Winter Olympics 2022 officially closes; Norway tops medal table, Germany second
The Winter Olympics 2022 which commenced on February 4 came to an end on February 20 with the country Norway securing the top position on the medal table. With this winter Olympics, Beijing became the first-ever city to host both the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics.
Following all the Covid-19 measures, after 16 days and 109 events, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics officially ended with the traditional closing ceremony. The main row between the China officials and Russia was over the doping case of Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva. Although there were concerns and doubts regarding Valieva’s competition in the Winter Olympics, the events she participated in were not got disrupted and she was allowed to take part in events.
In the closing ceremony, The International Olympic Committee(IOC) president and the mayor of Beijing handed over the Olympic flag to the mayors of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy, which will host the 2026 Winter Games.
A small, but enthusiastic, group of spectators sat in the stands at Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium during the bitterly cold night in the host city. Some did the wave and cheerfully waved the Chinese flag while waiting for the night’s festivities to start.
The Scandinavian country, Norway which has proven its proficiency in Winter Olympics, this time tops the medal table with 16 gold, 8 bronze, and 13 bronze medals. Overall, the record for a country in a single Winter Games ended a persistent display of multisport dominance by Norwegian athletes, which outperformed their rivals Russia, Germany, Canada, and the United States in a country of five million people.
The second position is for Germany, with 12 gold, 10 silver, and 5 bronze. China is in the third position with 9 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze. The fourth position was secured by the USA scoring overall 8 gold medals. Norway showed variety by winning in sports like ski jumping, Nordic combined, speedskating, cross-country, and freestyle skiing.
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Interestingly, the first and last medal for Norway was secured by the same athlete named Therese Johaug. He captured the Games’ first gold in the women’s skiathlon on the day after the opening ceremony and a final one in the women’s 30-kilometer freestyle race hours before the closing ceremony. “It was an amazing game for the whole team in Norway,” Johaug said during the closing ceremony.
However, there were political talks ahead of the games, with several countries staging a diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights record, and the specter of invasion of Ukraine by Russia, with President Vladimir Putin attending the opening ceremony in a show of solidarity against the West with Xi.