The 2022 Beijing Olympics was definitely one for the history books. The United States finished with twenty-five medals overall, including eight gold, ten silver, and seven bronze. In the history of the winter games, only Norway has more gold and total medals overall, according to The Sporting News.
With names like figure-skating star Nathan Chen winning gold and snowboarding legend Chloe Kim being the first woman to win two gold medals in the halfpipe, there are many highlights from the winter games. Here are the eight US gold medalists from the 2022 Olympics!
Alex Hall – Freestyle Skiing
Alex Hall won the gold medal in freestyle skiing for the men’s slopestyle. It was Hall’s second Olympics and his first-ever medal. He took a huge risk in his first run, going in the opposite direction of his fellow competitors.
Hall perfected what’s known as a “pretzel” where he started his spin in one direction and then in midair twisted back towards the other direction to complete a 900 rotation. He scored a 90.1 which no other skier could top for the rest of the competition, winning him his first gold medal.
Kaillie Humphries – Bobsled
Kaillie Humphries is the world’s most successful female bobsled driver and came into Beijing as the most decorated woman in bobsled history. However, this was Humphries’s first Olympics for Team USA, having represented Canada in the last three games. She took home the gold, making her the first Olympic monobob champion.
Humphries completed four runs in only 4 minutes, 19.27 seconds. Humphries had multiple history-making moments in these games, becoming the first woman to win three gold medals in bobsledding. On top of that, with this win, she also became the first woman to win Olympic gold medals for two different countries(per Sports Illustrated). When she crossed the finish line, she jumped from her sled and threw an American flag in the air, chanting “USA!”
Erin Jackson – Speed Skating
Erin Jackson had another ground-breaking performance in the 2022 Olympics. Jackson’s win in the women’s 500m speed skating brought her first medal but was far more significant than just that. With this win, she became the first Black woman to win an Olympic speedskating medal!
Jackson sped past both Japan’s Takagi Miho (37.12) and Russia’s Angelina Golikova (37.21) for a time of 37.04. The victory also put an end to a US gold medal drought in speedskating, with the nation’s last being in the 2010 Olympics. This story is even more inspiring as her teammate and longtime friend Brittany Bowe actually relinquished her spot to Jackson after Jackson fell during the Olympic trials and only placed third, as reported by NBC Sports. The story is one that won’t soon be forgotten and ended positively for all involved.
Lindsey Jacobellis & Nick Baumgartner – Snowboarding
Lindsey Jacobellis and Nick Baumgartner won the gold for the Olympics’ first mixed team snowboard cross event. The win gave Baumgartner his first medal in his four Olympic appearances and Jacobellis her second win in Beijing. Winter Olympics fans always enjoy the snowboarding events and in addition, of the many Olympic sports video games, the very best, Steep: Road To The Olympics, is based on snowboarding.
In this event, teams compete relay-style. The men set off down the course first before the women follow with their start times staggered. The men were extremely close, not giving Jacobellis much leeway. She fell into third but eventually cut past the others and she won by two-tenths of a second. The team showed that they weren’t being slowed down by their age and were still dominant in the sport.
Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Lillis & Justin Schoenefeld – Freestyle Skiing
The trio of Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Lillis, and Justin Schoenefeld won gold in the freestyle skiing mixed-team aerials. They made history as the first medalists for the mixed-team aerials. They scored a total of 338.34, beating out China. Plenty of celebrities showed their reactions to the 2022 Olympics, including celebrating Caldwell, Lillis, and Schoenefeld’s impressive win.
Lillis made a huge run and incredible jump for the team in the finals. He did a difficult back double full-full-double full jump with a score of 135.00 and Caldwell got an 88.86 with her back full full full jump. Schoenefeld rounded out the Americans’ run with his back double full full full with a score of 114.48. They all had amazing performances that led the team to their historical gold medal victory.
Nathan Chen – Figure Skating
Fans love to watch impressive figure skaters and some of the best Olympic movies ever made are based on it. Everyone was anticipating this performance and Nathan Chen did not disappoint. With incredible expectations on his shoulders, Chen exceeded them with his routine that blew the judges away. He now holds the world record with his final score of 332.60. Chen’s performances are always top-notch and deserve recognition.
Not only was this Chen’s first career gold medal in the men’s singles competition, but he also became the first Asian American to win in men’s figure skating at the Olympics (per NBC News). He is one of the most popular figure skaters in the world and this performance no doubt will keep him in that standing.
Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
Chloe Kim defended her superstar status by winning her second gold medal in the women’s halfpipe. In the 2018 Olympics, Chen became the youngest woman ever to win an Olympic snowboarding gold medal at age 17. She reclaimed her star status this year by winning her second gold at only 21.
Chen is the only woman snowboarder to win two golds in the halfpipe, according to CNBC. Her first run was sensational and earned her a top score of 94 which was 3.75 points better than the second-place finisher. She has plenty of years to continue winning gold and would be a great subject or interviewee for a documentary about the Olympics one day.
Lindsey Jacobellis – Snowboarding
Lindsey Jacobellis had an incredible time at the Olympics this year. Not only did she win gold with the mixed-team snowboard cross with Baumgartner, but she finally claimed her long-waited gold in women’s snowboarding. Jacobellis was the US’s first gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Jacobellis’ win was at least sixteen years in the making for the thirty-six-year-old and was her first Olympic medal since 2006. She is the most decorated women’s snowboard cross racer of all time (per USA Today), and she finally got her well-deserved gold medal not once but twice in the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
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