Our Favorite Team USA Moments From The 2022 Winter Olympics Thus Far
by Lisa Costantini
And just like that, the first half of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 is in the history books. Alongside tales of a global pandemic will be chapters about triumph and amazing feats, both on and off the snow and ice.
Here are some of our favorite Team USA moments one week into the Olympic Games.
Chloe Kim celebrates after her first run during the women's snowboard halfpipe final at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 10, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
Four years after the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, where Kim threw down back-to-back 1080s that earned her a near-perfect score, the 21-year-old returned to defend her title. Her first run in Beijing — consisting of two 1080s and a 900 — came in at 94, a score no one could touch. She became the first woman to win back-to-back golds in Olympic snowboard halfpipe history.
When Roque, a Michigan native from the Wahnapitae First Nation, took the ice in Team USA’s first ice hockey game of the Games, history was made. The 24-year-old forward became the first Indigenous woman to play Olympic ice hockey for the United States. Number 11 helped her team — the defending gold medalists — with an assist to take the team’s first W, beating Finland 5-2. The U.S. will next play Finland in the semifinals on February 14.
If anyone was surprised to see Stevenson end up on the podium in big air, it was the freestyle skier himself. The first-time Olympian had never podiumed in an event in big air before — and you wouldn’t call him lucky. In 2016, a car accident left the 24-year-old from Park City, Utah, with a shattered skull and three days in a medically induced coma. Eight months later, he was back training. Thanks to a torn rotator cuff, he missed the chance to try for PyeongChang 2018, but his silver medal in Beijing more than makes up for it.
Jessie Diggins competes during the women's cross-country 4x5-kilometer relay at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 12, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
After shocking everyone for the second time on the Olympic stage, the three-time Olympian, Diggins, is starting to perfect her surprised face. A little more than four years ago, in PyeongChang, the 30-year-old — along with her teammate Kikkan Randall — won gold in the team sprint. It was the first Olympic medal for the U.S. women’s cross-country skiing team. In Beijing, the Olympic veteran became the first U.S. woman to win an individual medal in cross-country skiing with a bronze in the sprint.
Biathlon had some memorable moments in Beijing, starting with a seventh-place finish in the team event. The foursome consisted of Susan Dunklee, Clare Egan, Sean Doherty and Paul Schommer, who posted the best-ever American finish in the 4x6-kilometer mixed relay event. Two days later, first-timer Irwin crossed the line also in seventh in the women’s 15-kilometer individual event. This feat marked the best Olympic performance ever by an American biathlete.
Most family’s pass down heirlooms; for Cochran-Siegle, his mom gave him her skills on the snow. Fifty years after winning a gold medal in slalom, her 29-year-old son raced to second place after a near-perfect run in men’s super-G. The two-time Olympian finished just 0.04 seconds behind Austria’s Matthias Mayer, the defending gold medal winner from the 2018 Games.
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Olympic Games Beijing 2022? Visit TeamUSA.org/Beijing-2022-Olympic-Games to view the competition schedule, medal table and results.
Casey Dawson skates during the men's 1,500m-meter on day four of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb, 8, 2022 in Beijing, China.
If there were a medal for most COVID tests taken to get to the Beijing Games, the 21-year-old speedskater would be a shoo-in. The Park City, Utah native took roughly 45 tests before arriving in the host city 13 hours before his second event. The Opening Ceremony and the men’s 5,000 weren’t the only things Dawson missed — his skates missed the flight. Thankfully, he could borrow a pair from another athlete but finished near the bottom. The team pursuit is left, with quarterfinals on February 13 and finals the next day.
The first gold of the Games for Team USA went to five-time Olympian, Jacobellis who crossed the line ahead of the pack in snowboard cross. The 36-year-old has been on track to take the top spot on the podium since the Torino Games. In 2006, she took an early celebratory board grab ahead in the finals, which led to a stumble that cost her the win. The victory in Beijing makes her the third woman ever to win multiple medals in the event.
Skeleton got underway in Beijing, and with it, the first Black athlete to represent Team USA prepared to make her debut on the Olympic stage. The 33-year-old from Princeton, New Jersey — who grew up doing track and field — tried bobsled in 2013 before eventually moving over to skeleton. Curtis made her world cup debut last year and had her best finish ever at the final world cup of the season a year later. With her sixth-place finish at that world cup came her ticket to Beijing.
Chris Lillis, Justin Schoenefeld and Ashley Caldwell look on for their score during the freestyle skiing mixed team aerials at Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 10, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
In one of seven new events added to the Olympic program in Beijing, Team USA upset the gold medal favorites — and host country — China to claim the top spot on the box in mixed team aerials. This was the first gold medal for the U.S. in aerials freestyle skiing since Nagano in 1998. When the trio of four-time Olympian Ashley Caldwell and first-timers Christopher Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld added up the combined scores of their two jumps each, they nailed Team USA’s third and final gold medal of the day.
For the last 20 years, there hasn’t been a Winter Games halfpipe final without snowboarder, White, 35. After five Olympics, the oldest snowboarder to compete in the Olympic halfpipe finished just off the podium in fourth. Upon making the U.S. team, he announced Beijing would be his last competition. The three-time Olympic gold medalist made his debut in Torino in 2006 at 19-years-old where he won his first gold. The San Diego native has never finished lower than fourth in the last five Olympics.
The Opening Ceremony took place at the National Stadium, where roughly 150 Team USA athletes walked in celebration. Receiving the honor of being the country’s flag bearers was five-time Olympic curler John Shuster and four-time Olympic bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor. Three-time Olympic speedskater Brittany Bowe — who was the first runner-up in the selection — walked on behalf of Meyers Taylor, who tested positive for COVID-19 and could not attend the ceremony.
Nathan Chen reacts during the men's single skating free skating at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 10, 2022 in Beijing, China.
After earning the highest-ever short program score, it looked hopeful that the quad king would win the gold medal he had been missing. The two-time Olympian already had a bronze from the team event in PyeongChang in 2018 and days earlier was awarded the silver for the same event in Beijing. Chen’s total score of 332.60 was a new world record — a phrase the reigning three-time world champion was very familiar with. The 22-year-old from Salt Lake City, Utah, has now tied the record for the most Olympic medals by a U.S. skater, becoming the third U.S. skater to win three.
If the 24-year-old snowboarder had a lucky number, it would have to be the number two. At Marino’s second Olympic Games, on her second run in women’s slopestyle snowboarding, the Westport, Connecticut, native secured second place to win Team USA’s first medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics. In PyeongChang, the American took 10th in big air and 11th in slopestyle.
Two-time Olympian Kauf skied her way right onto the medals platform in Beijing by capturing silver in the women’s moguls competition. The 25-year-old from Alta, Wyoming, banked the second medal for Team USA at the Beijing Games. The single veteran on the moguls team — who placed seventh in PyeongChang in 2018 — was joined by three teammates in the finals.
Ben Loomis competes during the individual gundersen normal hill/10-kilometer nordic combined competition at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 9, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
The 23-year-old nordic combined athlete from Eau Claire, Wisconsin soared in Beijing. After finishing in the men’s normal hill in 40th in PyeongChang, the two-time Olympian upped his standing to come in 15th in Beijing. In the last competition Loomis competed in before Beijing, he placed 12th but averaged around 38th all season. That’s a massive jump for the 2016 Youth Olympics Winter Games silver medalist!
Heo had a lot to be happy about at his first Olympic Games. The 20-year-old speedskater finished in seventh place in the men’s 1,000-meter short track race. Before Beijing, the Warrington, Pennsylvania native had never crossed the line higher than 15th in a world cup or world championship, with an average finish of 38th. Heo also competed in the men’s 1,500-meter in Beijing and the mixed team relay, finishing eighth.
With eight years having passed since his last Winter Games, the two-time Olympian was thrilled to finish in the top 10 in Beijing earning sixth in the individual event in men’s figure skating. In 2014 in Sochi, Brown took ninth in the same event and bronze in the team event. The oldest singles’ competitor on Team USA’s roster at 27, he has yet to decide if he’ll keep competing after Beijing.
Age might be nothing but a number, but for the oldest U.S. Olympian competing in Beijing, the number one has to feel pretty good. After four Olympics, Baumgartner won his first medal at the age of 40, thanks in part to fellow American Jacobellis, 36. The duo closed out their Beijing experience by taking first in the debut of the snowboardcross mixed team event. Both athletes competed in the individual snowboardcross earlier in the week, with Baumgartner finishing in 10th and Jacobellis winning Team USA’s first individual gold of the Games.