2022 Winter Olympics

In February, the 2022 Winter Olympics, at last, began in Beijing, China. More than 214 athletes participated in the Winter Olympics in sports such as skating, speed skating, hockey, and snowboarding. Each athlete performed unique and difficult skills to take home the gold medal and make their country proud.

Many athletes made history, such as speed skater Claudia Pechstein representing Germany. On Feb. 5, Pechstein competed as she turned 50 years old, being one of the oldest Olympic speed skaters. In an article from NPR, Pechstein stated “I was not too fast, but I smiled [after crossing the finish line] because today I got my goal to race in my eighth Olympic Games…Age is just a number.” This continued her legacy as a speed skater by winning nine medals in the Olympics throughout her career. Since she is over the age of 35, she is considered to be one of the older athletes competing. Yet, people over the age of 35 years old are still winning medals and breaking records.

For Team USA, a woman named Elana Meyers Taylor became “the most decorated Black athlete in the Winter Olympics history.” She won silver for the women’s mono bob race for team USA. Meyers Taylor told reporters that “I was so honored to be named the Opening Ceremony flag bearer, but after not being able to carry the flag, it’s even more humbling to lead the United States at the Closing Ceremony.”

Another female athlete breaking history, U.S. athlete Erin Jackson won a gold medal in the 500-meter speed skating competition. Jackson was the first Black woman to take home the gold medal for speed skating in the Olympics. Moreover, she completed the 500-meter race in 37.04 seconds. In an article from NPR, Jackson told the reporters “This medal means so much. It has been a tough couple of years and a tough beginning for this year. For this to come around like this, I am so happy.” Fortunately, her hard work and dedication paid off, making herself and the U.S. proud.

Although COVID-19 had affected many Olympic athletes, people all around the world were able to show off their impeccable athleticism. The Olympics is a global sporting event where families can gather together and root for athletes. Luckily, we were fortunate enough to watch the winter sports this year.