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2022 Winter Olympics: Diggins wins silver ahead of Closing Ceremony


That’s a wrap on the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The U.S. went out with a bang this week, as the U.S. women’s hockey team took home silver on Day 13, both American figure skating pairs advanced in the short program on Day 14 and American Elana Meyers Taylor continued her historic run in these Games with another medal in the two-woman bobsled on Day 15

On Day 16, cross-country skier Jessie Diggins brought home silver for the U.S. in the women’s 30-km mass start event, while Mikaela Shiffrin made history by becoming just the second woman to compete in six Alpine skiing events at a Winter Olympics (Petra Vlhova, 2018) with her participation in the mixed team parallel event.

Norway finished on top in these Games, leading all countries with 37 total medals, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee with 32 — pending an investigation into ROC figure skater Kamila Valieva.

The U.S. finished fifth with 24 medals — eight gold, nine silver and seven bronze — behind Germany’s 27 and Canada’s 26. In terms of gold medals, the U.S. finished tied for fourth with Sweden and the Netherlands, behind Norway (16), Germany (12) and China (nine). 

Here are some of the top moments and highlights from the Closing Ceremony and Day 16:

Closing Ceremony

Over the past 16 days, the Beijing Games celebrated the beauty of winter sports and the athletes striving for excellence. These men and women were honored with a spectacular Closing Ceremony on Sunday. 

American bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor — who became the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history on Saturday after winning the bronze medal in the two-woman bobsled — served as the U.S.’s designated flag bearer.

Just like that, the 2022 Winter Games were officially declared closed.

Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan, cross-country skiing

Diggins and Brennan, along with Sophie Laukli and Novie McCabe, represented the U.S. in the women’s 30-km mass start event on Sunday morning Beijing time (10 p.m. ET Saturday) ahead of the Closing Ceremony.

As things got underway at the Zhangjiakou National Cross-Country Skiing Centre, Brennan led all Americans after the first checkpoint (1.3-km mark) in sixth place. At the next checkpoint, the 2.9-km mark, Diggins jumped 14 spots from 17th to third, while Brennan dropped one spot to seventh. From the third checkpoint forward, both women stayed in the top six.

In the end, Diggins finished in second place before cross-country skiing star Therese Johaug of Norway, who took home gold, finishing 1:43.3 clear of Diggins. 

This is Diggins’ second medal of these Games after her monumental bronze-medal finish in the individual sprint free final scored the United States’ first women’s individual cross-country sprint medal. 

Team USA, Alpine skiing

Wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour returned to the Yanqing Alpine Skiing Center on Saturday, forcing the postponement of the mixed team parallel slalom competition. It was the second Alpine skiing event of these Winter Olympics to be postponed due to unsafe wind conditions after the men’s downhill was also pushed, but thankfully, the event was cleared to take place after the weather lightened up in Beijing. 

In the first round of competition, the 1/8 Finals, the U.S. topped Slovakia 3-1 thanks to strong runs from Shiffrin, River Radmus and Paula Moltzan. 

The U.S. came out on top once again in the ensuing round, the 1/4 Finals, topping Italy 3-1. Radmus, Moltzan and Tommy Ford won their races, while Shiffrin was just short — 0.02 seconds behind Italy’s Marta Bassino.

The American squad went head-to-head with Germany in the 1/2 Finals, where it fell 3-1. The U.S. came up short when facing Norway for the bronze medal.

Team USA, bobsled

Two American teams were neck-and-neck after the first two rounds of the 4-man bobsled event. Hunter Church stood in 13th, 1.61 seconds from first; while Frank Del Duca was 0.21 seconds behind in 15th. 

On Sunday morning in Beijing (8:30 p.m. ET Saturday), Church and Del Duca finished 11th and 15th, respectively, in the third heat. The 20 best sleds make it to the fourth and final heat, where Church finished 10th overall and Del Duca finished tied for 13th. 

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