And that’s the day done. Thanks for your company - can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow on the first Wednesday of these Beijing Winter Games. I’ll leave you with a look at the best photos of the day. Bye!

Eileen Gu is already one of the stories of these Games. Sean Ingle explains after her spectacular women’s freeski big air victory.

With the pressure of more than a billion people on her shoulders, Eileen Gu soared and spun high into the Beijing sky before landing a stunning double cork 1620 to take Winter Olympics gold. Then, in another considerable feat of nimbleness, the 18-year-old deftly avoided attempts by the world’s media to drag her into a diplomatic incident with the skill of a UN veteran.

Sweden stay on top of the medal table. They can thank Joanna Sundling for that, who won the women’s cross-country skiiing sprint in some style, Maja Dahlqvist making it a Swedish quinella. All three of The Netherlands’ gold medals so far have been in the speed skating, banking a one-two of their own in the men’s 1500m with Kjeld Nuis defending his title ahead of Thomas Krol who took silver.

Checking in to see how today played out? Look no further than the brilliant daily briefing with Martin Belam. Better still, sign up here so you get it sent straight to your inbox every day of the Games.

Ice Hockey: Denmark level it up, they’re 1-1 with Sweden with just over five minutes remaining in the second period. Finland, meanwhile, are in cruise control leading the ROC 5-0. This is the last of the live action in Beijing so we’ll start to slowly wrap up the day.

Luge: Well, it wasn’t the most dramatic final run in the women’s luge but what a mighty result. Geisenberger only returned to the sled last September and six months on, enjoys this moment once more. Adding a couple of team gold medals in Sochi and Pyeongchang, that’s five of them she now owns, in addition to the bronze secured way back in 2010 at Vancouver in the event she’s since dominated. Geisenberg now overtakes Tobias Arlt and Tobias Wendl as the most successful luge athlete of all time. And guess what? She’s given every impression so far that she’ll keep going through until 2026.

Gold and silver for Germany! Natalie Geisenberger wins the luge AGAIN!

It’s three in a row for Natalie Geisenberger! And she does it easy - winning by half a second. The 34-year-old German salutes in 2022 as she did in 2018 and 2014. Between times, she gave birth in 2020 - it’s a wonderful story, one of the Winter Games’ greatest champions.

Gold medallist Natalie Geisenberger of Team Germany celebrates winning the Women’s Singles Luge.
Gold medallist Natalie Geisenberger of Team Germany celebrates winning the Women’s Singles Luge. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images


Luge: Berreiter 58.5! She’s in tears - that’s a silver medal at worst, or gold if Natalie Geisenberger fluffs her lines. It’s the German superstar set to go last - loads of latitude, relatively speaking. If she nails this, it’s a third gold medal on the trot in this event. Go, go go!

Luge: Ivanova (ROC) does it well! She overtakes Egle; Russia’s first medal in this event for 32 years. The 13th-ranked slider in the world has a bronze at worst! And here comes the first German, Anna Berreiter, in second place. She’s 22-years-old, at her first Winter Games, and is 0.330 behind Geisenberger after the third run.

Luge: Egle holds on! She’s fourth at worst with Prock just behind after missing her time by 0.15. Tatiana Ivanova (ROC) is the third last to release now - she’s starting 0.826 behind Geisenberger. Onwards!

Luge: A late bump from Schulte! She sits second on paper but falls behind Egle, which means she’ll be out of the medals. The third Austrian now, Hannah Prock, who begins about 0.2 from the medals.

Luge: 58.42 from Egle (AUT) - not far off the track record from earlier. If not for her horrible first run yesterday, she’d be right there with Geisenberger. Even so, she’s in the provisional lead with Lisa Schulte, the other Austrian in the top five, ready to slide next.

Luge: The tension is building as we wait for the top five, realistically those in medal contention. The top three for now: the mighty Geisenberger, her young-gun countrywoman Anna Berreiter and the ROC’s Tatyana Ivanova, who won a bronze eight years ago in the team event. Then come the two Austrians, the experienced Madeleine Egle up now. Find a telly for the next 15 minutes!

Ice Hockey: We’re into the second period of the two women’s hockey games, Sweden leading Denmark 1-0 in Group B and Finland getting the jump on Not Russia, ahead 2-0. Of those aforementioned four teams, only Not Russia can make the quarter-finals. Indeed, Finland would need to beat them by 15 goals to oust the ROC. I think!

Luge: Six sliders down, 14 to go. I’ve been saying it all day but if Natalie Geisenberger finishes the job - currently in gold medal position, set to go last - it will be a truly great Olympic moment.

Italy take gold in the mixed doubles curling!

Curling: Back to Mosaner and he finds his line and length this time, knocking Norway’s shot out of place. They have one final stone to roll, Skaslien needs to knock Italy away now and does. So, Constantini has to roll her final stone down - an open house - to ensure they take victory. She takes the time out, then goes, and knocks Norway’s away! Shot to Italy! Gold for Italy! They have been absolutely magnificent, their first time in this competition and have won the lot without losing a match. Amos Mosaner and Stefania Constantini are Olympic champions. Quite outstanding.

Curling: Ooooh! A big miss from the Italian man Amos Mosaner; he goes for the drive and misses the Norweagian target. Given this is a power play, there is room all over the house. But Norway don’t take advantage of it! Nedregotten’s stone is long - well long - and now they’re back to square one. The Italian can play it safe now.

Luge: At the same time as the final end of the curling mixed doubles gold medal match, the fourth and deciding run of the women’s luge begins. The fastest 20 sliders now go in reverse order. Buckle up!

Curling: Skaslien doesn’t wait, she goes right away - can she turn two into three? She’s happy with two. Well played - they’re still in it! One end to go, Italy lead 7-5. Two would take it to overtime (an extra end), but there are headwinds: Italy have their power play, and they are going to use it. They also have the hammer for this final end.

Curling: Halfway through the penultimate end, stones all over the button. And Italy add another. How to Norway, with the hammer, play this? They need to walk away with at least two shots here. So, they’ve called for their time out to really take it in - good move.

Curling: Huge stone for Constantini to complete the sixth end with Norway in position to gain a point. She gets a good look from right to left and nail it to knock out the shot stone, Italy taking it instead with the hammer. They advance the lead 7-3 with two ends to go.

Curling: That could be the decisive end for Italy in this gold medal game, restricting Norway to just one point in their power play. The deficit is now three (6-3) with three ends to go and they still have their power play to deploy and the hammer (the final stone) twice.


Luge: A huge smile from Elsa Desmond (IRE) to complete the third run of the women’s event. She finishes last in 33rd position, some 12 seconds behind the leader, but she’s elated all the same. “I made it! I finished!” she says to her coach. As the commentary explains, Desmond, who is 24, was born and raised in England but eligible to compete for Ireland and took up luge just four years ago. She’s a doctor too, having studied at King’s College at London, starting work at Southend Hospital last year. There’s the Olympic spirit.

Elsa Desmond of Ireland after competing in the women’s luge.
Elsa Desmond of Ireland after competing in the women’s luge. Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile/Getty Images


Curling: Norway are using their power play. What does that mean? Italy’s have to push their stones to the side to begin, opening up the dancefloor, so to speak. If done well, this helps with quick scoring.

Curling: A perfect final stone to complete the fourth end from Constantini, putting a third shot in position for Italy. Skaslien delivered from similar pressure situations against Team GB in the semi-final yesterday but doesn’t here, missing her mark. That’s a big play for the Italians, jumping out to a 6-2 lead at the halfway mark.

A highlight of any Olympic day on the blog: when the photos come in. Some of the best snappers in the world delivering their finest.

Curling: Italy take the lead in the third end of the mixed doubles final, leading Norway 3-2. Nice recovery after a nervous start.

Luge: Halfway through the third of four runs in the women’s competition with the top three overnight remaining in their positions after pacy runs. Sure enough, Natalie Geisenberger (GER) set the track record. What a special evening it will be if she wins a third gold in a row here, to go with bronze in the event at Vancouver back in 2010. Going into the fourth run, which the top 20 sliders for, she’s 0.330 of a second beyond fellow German Anna Berreiter. They’re so far ahead, it would take something to go seriously wrong to deny them a gold-silver finish in a couple of hours from now.

Curling: Italy bounce back with two shots of their own in the second end; 2-2 after two. A reminder that Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner, competing at the Winter Games for the first time, reached this final undefeated after hammering Sweden 8-0 in the semi.

A trio of friendly rivals up top of the medal tally. The Dutch went into the lead after Kjeld Nuis’ triumph in the speed skating but Sweden return straight back to the top 20 minutes later via Joanna Sundlingin the cross-country skiing. Norway a chance to join them on top with four gold medals if the curling mixed doubles final continues as it has started, the married couple of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten going 2-0 up against the Italians in the opening end in their gold megal match. We’ll move there now.


Gold for Norway in the men's cross-country sprint!

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo has done it again! He’s a back-to-back Olympic champion, leading from start to end! The big challenge came from Pellegrino but he was strong enough to hold him off; the Italian wins silver for the second time in a row. And Bronze to Alexander Terentyev (ROC), a medal at his first Winter Games.

Johannes Hosflot Klaebo of Norway celebrates while crossing the finish line to win the gold medal.
Johannes Hosflot Klaebo of Norway celebrates while crossing the finish line to win the gold medal. Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA


Cross-country-skiing: As expected, it’s Klæbo (NOR) then Pellegrino (ITA) as they get to the two climbs. Terentyev is right there too!

Cross-country skiing: they’re off in the men’s final!

Cross-country skiiing: Time for the men’s final in the sprint!

6 - Federico Pellegrino (ITA)
12 - Alexander Terentyev (ROC)
3 - Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR)
23 - Joni Mäki (FIN)
17 - Oskar Svensson (SWE)
10 - Artem Maltsev (ROC)

It was Høsflot Klæbo won gold in 2018 and Pellegrino silver. On the basis of what we’ve seen so far, it could be a race in two again. But Maki and Terentyev have both also laid down quick times tonight.

Gold and silver for Sweden!

Jonna Sundling does it in style! “Have we ever seen a win as convincing as that in a gold medal race?” asks the commentator - she’s won it easily. And Maja Dahlqvist holds on for silver - another quinella! Then Bronze for Team USA with Jessie Diggins.

Jonna Sundling of Sweden reacts after the women’s cross-country skiing sprint free final.
Jonna Sundling of Sweden reacts after the women’s cross-country skiing sprint free final. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock


Country-country skiiing: It’s Sweden one, two and three at the halfway mark! Goodness me, what a statement. Dundling, Dahlqvist and Ribom is the order. The fastest qualifier today is extending her lead with 600m to go; the two climbs to come then the line!

Cross-country skiiing: they’re off in the women’s final! This is all over in just over three minutes if you want to find a telly quickly.

Cross-country skiing: Here are the six women who have advanced to the medal race over the 1500m sprint course, scheduled as soon as the men’s semis are complete.

1 - Joanna Sundling (SWE)
2 - Nadine Fahndrich (SWI)
3 - Maja Dahlqvist (SWE)
4 - Rosie Brennan (USA)
5 - Emma Ribom (SWE)
6 - Jessie Diggins (USA)

So, neither of the highly-fancied Russians, Natalya Nepryayeva or Yuliya Stupad, made it through. Nor did silver medal winner in 2018, Maiken Caspersen of Norway. No Norwegians in the final at all.

Cross-country skiing: Here are the six women who have advanced to the medal race over the 1500m sprint course, scheduled as soon as the men’s semis are complete.

1 - Joanna Sundling (SWE)
2 - Nadine Fahndrich (SWI)
3 - Maja Dahlqvist (SWE)
4 - Rosie Brennan (USA)
5 - Emma Ribom (SWE)
6 - Jessie Diggins (USA)

So, neither of the highly-fancied Russians, Natalya Nepryayeva or Yuliya Stupad, made it through. Nor did silver medal winner in 2018, Maiken Caspersen of Norway. No Norwegians in the final at all.

Cross-country skiiing: Over to the Zhangjiakou National Cross-Country Skiing Centre where the semi-finals have been run in the women’s sprint - I’ll get the start list for the decider shortly. The men are now about to jump in their semis. Medal races coming shortly.


Gold and silver for The Netherlands!

Kjeld Nuis defends his Olympic title in the 1500m! He’s beaten world champion Thomas Krol into second - two brilliant skates, both Dutchmen lowering the Olympic record in the process. Outstanding. The Netherlands have won three of the four gold medals in The Oval so far at these Games. Many more to go.

(The final pair were nowhere near them)


Speed skating: two pairs to go! And a great start from both Zhongyan Ning (CHN) and Takuro Oda (JAP), both 0.03 behind Nuis at the first check point. But they’ve fallen well behind with 400m to go - they aren’t getting ahead of the Dutch one, two here - Ning sixth. One pair left to deny a Netherlands quinella. It will be Connor Howe (CAN), the explosive young gun who was sixth in the worlds, against Allan Dahl Johansson (NOR) who, on form, looks off the pace. Go!


Speed skating: Joey Mantia (USA) v Seitaro Ichinohe (JAP); the former won bronze at the world champs and should be in the hunt here. And he is early, just 0.07 behind Nuis’ mark. But that blows out to nearly two seconds with a lap to go before crossing in fifth spot.

Speed skating: Pair 12, Kristian Ulekeiv (NOR) v Bart Swings (BEL), but neither skater get close to the times of the Dutch flyers. Evidently, the reason they skated so early - and were seeded so low - is because they opted out of the traditional lead-up event.

Speed skating: The Olympic Record goes again, with Nuis lowering it by 0.34 seconds. WOW. He’s into in gold medal position with the Dutch first and second with four pairs still to skate. Thrilling stuff!

Speed skating: It’s gold v bronze from 2018 with Kjeld Nuis (NED) up against Minesok Kim (KOR) in this 11th pair. The Dutchman is 0.36 seconds behind his countryman with a couple of laps left. Make that 0.08 with one lap to go!

Speed skating: Thomas Krol (NED) into gold medal position with a bullet! He lodges an Olympic Record 1:43.55 and with it, the world champion in the lead by 1.77 seconds. Graceful, powerful, brilliant.

Thomas Krol of Nederlands in action during the men’s speed skating 1,500m.
Thomas Krol of Nederlands in action during the men’s speed skating 1,500m. Photograph: Alex Plavevski/EPA


Speed skating: A reminder that there are 15 pairs in this final, seeded with the men most likely towards the back of the pack. Krol is on Olympic debut at age 28 and is already burning up the ice, 1.13 seconds ahead at the first check at 400m. He’s well on track. Wow, make that two seconds ahead with two laps to go!

Speed skating: Sergei Troflimov (ROC) takes the lead in the men’s 1500m. He was fourth in the 5000m earlier in the week and is right where he needs to be ahead of the favourites. Up next is Thomas Krol (NED) in pair ten, the current world champion in this event.

Ice Hockey: Japan’s women get the Czech Republic in overtime, saluting 3-2. First and second in the group, they will both advance to the quarter finals starting later in the week.

Thanks, Luke. Hello again – back for another exciting night session with the clock just now striking 7pm in the Olympic city. Good morning (afternoon, evening) to you all.

I’ve arrived at the interval of the men’s 1500m speedskating final at The Oval - with 15 pairs to skate in total, seven are to come. In the tenth, the gold medallist from 2018, Kjeld Nuis, after his Dutch countryman Thomas Krol, goes in the tenth - the current world champ. Young gun Canadian Connor Howe will take off last, alongside Norway’s Allan Dahl Johansson. This should be fun.

In about 25 minutes, we’ll reach the cross country skiing sprint semi-finals and medal runs. The men’s defending champion is Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR) with the two other members from that Pyeongchang podium - Federico Pellegrino (ITA) and Alexander Bolshunov (Not Russia) – still in the mix as well.

In the women’s race, we’ll be wartching for Maiken Caspersen (NOR), who was runner up in 2018 but doesn’t have Stina Hilsson (SWE) to deal with this time as she’s switched to the biathlon. But the favourite looks to be Natalya Nepryayeva (ROC), leader in the cross country world cup standings over the last couple of years.

In 50 minutes we’ll be at the luge as well for the pointy end of the women’s singles – runs three then four. This could be the event of the day with all-timer Natalie Geisenberger (GER), who won the event in 2018 and 2014 after winning bronze in 2010, leading the way after two runs. She’s 34 now and had a baby in 2019.

She looked to have serious competition in Julia Taubitz, also from Germany, who won the most recent World Cup then broke the track record in the first run yesterday but crashed out in the second. Instead it is third German, 22-year-old Anna Berreiter, who is second in the standings at the halfway mark. Tatiana Ivanova (ROC) starts the second half of the competition in third, who has an Olympic medal from the team event eight years ago.

In just over an hour, the mixed curling final begins between Italy, who won their semi 8-0 over Sweden, and Norway, who broke Team GB’s heart in a thriller. Then when the medals for the night have been decided, we’ll finish at the women’s ice hockey where Denmark are up against Sweden and Finland take on Not Russia.

Drop me a line any time. Twitter works too, if that’s more your style.


Here are the Winter Olympics stories we’ve published so far today – with Eileen Gu’s big air glory and Great Britain’s curling woe the headlines.

And with that, I’ll hand you over to Adam Collins, who will take you through to stumps.

China will invite more spectators to attend the Winter Olympics as the Covid-19 situation is under control within the “closed-loop” bubble, which separates all event personnel from the public, an official from the Beijing organisers said on Tuesday.

China did not sell tickets to the public amid concerns over the spread of the pandemic but selected a number of spectators from targeted groups of people who are required to undertake strict Covid prevention measures. The Tokyo Summer Games took place without spectators due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

Before the Winter Olympics organisers hoped for capacities of at least 30% at venues with some events, such as the opening ceremony and some outdoor sports, having larger numbers. “In the next step, we will bring in more spectators based on demand, because the current Covid-19 situation within the ‘closed loop’ is under control,” Huang Chun, a director from the Beijing organisers’ pandemic prevention and control office, said at a press briefing on Tuesday. (Reuters)

China’s Olympic committee has pledged to increase production of merchandise after unexpected demand from people looking for a way to get involved in the Games led to shortages of the local mascot.

Marcel Bosker of the Netherlands currently leads the way in the men’s 1500m speed skating, with a time of 1min 45.42sec. Daniil Aldoshkin and Ruslan Zakharov (both ROC) sit second and third. Bosker leads Aldoshkin by 0.91sec – which is a hefty advantage.


Latest score: Japan 2-2 Czech Republic in the women’s ice hockey! Natalie Mlynkova levels it up for the Czechs, and they will go to overtime in a match that could determine who finishes top of Group B.

Sounds like a great game, but sadly not available to watch here in UK as far as I can see. Not even in the Eurosport app.

Czech Republic’s Natalie Mlynkova (19) celebrates with Katerina Mrazova (16) after scoring against Japan.
Czech Republic’s Natalie Mlynkova (19) celebrates with Katerina Mrazova (16) after scoring against Japan. Photograph: Petr David Josek/AP


If you missed it – our report from earlier on Great Britain’s failure to capture a curling medal:

Coming up next: Women’s sprint freestyle cross-country skiing: quarter-final 1. Not to mention men’s speed skating, the 1500m final, which should be good to watch. The estimable Carlton Kirby, often heard commentating on pro cycling, is on the mic for Eurosport for the speed skating.


Donovan Carrillo of Mexico advanced to the free skate portion of the figure skating competition at the Beijing Games on Tuesday, a first for the country, which had not had an Olympic skater in three decades. All it took was the best performance of his life.

“I didn’t want it to end,” Carrillo said. “I wanted to keep skating and living the Olympic dream.” Carrillo said he was so excited when he landed his first jump, a quad toe loop, that he had to tell himself to refocus in order to finish his routine. He also pulled off his difficult triple axel, though he was penalised for a triple lutz-triple toe when he took an extra step, but that turned out to be the only real blemish in an otherwise strong program.

“I was super happy,” Carrillo said of his opening jumping pass. “I tried to calm a little bit because I had the whole program.” Carrillo showed off his national pride throughout his performance, which was set to music by the band Santana. His blade covers displayed the green, white and red colors of the Mexican flag, and he wore a sparkly black and gold costume custom-made by Mexican fashion designer Edgar Lozzano, who offered it to Carrillo for free. (AP)

Donovan Carrillo of Mexico.
Donovan Carrillo of Mexico. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock


Japan are back in front in the women’s ice hockey against Czech Republic. Haruka Toko got the goal again, and they lead 2-1 in the third period.

Japan players celebrate their second goal scored by Haruka Toko.
Japan players celebrate their second goal scored by Haruka Toko. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Tess Ledeux of France (left), who was the heavy favourite going into the women’s freeski big air, is comforted by the gold medalist Eileen Gu (centre) and bronze medalist Mathilde Gremaud (right) at the conclusion of the event.

Tess Ledeux, Eileen Gu and Mathilde Gremaud.
Tess Ledeux, Eileen Gu and Mathilde Gremaud. Photograph: Xinhua/Shutterstock


Denisa Krizova has levelled things up for Czech Republic against Japan in the women’s ice hockey. It’s 1-1 there at the end of the second period.


On BBC1, they are currently revisiting the women’s freeski big air from earlier today ... it’s well worth watching, if you were asleep. Kirsty Muir of Great Britain performed admirably to finish fifth.


Quentin Fillon Maillet of France wins 20km biathlon gold!

The medal places, it would seem, are all wrapped up in the men’s 20km biathlon:

Quentin Fillon Maillet (France) takes gold, Anton Smolski (Belarus) silver and the defending champion, Johannes Thinges Boe of Norway, takes bronze.

The sun is setting in Hualindong, and it’s a pretty parky -11C at the biathlon venue right now.

The champion.
The champion. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters


Skeleton training for men and women - featuring some seriously creative outfits - is now ongoing.

Mirela Rahneva of Canada in skeleton training.
Mirela Rahneva of Canada in skeleton training. Photograph: Pavel Golovkin/AP
Australia’s Nicholas Timmings.
Australia’s Nicholas Timmings. Photograph: Daniel Mihăilescu/AFP/Getty Images
Ander Mirambell of Spain.
Ander Mirambell of Spain. Photograph: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
Russia’s Yulia Kanakina
Russia’s Yulia Kanakina. Photograph: Daniel Mihăilescu/AFP/Getty Images


Anton Smolski of Belarus goes second in the 20km biathlon! He comes in 14.8sec down on Fillon Maillet, having recorded 20/20 at the range. Sharp shooting.


In the women’s ice hockey, Japan lead Czech Republic 1-0 in their Group B top-of-the-table encounter, in the second period. Haruka Toko got the goal in the first period.

Before this match, Japan topped the group with seven points from two matches, Czech Republic sit second with six points.

Japan’s Haruka Toko (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Czech Republic.
Japan’s Haruka Toko (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Czech Republic. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images


Sean Ingle and Vincent Ni with a fashion update from China:

The wait for Britain’s first gold medal at these Winter Olympics goes on, but Team GB has become a surprise success off the snow and ice after its opening ceremony kit became a sensation on Weibo, the most widely used social media platform in China.

Reaction to the British team, who wore a Ben Sherman duffle coat and Chelsea boots during the ceremony, reached No 8 on the Weibo Hot Topic section, with the Olympics and the start of the Chinese lunar new year the most popular.

Fillon Maillet, of France, roars home 31.1sec ahead of the defending Olympic champion, Boe! Surely no one is going to catch him, and he will take gold in the 20km men’s biathlon? He slides to the ground, not having the energy to take his skis off, and gasps for air. What an effort. He started the final lap 30 or so seconds behind, so that was some phenomenally fast skiing.


Johannes Thingnes Boe finishes in 49’18”. He’s the first across the line ... and Tsevetkov comes home second overall! Can Fillon Maillet overhaul them both?

Tsevetkov takes off his skis, and crashes to the snow in exhaustion. Boe is right there, too, but the two athletes don’t acknowledge each other.


In the biathlon, Johannes Thingnes Boe misses a shot on his fourth visit to the range! That’s his second miss ... and then Tsvetkov misses with his 20th and final shot! He was one away from ‘shooting clean’. Tarjei Boe is third, Fillon Maillet of France in fourth as it stands.

Marie-Philip Poulin capped a three-goal run by scoring on a penalty shot with 2‘35“ left in the second period, and Canada upended the defending Olympic champion United States 4-2 on Tuesday to claim the women’s hockey tournament’s top seed entering the playoff round.

Maxim Tsvetkov (ROC) now tops the live standings in the 20km biathlon. Boe (JT) and Boe (T), both of Norway, are second and third respectively.

Russia’s Maxim Tsvetkov.
Russia’s Maxim Tsvetkov. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images


“For me it is a puppet theatre ... I am unbelievably angry and I don’t understand it.”

A story from last night, on the chaos that unfolded at the ski jumping yesterday:

Christian Gow of Canada nails five out of five on his first visit to the range, and moves second in the live standings ... but is then knocked down to third by Quentin Fillon Maillet of France, who goes top.

Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, the defending champion in the 20km biathlon, shoots four out of five first up. So he can ill afford another miss in his next 15 shots if he is going to have any chance of defending his title.

Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe.
Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Defending champion Matthias Mayer of Austria won the men’s super-G at the Beijing Games, capturing a third Olympic gold medal on Tuesday.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle of the United States won a shock silver medal, finishing 0.04 seconds behind in second. World Cup super-G leader Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway was 0.42 behind in third.

After sealing her gold medal in the women’s freeski big air, Reuters reports that Eileen Gu was asked by journalists whether she holds dual nationality:

San Francisco-born Eileen Gu, who lifted the host country to the top of the medals table at the Beijing Olympics with a freeski Big Air gold on Tuesday, remained evasive on whether she was still holding an American passport. China does not allow dual nationality, and state media have previously reported that the 18-year-old renounced her US citizenship after she became a Chinese national at the age of 15. Gu would not confirm that on Tuesday.

“So I grew up spending 25-30% (of my time) in China. I’m fluent in Mandarin and English and fluent culturally in both,” she answered, when asked if she was still an American citizen. “So coming here, I really feel there was a sense of coming home. I feel just as American as Chinese. I don’t feel I’m taking advantage of one or another. They understand that my mission is to foster a connection between countries and not a divisive force.” When the reporter asked again, the news conference moderator interjected: “Next question, please.” (Reuters)

Gold for Gu.
Gold for Gu. Photograph: VCG/Getty Images


Great Britain missed out on their first medal of Beijing 2022 after Jen Dodds and Bruce Mouat suffered a crushing defeat to the Swedish team in their mixed curling bronze medal match.

Less than 24 hours after their gold medal dreams were snatched away in a final stone loss to Norway, Dodds and Mouat were unable to recover after going 4-1 down in the second end and lost 9-3.

The men’s 20km biathlon is coming up very shortly, which should be fun to watch, and suitably hellish for the competitors.

Eileen Gu stood atop the purpose-built ramp, sitting in third place entering the final run of the Olympic women’s freestyle big air. The seconds felt like minutes as she embraced her coach and stood in position waiting for the green light. One of the first lean-forward moments of the Beijing Games was afoot, the weight of two countries borne squarely on her 18-year-old shoulders. And then she dropped in.

In the women’s sprint freestyle cross-country skiing qualifier, Jonna Sundling of Sweden leads the current heat, with a time of 3min 09secs.


Thank you Jonathan and hello everyone. Eileen Gu delivered in some style earlier today in the women’s freeski big air, pulling off an incredible final jump, scoring 94.50 with the judges, to beat Tess Ledeux (France) and Mathilde Gremaud (Switzerland) into silver and bronze respectively. Kirsty Muir of Great Britain finished fifth.


On the Menu

Before I pass the baton to Luke McLaughlin in sunny England, we’re about to go cross country skiing, before we don our rifles and head over to the men’s 20km Biathlon. Just wrapping up, Canada prevailed 4-2 over the United States in the Women’s Hockey in what will surely be the gold medal game, while Great Britain’s mixed doubles curlers met their match in the clinical, ruthless Swedes. Over to you Luke!

Gold for Austria’s Benjamin Karl in Men’s Snowboard Giant Slalom

Slovenia’s Tim Mastnak seemingly had it in the bag but got the wobbles when it mattered. Snowboarding is often thought of as a young person’s caper, but it was a battle of the veterans in the final. The 36-year-old in his Fourth Olympics has come up trumps and can scarcely believe his good fortune.

Ester Ledecka wins Snowboard Giant Slalom Gold

It the end, it was a walk in the park for the Czech superstar in her pet event. Three of her opponents failed to finish in the lead up, and the 26-year-old made mincemeat of Austria’s Daniela Ubling in the final. Now she switches the snowboard for the skis as she chases her fourth Olympic Gold.

Snowboard Giant Slalom Finals Minutes Away

They move quickly in the snowboarding competition! Ester Ledecka takes on Daniela Ubling in the women’s comp, while Austria’s Benjamin Karl tackles Slovenia’s Tim Mastak in the men’s.

Swedes Take Curling Bronze

Sweden 9 – Great Britain 3

It’s all over in the mixed doubles, with the respective pairs shaking hands and the Swedes taking Bronze. Bruce Mouat and Jennifer Dodds had a great few days but the Swedes got the jump on them early and never looked back.

Britain’s Jennifer Dodds congratulates Sweden’s Almida De Val after the mixed doubles bronze medal match.
Britain’s Jennifer Dodds congratulates Sweden’s Almida De Val after the mixed doubles bronze medal match. Photograph: Nariman El-Mofty/AP


Women’s Snowboarding – Parallel Giant Slalom

Ledecka Into Final Four

The Czech star has had two runs today, and both her opponents have come a cropper, with Poland’s Aleksandra Krol falling in the quarter finals. We’re now onto the men’s quarters.

Curling – Mixed Doubles

Great Britain 1 – Sweden 9

We’re on the 6th End, and the Swedes are having a complete lend. Oscar Eriksson, in particular, is in fine fettle. They’ve all but sown up the Bronze.


Incredible! 113.97 🙌

Nathan Chen sets a new world record in the men’s #FigureSkating short program at #Beijing2022#StrongerTogether | @TeamUSA | @USFigureSkating | @nathanwchen

— Olympics (@Olympics) February 8, 2022

ICYMI, Nathan Chen put on a clinic earlier

Curling – Mixed Doubles

Great Britain 1 – Sweden 8

The Swedish pair are pitiless. The Power Play will kick off the second half.

Men’s Snowboarding – Parallel Giant Slalom

To the uninitiated, this is such a great sport to watch. It’s one-on-one, with plenty of mind games and technical brilliance. Ester Ledecka was safely through in the women’s quarters and now we’re on to the fellas. Russia’s Dmiitri Loginov has just been rolled and is Loginout of these Olympics.

The Guardian’s take on the extraordinary Eileen Gu, one of the genuine superstars of these Games.

Curling – Mixed Doubles

Great Britain 1 – Sweden 7

A steal of three to the pesky Swedes. ‘Shop Early’ as they say in Curling circles.

Women’s and Men’s Snowboarding – Parallel Giant Slalom

The second snowboarding medal event is now underway, with the men’s and women’s events running simultaneously, and the final being decided just two hours after qualifying.

Ester Ledecka is the reigning champ and the hottest of favourites in the women’s event. She was the first athlete to compete in alpine skiing and snowboarding at an Olympics. She was also the first woman to win gold in two different disciplines at a Winter Olympics. This is her pet event. She was two seconds clear of anyone else in qualifying and appears to have a mortgage on the gold. Her stiffest competition is expected to come from Ramona Therasia Hosmeister (Germany), Daniela Ubling (Austria) and Ladina Jenny (Switzerland).

In the men’s competition, South Korea’s Lee Sangho was the fastest qualifier, while 22-year-old Russian Dmitri Loginov is looking to become the youngest man to win a medal in alpine snowboarding. I’ll be Loginov myself in about two hours. Sorry. To snare gold, he’ll have to top Benkamin Karl (Austria), Nevin Galmarini (Switzerland) and Zan Kosit (Slovenia).

Curling – Mixed Doubles

Great Britain 1 – Sweden 4

I have cursed the Brits. Half a second after pressing ‘go’ on that last update, the Swedes say ‘stuff you’ and unleash a 4 pointer!

Curling – Mixed Doubles

Bronze Medal Game

Great Britain 1 – Sweden 0

Thanks Beau, let’s kick off with some Curling, traditionally not my strong suit, but a crucial match nonetheless. At one point, the Brits were 4-2 the better of the husband and wife Norwegian pair. But Norway’s Kristin Skaslien had ice in her veins, and secured a berth in the big one. They’ll take on Italy, who gave Sweden a hiding, winning 8-1.

Early in proceedings, the Brits are up 1-0 but the Swedes have conditions to suit (so I’m assured).

Final: Canada 4-2 USA

Worth repeating: This game won’t decide the gold medal. Both teams should still easily advance to face each other again.

But you have to wonder if Ann Marie Desbiens and the shot-blocking Canadian defense are in the USA’s heads now. Desbiens made 51 saves. Someone surely counted the number of blocks, and it’ll be equally staggering.

And on that note -- all yours, Jonathan. Good night from the USA.

Quick look at the mailbag:

Sandra Weingart: “Cranky person is wrong. Quip away, especially if it’s snarky. Yes, I was watching Nathan Chen and the wonderful Jason Brown, who is extremely unlikely to medal but skates so beautifully, but its only 11 pm in the Mountain Time Zone and 10 out on the left coast, so the western half of America is still awake.”

Jason Brown’s program was beautiful. Without quads, he won’t medal, but he’s fun to watch.

Barbara Roden: “Cute quips’? Love them; keep them coming! We Canucks take our hockey a bit too seriously sometimes, and it’s fun to read something that doesn’t treat every international game involving a Canadian hockey team as if we’re at mission control trying to get Apollo 13 back to Earth safely.”

You should see what happens on US soccer Twitter when the men lose. (When the women lose, it’s always someone else’s fault or bad luck.)

US power play, 1:50 left.

At the end of this game, I’ll be handing off to Jonathan Horn, checking in from Australia.

2:40 left. Time to pull the goalie?

And a rugby game has broken out along the boards. American commentators often call such action a “scrum,” but it’s more accurately a “ruck.”

Still the same story -- plenty of US possession, no goal. 4:00 left.

This game is playing out a bit like the USA-Canada men’s soccer World Cup qualifier. The USA has the lion’s share of possession. But Canada’s defense is stout (six blocked shots on the last power play, by NBC’s count), their goalie makes the big save when necessary, and their counterattack is deadly.

The USA has outshot Canada 50-25. They’ve taken only two penalty minutes to Canada’s 10. And it’s still 4-2 Canada with 6:02 left.

Ann-Renee Desbiens scrambles to cover a loose puck.
Ann-Renee Desbiens scrambles to cover a loose puck. Photograph: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

There’s literally nothing going on right now, though the curling mixed doubles bronze-medal game between Sweden and Team GB will be starting soon. Greetings to all those waking up to watch across the Atlantic from me. The snowboard parallel giant slalom knockout rounds start soon after that. Cross-country skiing and biathlon are a couple of hours from now.

Meanwhile, the USA is outshooting Canada 10-3 in the third period.

Also, here’s my story asking whether women’s hockey can finally build a pro league in these two great women’s hockey countries.

And here’s a picture of famous Canadians on an American TV show.

Kids in the Hall members Mark McKinney and Dave Foley appearing in the show Superstore.
Kids in the Hall members Mark McKinney and Dave Foley appearing in the show Superstore. Photograph: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

From the email inbox: A nasty email telling me to knock off the biased coverage and cute quips and just write about the game. But don’t quote him or name him.

You’d think putting in a picture of Rush (my favorite band) and gushing about curling (my favorite sport -- I oversaw a rental at our club earlier today) would win me some Canadian cred. I also love Metric, July Talk, Kids in the Hall, Whistler (even though I can’t stay), and Canada’s health-care system. All that’s left is for me to apply for citizenship.

So anyway -- the USA is getting a couple of good shots, but former University of Wisconsin goalie Ann Renee Desbiens is having a monster game as usual.

And here are two Canadian colleagues for whom I have immense respect debating the merits of the penalty call.

It was a slash, but probably shouldn’t have been a penalty shot as she got a shot off.

— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) February 8, 2022

We’ve neglected one sport so far today, and it’s parallel giant slalom snowboarding.

Remember Ester Ledecka? The Czech skier/snowboarding pulled off a ridiculous feat in 2018, winning this event and the Alpine skiing super-G.

Let’s repeat. She won gold in snowboarding and Alpine skiing. That’s like winning bobsled and luge. Or cycling and ... I don’t know, rollerblading? They’re similar modes of transportation but not the same thing.

Today, she placed first in qualification for the parallel giant slalom knockout rounds that will take place later today/tonight.

South Korea’s Lee Sangho took the top spot in men’s qualification by a wide margin.

Ester Ledecka gets around a gate.
Ester Ledecka gets around a gate. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

End 2nd period: Canada 4-2 USA

Is it time for curling yet?

Goal! Canada 3-2 USA (Rattray 34:25)

If Canada scores a goal while all Americans who are still awake are watching Nathan Chen, did it really happen?

Goal to Jamie Lee Rattray, assists to Natalie Spooner and Micah Zandee-Hart.

But the US took revenge by ... whacking Canadian referee Cianna Lieffers in the face. Accidental, of course, but the high stick gets under the referee’s face mask, and bleeding ensues.

Then Canada and the referees get revenge by ... awarding a penalty shot after goalie Maddie Rooney stopped a shorthanded breakaway. Whatever. Marie-Philip Poulin scores, and Canadian Twitter reacts as if it’s the Miracle on Ice.

Goal! Canada 4-2 USA (Poulin 37:25, penalty shot)

If you’re wondering why a Canada-USA game has three referees from Canada and two linespeople from the USA, well, join the club. Sure, it’s a relatively meaningless game, but isn’t this still the Olympics? This isn’t their exhibition tour any more, is it? Does no other country in the world have referees?

Referee Cianna Lieffers tries to stop the bleeding.
Referee Cianna Lieffers tries to stop the bleeding. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

World record: Nathan Chen

The American scored 113.97, the best ever recorded. Granted, the current scoring system has only been in place for a few years, but it’s still something else.

(Yes, Canada, I see you just scored another goal. Give me a minute.)

Chen got an unreal 21.21 score on his quad lutz-triple toeloop combination. He also had a quad flip worth 15.40. His component scores were all over 9.5 except “transitions,” which was 9.39.

As he finished, he gritted his teeth to bring home the final spin and exulted when the music finished.

Nathan Chen is one happy skater.
Nathan Chen is one happy skater. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Goal! Canada 1-2 USA (Carpenter 31:34)

The veteran scores from nearly the same spot as Cameranesi.

Goal! Canada 2-2 USA (Jenner 32:00)

The US defense gives away the puck in their own third. Sarah Nurse snares it and flips it over Brianne Jenner, who easily rips it straight ahead for the equalizer.

Dani Cameranesi nets the first US goal.
Dani Cameranesi nets the first US goal. Photograph: David W Černý/Reuters


He has done everything in figure skating except winning an individual Olympic medal. He just took a giant step toward changing that with a short program that included a staggeringly difficult quad lutz-triple toeloop.

We’ll get the score after noting another goal in hockey.

Goal! Canada 1-1 USA (Cameranesi 29:17)

The second period has been more event in terms of shots after the USA dominated play in the first, but the Americans are on the board thanks to Dani Cameranesi pouncing on her own rebound to blast it into the net from an acute angle. Assists to Kelly Panek and Cayla Barnes.

The goal comes just as American Nathan Chen takes to the ice for his short program ...

Whoa. Japan’s Yuma Kagiyama just brought the house down in the short program. Skating to an ebullient Michael Buble tune (Johnny Weir calls his musical choices “pedestrian,” a rare case in which I’ll disagree), his fast spins defy physical comprehension. His technical score bests Uno, and his component scores are through the roof.

Total: 108.12. First for now.

Canada’s Keegan Messing was stuck in Vancouver for a week after a positive Covid test. He was finally cleared in Canada and had to fly through Montreal and Milan to Beijing, where he was cleared to compete barely one full day before the short program.

He nailed his quad toeloop-triple toeloop combination at the beginning of his routine but faded on his spins near the end. He’ll finish the short program in the top 10, well placed to improve upon his 12th-place finish in 2018.

Keegan Messing shows no sign of jet lag after his short program.
Keegan Messing shows no sign of jet lag after his short program. Photograph: Bernat Armangué/AP

Apologies for neglecting Australia’s Brendan Kerry in the figure skating. He’s currently 12th and will easily qualify for the free skate.

Australia is also represented musically here, with Canada’s Keegan Messing skating to a cover of the INXS classic Never Tear Us Apart.

Brendan Kerry spins in the short program.
Brendan Kerry spins in the short program. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Gold! Matthias Mayer (AUT) repeats in super-G

Mayer has never claimed a World Cup season title in super-G, downhill or overall, nor has he reached the podium in the World Cup. But in the Olympics? Downhill gold in 2014. Super-G gold in 2018. Downhill bronze yesterday. Super-G gold today.

Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde has his first Olympic medal, a bronze, to go with his overall World Cup title in 2020 and possible super-G and downhill titles this season.

But the man you’ll see on all the talk shows is Ryan Cochran-Siegle, the American journeyman who came out of nowhere to take silver 50 years after his mother won slalom gold -- also in Asia (Sapporo, Japan).

Skiing looked a little different 50 years ago when Barbara Cochran won the Olympic slalom (NBC broadcast/Getty).

— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 8, 2022

End 1st period: Canada 1-0 USA

The US women have dominated, but their one penalty was costly in this Massive Game That Doesn’t Actually Matter in the Long Run.

Canada’s Brianne Jenner scores a power-play goal.
Canada’s Brianne Jenner scores a power-play goal. Photograph: Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Defending figure skating champion Yuzuru Hanyu has put himself in a big hole, pulling out of his first jump. He stands fourth with seven skaters left.

Fellow Japanese skater Shoma Uno, the defending silver medalist, put a hand down on the ice but still posted a personal-best 105.46. The rest of the program was just that strong.

GOAL! Canada 1-0 USA (Jenner 14:10)

A cross-check by the USA’s Caroline Harvey gives Canada a power play, and Brianne Jenner lofts a close-range shot into the top of the net.

That’s Canada’s third shot. The USA has 14.


It’s all USA right now, with Abbey Murphy’s backhander hitting the post, hitting Canadian goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens’s back, then hitting the post again.

The USA has outshot Canada 11-2.

An overhead view of the action at the Canadian goal.
An overhead view of the action at the Canadian goal. Photograph: David W Černý/Reuters

USA-Canada women’s hockey is underway.

One of the surest thing in the Winter Olympics is that these two teams will face off in the final. Due to idiosyncratic formatting, they also play in the round robin.

An organist is playing the Rush classic The Spirit of Radio, which the Canadians should appreciate.

Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, drummer Neil Peart and bassist/singer Geddy Lee in 1978, two years before recording The Spirit of Radio.
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, drummer Neil Peart and bassist/singer Geddy Lee in 1978, two years before recording The Spirit of Radio. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

EDIT: Nope. Seger’s out.

One more of the top 30 to come. He’s Mila Hrobat of Slovenia, who has never come close to the top 10.

And he won’t ...

And he’s out.

The podium is roughly 99.9% certain.

France’s Blaise Giezendanner seems to be making a good run at the podium until sailing too far off a jump. He’s stable when he lands but just doesn’t look the same, losing speed the rest of the way.

Two of the top 30 are still to come. Canada’s Brodie Seger has never finished higher than 13th in a World Cup race but took an improbable fourth in last year’s world championship. Can he overachieve again?

Jansrud is nowhere close to the podium. In fact, he’s last among the 18 finishers.

We can almost declare the podium complete. Coming into this race, we figured the only American interest would be Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who’s dating Mikaela Shiffrin and therefore could be awarded kind-of sort-of American status. He’s on the podium as expected.

Austria’s Matthias Mayer is the defending champion, and he has racked up World Cup podium finishes this season. No surprise that he’s leading.

The big story, as detailed in too many stats below, is Ryan Cochran-Siegle.

If you’re writing a Cinderella story, what’s the opposite of midnight? The clock is about to strike, and when it does, he stays at the ball forever.

All in the family.

These Games for Ryan Cochran-Siegle mark the sixth Olympiad for the U.S.’s most famous alpine skiing family. #WinterOlympics

— Team USA (@TeamUSA) February 7, 2022

Ryan Cochran-Siegle 💪

Doing Vermont proud! ⛷

— Vermont Green FC (@VermontGreenFC) February 8, 2022

France’s Nils Allegre just won the award for “most entertaining run of the first 27 skiers,” which I just made up. He was all but splayed out across the snow but managed to regain his footing and take a wild path through the next two gates and finish on his feet. Bravo.

Back at figure skating ...

The penultimate group is getting underway in the men’s short program. This is where the big-time skaters start.

95.76 Evgeni Semenenko (ROC)
93.00 Kevin Aymoz (FRA)
90.98 Jin Boyang (CHN)

Have to flip back to super-G. Here comes Jansrud, trying to turn back the clock in multiple ways ...

How unlikely would a Cochran-Siegle medal be?

The 29-year-old American has been no better than 11th in any world championship or Olympic competition.

He has never finished higher than 10th in any discipline in the World Cup season standings.

He has two podium finishes in World Cup races, both in December 2020, when he finished second in a downhill and won a super-G.

His best finish this season is fourth, though he does have a total of five top 10s.

And he’s in position for Olympic silver.

Quick wire report on the women’s freestyle skiing big air. It doesn’t mention the scoring controversy.

ANOTHER Austrian skis offs the court. Max Franz is out.

The intriguing name left on the start list is Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud. He won this event in 2014 and took bronze in 2018. He also has one super-G win this year. Twenty skiers have gone. He’s No. 24.

Trivia time:

American Ryan Cochran-Siegle skis into second place and is likely to stay there, 50 years after his mom won Olympic slalom gold. In 2018, the U.S. men's Alpine team went medal-less for the first time in 20 years.

— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 8, 2022

The next two to go in the super-G:

Canada’s James Crawford has a good run going but makes a late mistake and loses a lot of time.

Italy’s Christoph Innerhofer goes out of control and skids away.

Next, two dangerous Austrians in Raphael Haaser and Max Franz.

OK, never mind on Haaser. He got into the air on an early jump and landed on the wrong side of a gate.

Current podium in the men’s super-G ...

1:19.94 Matthias Mayer (AUT)
+0.04 Ryan Cochran-Siegle (USA)
+0.42 Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR)

Sixteen skiers are done. If this holds through the next four skiers, the excitement may really take hold among that trio.

US skier Ryan Cochran-Siegle is 0.09 seconds ahead of Mayer at the first split. Then 0.01 behind, then 0.14 seconds ahead! Will we see a massive upset?

Not quite, BUT he’s on the podium for now! What a huge run by the unheralded American!

Still to come, though: downhill champion Beat Feuz and a couple of Austrians.

Oops ... Feuz misses a gate.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle takes flight.
Ryan Cochran-Siegle takes flight. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Austria’s Matthias Mayer is one of the biggest threats to Kilde’s position atop the podium. He won this event in 2018. He won the downhill in 2014. He’s third in the super-G standings this year, and No. 2 Marco Odermatt has already gone and didn’t finish.

Mayer is just 0.11 seconds behind at the first split time, but he drops to 0.24 back at the second. As he goes through the unique canyon section, he ..


That may be your winner, and who knows how he did it?

Over to men’s super-G ...

And it’s one extreme to another, as Tess Ledeux sobs after taking silver but Norway’s Adrian Smiseth Sejersted is yelling “Yeah! ... Yeah! ... Yeah! ...” after moving into ... second, behind fellow Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.

Kilde is the favorite, ranking first in the downhill and super-G on this year’s World Cup circuit.

(And yes, he’s the one dating Mikaela Shiffrin.)

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is pumped.
Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is pumped. Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

Here’s the breakdown, and this is why I disagree with the judges ...

Gu and Ledeux each landed a 1440. Gu got 93.75; Ledeux 93.00. Two of the six judges rated the jumps equally. The other four gave the nod to Gu.

Gu and Ledeux also each landed a 1620. That’s amazing. They each got a 94.50.

But from what I recall, Ledeux’s landing on her 1620 was considerably better than Gu’s.

Is it possible that the judges were swayed by the home crowd’s reaction? This is an outdoor venue, and several sections of the stands are nearly full.

Again -- I’m no expert. But I’m not convinced.

And apparently, I’m not alone.

Tess #Ledeux peut être fière, vice-championne olympique du Big Air. La classe. Elle était favorite, elle a assumé. La Chinoise Eileen Gu était très forte, et peut-être un peu surnotée à domicile. La Française est en larmes, mais que regretter ? 👏🥈🇨🇵 #Beijing2022

— Maxime Battistella (@MaximeBatt) February 8, 2022
Tess Ledeux shows her disappointment.
Tess Ledeux shows her disappointment. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Gold! Eileen Gu (CHN) wins the freestyle skiing big air

I’m no expert, but I disagree.

Ledeux’s third jump didn’t get it done. She landed on one ski, which is only appropriate in the film Better Off Dead. She knew it, and she looks glum as she awaits confirmation. That’s unusual in X Games-ish sports, where the athletes often celebrate each other’s successes as much as their own. She collapses in tears and is consoled by her fellow medalists.

Mathilde Gremaud is going for a ... didn’t I say I was going to mute if they said that again? Anyway, she doesn’t land it, and she’ll take bronze.

One more to go, and Tess Ledeux has to land her third jump of 93 or better. Specifically, 94.

By my math, Gu needs to match her first jump of 93.75 to tie Ledeux, pending the leader’s last jump. An 89 would put her in second.

Gu screams after she lands a 1620. I thought she bobbled on the landing and let go of the grab too soon. The judges disagreed or just didn’t care. It’s a 94.50, and she’s in the lead.

Gremaud needs a ... 95?

No medal for Muir, who needed a score in the 90s and probably wasn’t going to get it even if she hadn’t crashed. She’ll finish fifth. Not bad for a 17-year-old. Not bad for anyone, really.

Canada’s Megan Oldham doesn’t quite do enough to land on the podium.

So we know our medalists -- Eileen Gu (China), Mathilde Gremaud (Switzerland) and Tess Ledeux (France). What order?

Defending slopestyle champion Sarah Hoefflin of Switzerland departs the big air competition with a respectable final run of 76.25. She’ll finish sixth.

Now we’ll have the top five, starting with one Kirsty Muir ...

And back to the big air -- the skiers go in reverse order of their two-jump scores in the last round, and those who are out of contention are having some fun. Norway’s Sandra Eie landed upright at last. The USA’s Darian Stevens did not, going for a 5000 septuple cork inverted stalefish meat-grinder scrum-half flippy floppy and bouncing up with a big smile and shrug after failing to finish it on her skis.

Canada’s Olivia Asselin picks up an 85.50 and may jump up in the final standings.

Back to the figure skating, Nikolaj Majorov has qualified for the free skate! We can only hope it’s half as entertaining as his short program.

Jin Boyang is still leading by quite some distance. Twenty skaters to go.

China’s Jin Boyang in the midst of a command performance for the host nation.
China’s Jin Boyang in the midst of a command performance for the host nation. Photograph: How Hwee Young/EPA

France’s Tess Ledeux spun like a top in the air to post a 93.00, just behind her first jump of 94.50 for a total of 187.50. Top two count, so she’ll need to go bigger than 93 to improve on that, but she might not need to.

Canada’s Megan Oldham slots into fourth ahead of Kirsty Muir, who will need to be more aggressive on her last jump to get onto the podium.

Standings after two jumps
187.50 Ledeux (FRA)
182.50 Gremaud (SUI)
182.25 Gu (CHN)
174.25 Oldham (CAN)
169.00 Muir (GBR)
146.25 Killi (NOR)

In related news, if I hear “she’s going big” one more time from our commentators, I’m hitting mute. Not a mute grab. Mute.

World champion Anastasia Tatalina is mathematically eliminated from gold medal contention in the big air after a big crash. She’s unhurt but upset.

Norway’s Sandra Eie has now accounted for the other two crashes. That’s gotta hurt.

Sandra Eie kicks up clumps of snow as she crashes.
Sandra Eie kicks up clumps of snow as she crashes. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Eileen Gu has moved into second place ahead of Muir, which seems strange to me because she just didn’t do that much in the air. Big amplitude, sure, but the ski jumps are elsewhere.

Here’s another look at this postmodern facility.

Kirsty Muir going OFF 💥

Big Air Shougang doesn’t disappoint, stunning venue! #FreestyleSkiing #TeamGB

— Tom Harle at #Beijing2022 ❄️ (@TomHarleSB) February 8, 2022

Kirsty Muir’s second jump is less, um, rotational than her first one, going 900 instead of 1280. But it’s as clean as a new sheet on a lint roller, and she’s rewarded with a strong 78.75, far better than the first five to go. Skiers must have two scores with different rotational directions, and she opted to go conservative with this one.

She’s bumped out of the top spot by Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud.

The first crash of the big air event belongs to Norway’s Sandra Eie, who seemed to have a bit of a hiccup on the takeoff and just didn’t have enough hang time to do whatever she was attempting. She’s OK.

World champion Anastasia Tatalina of Not Russia has a sketchy landing.

But then France’s Tess Ledeux lands a double cork 1620, the equivalent of a quad axel in figure skating. She takes the lead from Gu.

Canada’s Megan Oldham, who posted the top score in qualifying, is a little less sensation this time.

Reminder: Three jumps, top two count.

Standings after one jump
94.50 Ledeux (FRA)
93.75 Gu (CHN)
90.25 Muir (GBR)
89.25 Gremaud (SUI)

Scratch that, Killi has the lead no more, because 17-year-old Team GB skier Kirsty Muir landed a beautiful double cork (off axis) 1260 to score 90.25.

Two athletes later, it’s China and Stanford’s Eileen Gu, who has dominated this event internationally this year. She holds up at the top of the ramp for a very long time, then swerves down the ramp and ... one, two, three, four rotations? Apparently so. Four times 360 is 1440, so that’s what that is.

That’s a 93.75, bumping Muir to second place.

Meanwhile, in figure skating, the Zamboni has finished.

Canada’s Olivia Asselin has landed the best of the first five jumps in the freestyle skiing big air final. That is according to ... me. But I’m not a judge, so she’s actually fourth. The USA’s Darian Stevens does worse. Apparently something about not holding a grab long enough.

Norway’s Johanne Killi has the lead.

The big air venue, which sits next to a big power plant, is one or all of these things ...

1. A cool use of an urban landscape.

2. A dystopian nightmare.

3. A revised cover for the Pink Floyd album Animals.

Big air training.
Big air training. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

China’s Jin Boyang displaces Nikolaj Majorov atop the figure skating leaderboard by landing a couple of big quads. Boooo!

Nah, he earned it.

Quick reminder that the women’s freestyle skiing big air final starts in 10 minutes, with the USA’s Darian Stevens, Canada’s Megan Oldham and Britain’s Kirsty Muir in the final 12.

The favorite is China’s Eileen Gu, who grew up in San Francisco and has deferred admission to Stanford University but has opted to compete for her mother’s home country.

Kirsty Muir practices before the big air final.
Kirsty Muir practices before the big air final. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA


Switzerland’s Luka Britschgi lands a quad but can’t catch Majorov.

The goal for a lot of these early skaters is to finish in the top 24 so they get to do a free skate in two days. Thirty skaters entered, but we’re down to 29 due to Vincent Zhou’s unfortunate exit.

Incidentally, Majorov’s “interpretation of the music” score was a mere 7.61, because figure skating judges are terrible.

Well, that was pretty good. Majorov doesn’t plan a quad jump, but his triples are smooth, except for one. He emotes with the music about as well as anyone you’ll see in figure skating.

While we’re talking about that -- why do so few figure skaters do anything that relates to the music? So many routines could easily be replaced by Cowboy Mouth singing Jenny Says, and it’d be the same, just louder.

Anyway, Majorov does one gymnastics-style half-cartwheel thing on one hand that you don’t usually see in this sport. By the time he’s done, he has already burst into tears of joy.

I think I have a new favorite figure skater.

Sweden’s Nikolaj Majorov brings the emotion.
Sweden’s Nikolaj Majorov brings the emotion. Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

The good news for Canadian Roman Sadovsky is that he didn’t fall. The bad news is that he didn’t fall because he didn’t do a couple of his planned jumps. Spins looked nice, though. He also wiped his nose on his hand several times, so if you see him in Beijing, maybe avoid the fist bump for now.

On to Majorov ...

You can tell Nikolaj Majorov is excited about being in Beijing.

#better together with coca-cola#

— Nikolaj Majorov (@nikolaj_majorov) February 1, 2022

He’s up second tonight after Canada’s Roman Sadovsky, who struggled in the team event.

Kurt Perleberg asks, “Why was Day 3 so bad for Team USA?”

I don’t know, so I’ll just blame Christian Pulisic.

Ten minutes to the men’s short program, and the most interesting performance in the early going may belong to Sweden’s Nikolaj Majorov. Not because he’s a contender, but because he’s skating to Disturbed’s cover of The Sounds of Silence.

The post-Covid pre-race race: US speed skater Casey Dawson is finishing a mad dash to get to his event on time later today.

Finally! Casey Dawson has just landed in Beijing!!! Now it all comes down to how soon he can get the results of his COVID test! The 1500M is about 11 hrs away! #getcaseytobeijing #WinterGames #Olympics2022

— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) February 7, 2022

But what about Team GB? First up is Kirsty Muir in the big air final. The mixed doubles curlers play for bronze against Sweden, and there are cross-country sprinters and one speed skater as the day goes on.

But what about Australia? Day 3 was quiet. Day 4 will be a bit more interesting, with Brendan Kerry due up in figure skating and a bunch of cross-country skiers ready to sprint at 3 am Eastern time, which I believe is March 2039 in Australia. (More precisely, it’ll be 7 pm.)

To tide you over until then, here are your medalists ..

Tess Coady poses with her slopestyle bronze medal next to Jakara Anthony and her moguls gold.
Tess Coady poses with her slopestyle bronze medal next to Jakara Anthony and her moguls gold. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/EPA

Hello all, and to my fellow Americans, condolences on a not-so-good horrible Day 3. From Mikaela Shiffrin wiping out to Red Gerard just missing out on another slopestyle medal to Brittany Bowe finishing 10th to most women’s freestyle skiers missing out in qualification ... yeah, it wasn’t a very good day.

And even the good news, silver in the figure skating team event, had a dark lining, with Vincent Zhou taking his team medal as consolation after a Covid test ruled him out of the individual competition.

Farther north, Canada had a simply outstanding day, with two medals in the slopestyle, one in short-track speed skating and the stunner, a bronze in the mixed team ski jumping event. That event was marred by controversy, because when you think “controversial Winter Olympic sport,” you of course think “ski jumping.”

But the USA! USA! USA! will have its shot at revenge against Canada in women’s hockey, where the two teams have combined to win nearly every gold and silver medal since the dawn of time. There’s little at stake here other than an infinitesimally easier path to the final, but they don’t do “friendly” in this rivalry.

The USA also will have Nathan Chen in the men’s short program figure skating and Darian Stevens as the last woman standing in freestyle big air. If you’re staying up all night, you can see Jessie Diggins, whose sprint for gold was one of the most exhilarating moments of the 2018 Games, trying to capture another medal in the individual sprint.

Today’s highlights

Times are all in local Beijing time. For Sydney it is +3 hours, for London it is -8 hours, for New York it is -13 hours and San Francisco is -16 hours.

  • 10am Freestyle skiing – another new event as it is the first ever Olympic women’s Freeski Big Air contest 🥇
  • 10.40am – 3.43pm Snowboard – both the men’s and women’s parallel giant slalom will be decided today 🥇
  • 11am Alpine skiing – the men’s Super-G 🥇
  • 12.10pm and 4.40pm and 9.10pm Ice hockey – the day opens with the US and Canada clashing in the preliminary round. Both countries are guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals but will be wanting to lay down a marker 🏒
  • 2.05pm and 8.05pm Curling – the bronze medal match and then the final in the mixed doubles could deliver Team GB’s first medal of the Games 🥇
  • 4pm – 8pm Cross-country skiing – the women’s and men’s sprint free competition runs all afternoon and into the early evening in Beijing 🥇
  • 4.30pm Biathlon – today it is the turn of the men to do their 20km individual race 🥇
  • 6.30pm Speed skating – on Tuesday the men race in the 1,500m🥇
  • 7.50pm and 9.35pm Luge – runs three and four of the women’s singles will decide the medals 🥇

The full schedule, which will automatically update for your timezone, can be found here.


Adam Collins, Jonathan Horn, Beau Dure and Luke McLaughlin

The GuardianTramp

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