It has been less than a week since the official Grand Opening Ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Beijing National Stadium commenced, and already so many achievements have been made by international athletes competing for gold and honor for their representing countries. Here are just a few:
Nathan Chen sets World Record for Men’s Figure Skating short program.
Coming back from a disappointing third place in Pyeongchang in 2018, 22-year-old American figure skater and Ivy League college student, Nathan Chen, redeemed himself and succeeded his expectations by setting a new World Record score with 113.97 in his short program Monday night. Chen is already a three-time World Champion, a three-time Grand Prix Final Champion and a six-time U.S. Champion for men’s figure skating, so earning silver for the U.S. Men’s Team Event is just another pin in his medallion collection.
After defeating cancer, Canada’s Max Parrot wins gold for men’s snowboard slopestyle.
According to Forbes, at the Pyeongchang Olympics in Feb. 2018, Max Parrot took silver on the podium. Ten months later, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma – a cancer that affects the immune system and limits the body’s ability to fight off other diseases. Because of Parrot’s career as a professional snowboarder, he was not new to being resilient. Over the next six months, he endured 12 rounds of chemotherapy and in July 2019, Parrot announced that he had beaten his cancer. In the following month, he won gold at X Games Norway. On Sunday night (Monday morning in China), the 27-year-old found himself at the top of an Olympic slopestyle run, nailing a 1440 backside triple and double 1620s, ultimately securing his gold.
15-year-old sensation Kamila Valieva becomes the first women’s figure skater to land an Olympic quadruple jump and wins gold for the ROC team skate… and then tests positive in an anti-doping test.
Valieva tested positive for a banned substance used to treat angina – also known as severe chest pain. This report follows the postponement of the ceremony to present the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) with their Olympic gold medals because of Kamila Valieva’s historical achievement. Allegedly, the ceremony was postponed because of an unspecified, last-minute legal problem. Reports are claiming that the drug is Trimetazidine – which does not give athletes an advantage but it is the same reasoning for Chinese swimmer Sun Yang’s ban in 2014. This situation complicates even further because, under the World Anti-Doping Code, Valieva is a “Protected Person;” meaning she is an athlete who has not reached the age of 16 and cannot officially be identified if she is guilty of taking this drug. As of this article, reports are still inconclusive and no one is certain to what is going to happen to her sensational performance and title.