BEIJING (AP) – The latest news on the Beijing Winter Olympics:
The President of the International Olympic Committee and the Mayor of Beijing presented the Olympic flag to the mayors of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy, which will host the 2026 Winter Games.
This is the first time that two cities have officially hosted the Olympics together. Cortina hosted the games in 1956. This will be the third Winter Games in Italy – Turin in 2006.
After three consecutive Olympic Games held in Asia – Pyeongchang, Tokyo and now Beijing – the Games are heading West for the foreseeable future, with no chance of returning until at least 2030.
The next Olympic Games will be the Summer Games in Paris in 2024.
The winners of the men’s and women’s 30-kilometre mass start cross-country ski races received their medals at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
Alexander Bolshunov of the Russian Olympic Committee won its third gold medal at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday. The race was supposed to be 50 kilometers, but it was delayed an hour and shortened to 30 kilometers due to freezing temperatures and Strong wind.
His Russian teammate Ivan Yakimushkin won silver and Simen Hegstad Krueger of Norway bronze.
In Sunday’s women’s race, The great Norwegian Therese Johaug won his third gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. Jessie Diggins won silver for the best finish by an American in an individual cross-country ski event since 1976. Kerttu Niskanen of Finland won bronze.
The women also had to contend with high winds and freezing temperatures.
Athletes who are still in Beijing after competing in the Winter Games parade through the stadium for the closing ceremony as “Ode to Joy” plays.
Athletes had to go through strict COVID protocols, including testing to enter the country, daily testing after arrival, and wearing masks except when competing. They should stay in the olympic bubble all the time they were in China.
Few people tested positive, but those who did were taken to isolation hotels where they raised concerns about difficult living conditions and a lack of information.
the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games began, signaling the end of the second pandemic-era Olympics.
There is a small but enthusiastic crowd of guests who shake flip-flops and wave at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
Despite COVID concerns ahead of the Games, a strict system that has essentially transformed the Olympics in a giant bubble minimizes cases of coronavirus. There have only been 463 positive tests among thousands of visitors inside the bubble since January 23.
There was many other dramas among athletes. A doping scandal involving a 15-year-old figure skater has overshadowed women’s competition. American ski star Mikaela Shiffrin faltered and returned home empty. And American-born star Eileen Gu won three medals – for China.
Internationally, many criticized them as “authoritarian Olympics” and denounced the IOC for staging them in concert with a government accused of human rights abuses. Several Western governments boycotted by not sending any official delegations, although they did send athletes. China has denied these allegations, as it usually does.
South Korean Olympic officials say they still want to include North Korea in hosting the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics and the IOC is also interested in the project.
Korean Sports and Olympic Committee Chairman Lee Kee Heung said the organization would offer North Korea the opportunity to hold the event together.
South Korea will host the next winter edition of the Youth Olympic Games in two years in Gangwon province. It will use some of the same venues as the 2018 Olympics, named after the city of Pyeongchang.
The 2018 Winter Games took place during a thaw in relations between neighboring Korea, whose athletes competed together in the opening ceremony and fielded a combined women’s hockey team.
Diplomatic relations are currently tense and a North Korean missile test last month raised concerns in Seoul and Washington, D.C.
Gangwon organizers visited Beijing and Korean Olympic official Lee said, “The IOC is very interested in this idea” to cooperate for the organization in 2024.
Hannes Bjorninen scored the decisive goal 31 seconds into the third period and Finland won its first Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey with a 2-1 victory over the Russian Olympic Committee on the final day of the Games from Beijing.
Ville Pokka also scored and Harri Sateri stopped 16 shots as Finland rallied from a 1-0 first-half deficit. Finns’ best results in 17 previous Olympic appearances were silver medals at the 1988 Calgary Games and the 2006 Torino Games.
Mikhail Grigorenko scored for the favored Russian team, the defending champions, in the second consecutive tournament without NHL players. The Russians beat Germany 4-3 in extra time in the gold medal final at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.
Ivan Fedotov has stopped 29 shots for the Russian Olympic Committee.
Finland finished the tournament with a 7-0 record.
The Taiwanese prime minister wants a Taiwanese Olympic speed skater being punished for wearing what appeared to be a Chinese rival team costume during training.
The symbols of both sides are particularly sensitive at a time when China’s ruling Communist Party, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, is trying to intimidate island democracy by flying fighter jets and bombers nearby.
Huang Yu-ting, one of four Taiwanese athletes at the Winter Games, posted a video on her social media page on Jan. 23 showing her training in what appeared to be a Chinese costume, Central News Agency reported. He said Huang apologized and took down the video.
Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang has asked the Ministry of Education and the Sports Administration to investigate so that Huang “receives adequate punishment”, CNA reported, citing Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping- cheng.
The Taiwan Sports Administration said Huang would not face any punishment but should be “more aware of the political sensitivity across the Taiwan Strait”, according to CNA.
cross-country skier Therese Johaug from Norway won the women’s 30 kilometer mass start, her third gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Battling high winds and brutal temperatures, she took the lead early in the race and held on, finishing in 1 hour, 24 minutes and 54 seconds. Johaug also won the skiathlon and the 10 kilometer classic race.
American Jessie Diggins maintained a strong pace behind the Norwegian as gusts whipped the slopes, beating the skiers. She crossed the finish line 1 minute and 43.3 seconds behind Johaug to claim silver. She had already become the first American woman to win a individual cross medal when she won bronze in the sprint earlier at the Beijing Games.
Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen won bronze at 2 minutes and 33.3 seconds.
Strong gusts of wind sent squalls of snow onto frozen slopes as the women skied four laps of a 7.5-kilometre (4.6-mile) course with buffs pulled over their hats, duct tape over their faces and extra layers under their racing suits.
Francesco Friedrich and Germany finished an unforgettable show sliding at the Beijing Olympics.
Friedrich won his second Olympic gold in Beijing and the fourth of his career as he drove to victory Sunday in the four-man event, the final slippery run of these games.
There were 10 sliding events in Beijing. Germany won gold in nine of them and won 16 medals in total. The rest of the world combined collected 14 medals in sliding.
Johannes Lochner won silver for Germany on Sunday and Canada’s Justin Kripps took bronze. Hunter Church finished 10th for the United States and Frank DelDuca tied for 13th.
Eve Muirhead led Britain to Olympic gold in women’s curling – the sport’s first for the homeland since 2002 – with a record 10-3 victory over Japan.
A day after Britain won silver, losing to Sweden in the final, the women picked up two points in the first end and controlled the scoreboard from there. They essentially clinched it in the seventh after Japanese captain Satsuki Fujisawa failed to keep her last rock in the scoring area.
That left only one red Japanese rock and three yellow British in the house. Muirhead easily removed Japan’s lone stone and scored four goals to take an 8-2 lead, bringing the biggest cheers from British fans in the crowd.
Japan could only manage one point in the eighth. When Muirhead scored two in the ninth, Fujisawa slipped in to bump fists and concede. Another roar went up from the crowd, which included the male silver medalists.
It was the most unbalanced women’s final in Olympic history.
It was the second consecutive medal for the Japanese team of Fujisawa, Chinami Yoshida, Yumi Suzuki and Yurika Yoshida, who won bronze in Pyeongchang. The Swedes won bronze on Saturday night by beating Switzerland.
The top-ranked Austrians won gold in the second edition of the Winter Games in the mixed team parallel event, beating Germany in the final.
The United States mostly used Shiffrin on the slower of the parallel courses, and she lost three of her four sets, including in the bronze medal game against Norway. Teammate River Radamus got the win USA needed in the final set to force a 2-2 tie, but he wasn’t quick enough to tip the tiebreaker – the combined times of the fastest man and woman – in favor of the Americans.
Austria also drew the final against the Germans, but Stefan Brennsteiner and Katharina Liensberger won their heats in a faster combined time than Lena Duerr and Alexander Schmid. Austra took silver on the event’s debut in Pyeongchang four years ago.
Shiffrin, a two-time gold medalist, went 0 of 5 in her bid for an individual medal in Beijing. She only reached the finish line in two individual events, finishing ninth in the super-G and 18th in the downhill.