The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are underway


Ben Papke

The American flag hanging in the West gymnasium.

Ben Papke and Graham Murphy

On February 4, 2022, the Beijing Winter Olympics began with 84 countries participating with hopes to bring these nations together.

These are the second games that have happened since the start of the pandemic, and there are a lot of restrictions. With these COVID-19 restrictions in place, the 2022 Winter Games are facing difficulties. 

Participants have to take a PCR COVID-19 test daily. If an athlete tests positive they have to go into isolation until they test negative and many have complained about poor conditions in isolation. “From an Olympic athlete’s perspective it puts extra on their plate for training and preparing,” West PE and health teacher, Mr. Wells said.

All participants have to be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arriving in Beijing to avoid having to quarantine. Anybody who isn’t vaccinated has to be quarantined in Beijing for 21 days before they enter the games. 

There have been a lot of medals awarded at the games since their start in 1896. Most of which have gone to the United States (2,960), the Soviet Union (1,204), and Germany (1,056).  

The most popular sport is figure skating with 53% of American women and 29% of men following it throughout the course of the Olympics. The second most popular sport is ski jumping with 35% of men following it and 30% of women following. “I like the halfpipe for both male and female, snowboarding, and what I’ve taken interest in is the skeleton, or the bobsled,” Wells said. 

Wells said he always likes to root for the underdogs and smaller countries with fewer participants. He also said he likes to root for his home country, of course, the USA. 

 The next Winter Olympics will take place in 2026 in Italian cities, Milan and Cortina.