The Winter Olympics


Kate Sandidge

   The Winter Olympics this year were amazing as always, albeit slightly controversial. There were many records broken and first time gold winners!

   The overall winner for most medals goes to Norway with 37 total medals, followed by the Russian Olympic Committee with 32, and Germany with 27. Norway is also in first for most gold medals with 16, followed by Germany and China with 12 and 9 respectively. The United States got 25 medals total, 8 of which were gold. The Olympics handed out over 300 medals in total.

   Besides the many medals, multiple records were broken. Nathan Chen of the US broke the world record for highest short program figure skating score with 113.97. Ireen Wüs of the Netherlands became the first athlete to win an individual gold medal at five different Olympic games at the age of 35. She also became the oldest speed skater to win gold in the Olympics. Lastly, Kaishu Hirano of Japan got the highest snowboarding backside air trick with a height of more than 44 feet at its highest, which is higher than a three story house. 

   While these Olympics were incredibly interesting, they were also clouded by controversy. Fifteen year old Russian skater Kamila Valieva tested positive for a banned drug in a drug test taken during December. This was revealed roughly midway through the competition. Olympic officials tried hard to find a correct punishment because, as a 15 year old, she could not be charged with doping, as you must be at least 16 to be charged. Olympic officials eventually allowed her to compete, but would cancel the medal ceremony if she medaled. Despite being allowed to compete, the pressure of the scandal got to Valieva’s head and she placed 4th in the women’s individual program after fumbling multiple jumps and falling at one point during her program. Despite this, her two fellow Russian skaters Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova took gold and silver respectively with Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto taking bronze. The women’s individual competition was definitely a night to go down in Olympic history.

   These Olympics were a wild ride and we just can’t wait for 2024 when the Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, France!