BEIJING — The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics – which had its share of triumph and controversy – come to a detailed Sunday.
The Video games are nonetheless reeling after 15-year-old Russian Kamila Valieva was allowed to compete within the ladies’s determine skating occasion, regardless of a optimistic drug take a look at for a banned substance.
Bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor can have an opportunity to wave the American flag on the closing ceremony after lacking the opening ceremony resulting from COVID. Meyers Taylor will depart Beijing with a silver medal within the monobob and a bronze within the two-man bobsleigh.
After conclusion of the Video games, the Winter Olympic torch will ultimately make its approach to Italy, the place Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo are set to share internet hosting duties in 2026.
(On the lookout for a recap of Sunday’s motion? We’ve you lined.)
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TEAM USA MEDAL COUNT:Each medal received by the US at Beijing Video games
Earlier than the closing ceremony will get underway (7 a.m. ET), this is fast recap of the main Workforce USA highlights that occurred when you had been sleeping:
In his closing deal with, Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach nodded the challenges of those Video games whereas congratulating the athletes and thanking the organizers.
These Olympics had been the second throughout the coronavirus pandemic and included strict countermeasures in line with China’s zero-COVID coverage, together with each day testing, masking and frequent sanitization.
“If we need to lastly overcome this pandemic, we should be quick, we should intention increased, we should be stronger, we should stand collectively. On this Olympic spirit of solidarity, we name on the worldwide neighborhood: give equal entry to vaccines to everyone world wide,” Bach mentioned.
“The Olympic spirit might solely shine so brightly as a result of the Chinese language folks set the stage in such a superb manner, and in a secure manner.”
Bach thanked native organizers, public authorities and volunteers for his or her work organizing and internet hosting the Video games. He additionally repeated organizers’ oft-cited statistic that China now has 300 million folks collaborating in winter sports activities.
“This unforgettable expertise was solely attainable due to our gracious hosts, the Chinese language folks,” Bach mentioned. “With the really distinctive Olympic Winter Video games Beijing 2022, we welcome China as a winter sports activities nation.”
With that, he declared the Beijing Video games closed.
— Rachel Axon
Like they did in 2008, the Olympic rose within the heart of Nationwide Stadium and flag bearers congregated towards the center of the stage.
The snowflake was lowered to suggest Beijing as a two-time Olympics host.
Afterward, the extinguishing of the Olympic flame (not the primary time it’s gone out throughout these Video games) triggered the Olympic flags to mild up.
A 90-second fireworks present adopted.
— Chris Bumbaca
The flags raised over the closing ceremony flapped within the wind. Or at the very least it regarded that manner.
Mechanical blowers saved the flags aloft, simply as they’d for the opening ceremony greater than two weeks in the past.
Although the flags may appear to be blowing within the breeze, the sound hear throughout quiet moments within the ceremony gave away the rouse.
— Rachel Axon
In conventional Olympic style, the Olympic flag is taken down and handed over from the host metropolis to the welcoming metropolis. The mayor of Beijing, Chen Jining, handed the flag to IOC president Thomas Bach, who then handed it to the mayors of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Italian nationwide anthem then performed.
— Chris Bumbaca
Jessie Diggins obtained the US’ twenty fifth medal of the Video games on the grand stage.
Diggins danced along with her silver on the rostrum constructed inside Nationwide Stadium, also called the “Fowl’s Nest,” in entrance of a a lot bigger crowd than most medal ceremonies that happened in Beijing. She took second place within the ladies’s 30-kilometer mass begin.
The U.S. completed fifth within the ultimate medal rely, behind Norway, Russia, Germany and Canada. Norway had twice as many golds as the US with 16.
— Chris Bumbaca
Few athletes have had worse luck on the Winter Olympics than Vincent Zhou.
After spending the majority of the Video games in isolation, barred from collaborating within the particular person males’s determine skating competitors, Zhou wrote on Instagram on Sunday night time that he was not allowed to board a bus to the closing ceremony as a result of Beijing 2022 organizers deemed him a “shut contact” threat.
“I’ve examined unfavourable 14 occasions in a row,” Zhou wrote. “I’ve antibodies and am not contagious in any way. I’m 100% wholesome and regular. I’m double masked and could be strolling outside with the identical folks I’m about to journey with in a pair hours. Out of everybody marching, I might be the least liable to transmitting to others.”
Zhou, 21, examined optimistic for COVID-19 throughout a routine screening take a look at on Feb. 6, hours after he skated within the crew occasion, serving to the U.S. win silver. He was launched from quarantine final week and invited to take part within the determine skating gala earlier Sunday.
Like the opposite eight U.S. skaters who competed within the crew occasion, Zhou shall be returning house to the U.S. with out his silver medal. The Worldwide Olympic Committee declined to award the medals following a optimistic drug take a look at by Russian skater Kamila Valieva, even surviving a problem from the U.S. skaters on the Court docket of Arbitration for Sport on Saturday.
“I want nothing however the most effective to everybody else marching tonight,” Zhou wrote on Instagram. “It makes me so glad and proud to know they’re on the market embodying all the things Workforce USA represents and having the time of their lives.”
— Tom Schad
NBC, the unique Olympics rightsholder in the US, is not going to be exhibiting the closing ceremony dwell on its linear, flagship channel.
The occasion, which started at 7 a.m. ET, aired dwell on NBC Sports activities, Peacock and NBCSports.com. Determine skating commentators Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski, and Johnny Weir will host an “enhanced” primetime presentation of the ceremony at 8 p.m. ET, airing on NBC and streaming on Peacock.
The dwell feed accessible Friday morning shall be through the Olympic Broadcasting Service.
— Chris Bumbaca
Removed from the sphere of play, there’s been numerous hypothesis from international affairs consultants and Russia and Ukraine watchers the world over as as to if Russian President Vladimir Putin might attempt to launch an invasion of Ukraine timed for the Video games’ finish, or quickly after.
This isn’t merely empty discuss however stems from an off-the-cuff Putin-invasion-timing precedent.
Russia’s chief has spent three of the final eight Olympic Video games both invading a rustic or coming near doing so.
Putin despatched troops into former Soviet Union republic Georgia, within the Caucasus area on the Black Sea, across the time of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 happened throughout the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
As Russia and China have courted one another’s diplomatic firm, there’s been further hypothesis that Putin may very well be holding off on any new assault on Ukraine as a result of he does not need to anger Chinese language President Xi Jinping. However like numerous issues relating to Putin, a former spy who shares his pondering on these issues with an especially small circle of advisers, the jury’s out on whether or not this timing is deliberate or only a coincidence.
— Kim Hjelmgaard
At simply 20 years outdated, Nico Porteous has crammed loads of Olympic experiences into his younger life.
The New Zealand snowboarder first received bronze within the halfpipe 4 years in the past. Throughout these Olympics, he received gold on a windy, frigid day throughout which he landed probably the most tough trick going within the sport now.
On Sunday, he added another Olympic first – flag bearer.
Porteous was chosen to hold New Zealand’s flag for the closing ceremony.
He obtained the glory simply greater than 24 hours after he turned his nation’s first male Winter Olympics gold medalist.
Porteous is considered one of a number of Olympians whose success right here earned them the glory.
Speedskater Isabelle Weidemann was chosen for the glory for Canada. In her second Olympics, she received gold within the crew pursuit, silver within the 5000m and bronze within the 3000m
Norway’s delegation chosen Marte Olsbu Roeiseland to hold the flag after she received 5 medals, three of them gold, in biathlon.
And the U.S. crew, fittingly, chosen bobsled pilot Elana Meyers Taylor.
Meyers Taylor, 37, got here into these Video games as a risk to win gold in each the monobob, a brand new occasion, and the 2-man competitors. However she examined optimistic for COVID-19 after arriving, and he or she spent six days in isolation.
It impacted her coaching and her psychological well being as Meyers Taylor was remoted from her son, Nico, whom she is nursing, and husband, Nicholas. They each examined optimistic, as properly.
As soon as out of isolation, Meyers Taylor added to her Olympic legacy, which incorporates two silver medals as a pilot and a bronze as a brakeman in three earlier Video games.
She earned silver in monobob, behind teammate Kaillie Humphries, and took bronze in 2-man.
Whereas athletes view it as an honor to be chosen, there are fewer to select from for the closing ceremony. That’s true in any Video games, however particularly these the place they had been topic to strict COVID countermeasures – together with each day testing – and unable to go away the closed loop.
That meant many athletes left quickly after they competed.
Multiple-third of the 91 nationwide Olympic committees competing within the Video games can have their flags carried by volunteers. These are virtually solely from small delegations whose athletes seemingly already left.
— Rachel Axon
Cross-country skier Jessie Diggins fought to the end, claiming Workforce USA’s ultimate Olympic medal of the Beijing Video games, a silver within the ladies’s 30-kilometer occasion Sunday.
With a fierce wind on the final day of the Video games, Diggins completed 1:26.37 behind Therese Johaug of Norway, who claimed her fifth profession Olympic medal, and third gold in Beijing. American Rosie Brennan completed sixth.
It was the twenty fifth Olympic medal for the U.S. crew in Beijing.
That is the third profession medal for Diggins, who cemented her standing as probably the most profitable American skier in her sport in Olympic historical past, now with gold-silver-bronze to her identify.
— Roxanna Scott
Mikaela Shiffrin will depart the Beijing Olympics empty-handed.
Shiffrin and the People misplaced to Norway within the bronze-medal matchup of the Alpine crew occasion Sunday. Every nation received two races within the ultimate, however Norway received based mostly on the higher total time.
It was yet one more unfulfilling ending for the two-time Olympic champion, who had wished to do the crew occasion so badly she modified her departure from Beijing after excessive winds pushed the race again a day.
Shiffrin has three medals from her first two Olympic appearances, two golds and a silver, and was anticipated to contend for a number of extra right here. However she solely completed two of her particular person occasions, recording Did Not Finishes within the large slalom, slalom and Alpine mixed, her finest occasions.
She completed ninth within the super-G and was 18th within the downhill.
— Nancy Armour
Court docket rejects request by US determine skaters to get their crew medals earlier than closing ceremony
The 9 U.S. determine skaters who received silver medals within the crew occasion on the 2022 Winter Olympics felt so strongly about receiving these medals earlier than the top of the Video games that they took the matter to courtroom.
However they didn’t succeed.
The Court docket of Arbitration for Sport introduced late Saturday night time that it rejected the attraction the People filed earlier within the day, which might have compelled the Worldwide Olympic Committee to carry a public medal ceremony for the crew occasion previous to Sunday night time’s closing ceremony.
— Tom Schad and Christine Brennan