Some of the most incredible moments in sports happen during the Olympic Games.
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The Winter Games in Beijing, China, have given us some memorable moments of heartbreak and triumph this year. We’ve seen little-known athletes come from behind to shock the world, and we’ve seen our favorite stars flounder. You just never know what might happen when you go for the gold!
1. Nathan Chen set a new record with his out-of-this-world short program.
Nathan Chen’s performance in PyeongChang was disappointing at best, disastrous at worst. Though he was a standout in many events, his nerves got the best of him during his short program. He wound up placing 17th in that event and could never recover his momentum in the games.
It took four years to get his redemption on the ice! In Beijing, Chen wowed audiences with a breathtakingly difficult quad flip — before he broke a world record with a score of 113.97 in his short program. Watch his performance here.
2. Lindsey Jacobellis also found redemption in Beijing.
Sixteen years ago, American Lindsey Jacobellis was competing in the final of the Women’s Snowboard Cross competition in Bardonecchia, Italy. She was poised to take the gold, but a few yards from the finish line, she pulled a hotdog maneuver that didn’t quite work. She fell, came in second, and missed the gold by mere seconds. That moment has haunted her for more than a decade, and she wasn’t sure if she’d ever return to the sport.
Although the five-time Olympian has attended games since then, she never earned another medal… until now! At the 2022 Olympics, Jacobellis made history as the oldest U.S. woman to win a gold in the Winter Games. Her 16-year gap is also the longest time period between medals for any U.S. woman at the Winter Olympics. We love a good redemption story! Watch her big win here.
3. Max Parrot beat cancer in between winning silver and gold medals.
Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot won a silver medal at the PyeongChang Games. Just months later, he was floored to receive a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He powered through 12 rounds of chemotherapy and kept training through some of the lowest days of his life, all so he’d be ready for the 2022 Games.
Boy, was he ready! Parrot grabbed Canada’s first medal of the Olympics with a record score during the men’s snowboard slopestyle event! Read more about his journey from hospital bed to the top of the podium here.
4. Chloe Kim became the first woman to win two Olympic snowboard gold medals in the halfpipe.
Chloe Kim was just 17 years old when she won her first gold medal in PyeongChang. She wasn’t even sure if she’d return to Beijing in 2022, but she did — and wound up winning another gold! Kim’s untouchable run on the halfpipe will now go down in history, and she’s only 22!
5. Gold medalist shows the world what true sportsmanship looks like.
Iivo Niskanen of Finland finished the men’s cross-country skiing 15K event in first place, clinching his third gold medal victory. Instead of doing a victory lap, Niskanen stood by the finish line to congratulate all 94 of his competitors for finishing the race. Twenty minutes after he won, he gave the skier who came in last a huge hug!
6. American Erin Jackson became the first Black woman to win speedskating gold!
Erin Jackson almost didn’t make it to the Winter Olympics at all this year. It’s a good thing she did, because now she has made history as the first Black woman to win a speedskating medal at the Winter Olympics. Not just any medal — a gold!
Jackson earned Team USA their first speedskating medal of the Beijing games by winning the 500-meter race. She hopes her success will encourage more people of color to compete in winter sports!
7. Japanese figure skater’s father has the sweetest reaction to his score.
Parents pour so much time, effort, and money into their athlete’s career! Figure skater Yuma Kagiyama’s dad has been by his side through it all. When Kagiyama’s final score was announced and they realized he’d won his second silver medal, his dad’s reaction was enough to move even the toughest viewer to tears of joy!
Congratulations to everyone who competed in the 2022 Winter Games! We’re so proud of all your hard work and dedication.
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