The U.S Takes Home Gold

On February 4th, the Winter Olympics began in Beijing, China, where each country’s top athletes, including the United States, competed to win glory and fame for their homelands.

History of the Games

The Winter Olympics have been around since 1924 when the first games were hosted in Chamonix, France. The first Olympics weren’t called the Olympics at all; they were called Winter Sports Week. It wasn’t until 1926 that the games were officially named the Winter Olympics. Winter Sports Week showcased 16 countries, 16 events, and 258 athletes. 

That week, Norway left Chamonix with the most medals adding up to 17. To this day, Norway still leads the all time Winter Olympic medal count with 405. The United States trails in second with 330 medals all-time, and Germany in third with 286.

Poll taken of Woodgrove students on which Winter Olympic sport they like to watch the most. Sports not shown include nordic combined, short track speed skating, luge, skeleton, ski jumping, snowboarding, speed skating, and gymnastics.

United States Athletes to Watch   

Erin Jackson, who is participating in her second Olympics,  represented the United States in speed skating, months after she was the first woman of color to win the World Cup. She is now ranked first in the 500 meter race, and also won gold in this event.

Another famous athlete, who made a recurring appearance this year, is Shaun White. With three gold medals already to his name, this legendary snowboarder was the top contender for this year’s Beijing event. White made this his last appearance professionally, finishing in fourth place, and retired as the most decorated male Olympic snowboarder of all time.

 

Winter Olympic Recap

Many medals were awarded to both returning and newcomer athletes. Norway won the overall medal count with 37 medals, maintaining their all time lead. Finland beat Russia to win their first gold medal in men’s hockey. Snowboarder Mikaela Shiffrin did not put on the performance most were expecting to see. She wiped out several times during different events, and the U.S. ‘s star skier failed to win a single medal during her trip to Beijing. Nathan Chen made history breaking the all time record for the men’s skating short program. There was also skating controversy when Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for banned drugs, keeping some Olympic skaters and herself from receiving their medals.