but I didn’t get the chance to watch them because the Summer Olympics interest me more than the winter ones do,” Pantoja said. “I also agree that group sports are a fun thing to watch and be a part of for your country.”

Team USA presented 109 women, 115 men and one non-binary athlete. Altogether, the U.S. presented 224 athletes across 109 events, spreading over 15 disciplines and seven sports. Team USA clinched eight gold, 10 silver and 7 bronze medals. Norway topped the medal table with 16 gold, eight silver and 13 bronze medals.

“I think any competition is great, especially with all the things going on in our world right now,” said Tatiana Koleswik, a sophomore music performance major. “It is a uniting experience, but also [great] that you can compete for your country.”

Both the opening and closing ceremony were characterized by a show of Chinese culture with performances involving both the young and old. The ceremonies were held on Friday, Feb. 4 and Sunday, Feb. 20, respectively.

Aside from the glitz, glamor and ice on display at the Winter Olympics, it was not void of a few controversies of its own. Some athletes had to be removed from the competition after testing positive for COVID-19. Russian athlete Valeria Vasnetsova took to social media to report the “inedible” meals athletes were being served in quarantine.

The most popular of the controversies that made international headlines was 15-year-old Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) figure skater Kamila Valieva, who tested positive for trimetazidine, a common prescription for seniors with cardiovascular conditions, on Dec. 25. Valieva was readmitted into the games. The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) defended the move on grounds of “exceptional circumstances” because Valieva is a minor. This move erupted protests from other Olympians because most athletes banned for doping are not allowed to compete afterwards.

Italy will host the next Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. That will be the first time two cities host the Olympics.

You can watch highlights of the Beijing Winter Olympics in case you missed out on any of the events.