What to Expect From the 2022 Olympics


15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva executes a spotless triple axel in the Olympics’ Team Event (Credit: The Boston Globe).

The Opening Ceremony for the 2022 Olympic Games took place at the National Stadium in Beijing, which will also be the site of the Closing Ceremony on Feb. 20. The ceremony consisted of traditional events, such as the Parade of Nations, during which competitors march into the stadium under their nation’s flag.


As is tradition, Greece was the first country to make its entrance with a delegation of five athletes. The lighting of the Olympic torch, another notable event during the ceremony, did not make the conventional trip from Olympia due to COVID-19, and instead arrived from Athens, Greece.


Although the 2022 Olympics provides a sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening ceremony drew in record-low ratings. A mere 16 million Americans viewed the ceremony, which is a 43% decrease from the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang. 

Snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnot makes history for New Zealand (Credit: Forbes).

Regardless of the low viewer turnout, this year’s Olympics has certainly been an eventful one. 20-year-old Zoi Sadowski-Synnot captured the women’s slopestyle title, making history by winning New Zealand’s first ever gold medal at a Winter Olympics. Her dramatic final run ended the United States’ domination in the event. The gold medal brings New Zealand’s total Winter Olympics medal tally to four since its debut in the Olympics in the 1952 Oslo games, half of which were won by Sadowski-Synnot (after winning a bronze medal in PyeongChang, and now, a gold medal in Beijing). 


Nathan Chen is representing the United States as a three-time world champion, and has won all but one competition he has entered since a fifth-place finish in 2018. Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu is a two-time defending Olympic gold medallist who became the first men’s repeat champion in 66 years at the Pyeongchang Games. This figure skating rivalry will climax at the Beijing Games as the two leading contenders to win men’s figure skating gold prepare to face off one more time. 

Chen (right) pictured next to Hanyu (left) as he wins the gold medal at the 2017 Four Continents Championship (Credit: The Sports Examiner).

The warm-weather nations of Haiti and Saudi Arabia will make their debut at this year’s Games this year. Surprisingly enough, the athletes representing these countries will take part in the same event. Representing Haiti, 19-year-old skier Richardson Viano is scheduled to compete in the men’s slalom alongside Saudi Arabian athlete Fayik Abdi, a 24-year-old who will become the first athlete from any Gulf nation to compete in the Winter Olympics.


For the first time in 24 years, four athletes from Jamaica will represent the nation as a four-man bobsled team. Jamaica made its debut at the 1988 Games in Calgary, Canada. Its four-man bobsled team, which had minimal experience prior to competing, crashed out of the event and carried their sled over the finish line. Regardless, the team captured the hearts of fans all over the world and were the inspiration for the 1993 film Cool Runnings. The current team consists of Ashley Watson, Matthew Wekpe, Nimroy Turgott, and Shanwayne Stephans.

Jamaica’s four-man bobsled team will represent their nation in this year’s Games (Credit: CBS News).

“I’ve always looked forward to watching snowboarding and women’s figure skating with my family,” said junior Abigail Nassimi. “I’m especially looking forward to watching Kamila Valieva skate, as she just recently broke records in the Team Event.”


Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old figure skater for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) stunned viewers in her near-world-record performance in her Olympic debut. She currently holds the world records for the short program, free skate, and total combined score. At Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium, Valieva scored 90.18 points. While this score is 0.27 below her short program world-record of 90.45, it set a new and arguably unbeatable Olympic record.