The Playbook: New and exciting events of the 2022 Winter Olympics

Benny Burke, Writer

The 2022 Winter Olympics kicked off in Beijing, China on Feb. fourth after four other countries withdrew from hosting mostly based on price. On average, the infrastructure needed to host the Olympics costs about 6 billion dollars, according to Time Magazine. 

The top three countries in medal counts were Norway in first, Germany in second and Beijing in third. Norway received 16 gold medals as expected (37 total), Germany managed to get 12 medals (27 in total)— putting Norway in first by a mile— and China worked for nine gold medals (15 in total)  for a solid third place performance. Just under them is the U.S. in fourth with eight gold medals (25 in total) and Sweden in fifth with another eight gold medals (18 in total.)

As for record-setting feats (world records and Olympic records) in the games, many were set in men’s and women’s speed skating. To see these records, click here. There’s a lot to comb through in the list, but it’s impressive nonetheless.

Olympic records aren’t the only things embedding themselves in the history books. This year’s Olympics featured seven new events to add to the already very long list. These events include men’s and women’s Big Air Freestyling (skiing), Mixed Team Aerials, Mixed Team Ski Jumping, Mixed Team Snowboard Cross, Mixed Team Short Track Relay and women’s Monobob.

Speaking of bobsleds, Jamaica’s bobsled team participated this year for the first time since 1988. The team came in 28th place in the first run and then fell to last place after their third run and were unfortunately eliminated. Even still, the four-man team was forced to train in their tropical climate over the COVID lockdown and still managed to qualify for the games. Maybe they’ll be earning gold medals for Jamaica in the next Winter Olympics.

In every sport there comes a risk for injury. That is no different for the Winter Olympics. Several injuries occurred across a wide array of sports and some of them are gruesome. A study done by the International Olympic Committee in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics concluded that out of the 3,000 athletes, around 12 percent of them got an injury. The most dangerous sport according to the study found that ski halfpipe had the highest rate of injury at 28 percent. Ski halfpipe is followed by snowboard cross at 26 percent and snowboard slopestyle at 21 percent for the top three most dangerous sports in the Winter Olympics.

Mikaela Shiffrin suffered a knee injury during warm-ups and wasn’t able to compete in Giant Slalom. She described her injuries on Facebook.”I have at least an MCL injury and bone bruising. By the third day of the Olympics, more than 10 athletes were injured. Most of those athletes were skiers and snowboarders which proves the study done in 2018.

The next Winter Olympics are set to be held in Milan, Italy, but this is, of course, subject to change as seen by how many countries withdrew from hosting this year’s Olympics. Only time will tell who will host the next Winter Olympics.