Live coverage: Day 2 of the Beijing Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympics continued Saturday with a number of events, including the skiathlon, ski jumping and speed skating.
The games come with a number of difficulties as the United States has led a number of countries in a diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights record and COVID-19 has caused obstacles for athletes hoping to compete.
The Hill has the live coverage of day two.
U.S. wins its first medal in women’s snowboard slopestyle event
The U.S. notched its first medal at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Saturday when snowboarder Julia Marino won silver in the women’s snowboard slopestyle event at Genting Snow Park.
Team USA shared a video on Twitter of Marino’s second run on the slopes, which put her in the lead until New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott took her final run and secured gold in the event.
In an interview shared on Twitter by Team USA, Marino, 24, said she “had no words right now.”
“Right now, this is on a cloud,” she said. “This is crazy. The craziest feeling I’ve ever felt.”
— Brad Dress
IOC: Chinese officials removing Dutch reporter during broadcast was isolated event
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday said the removal of a Dutch reporter during a live broadcast yesterday by Chinese security officials was an isolated event and unlikely to happen again, according to Reuters.
Sjoerd den Daas, China and East Asia correspondent for Dutch public broadcaster NOS, was dragged away by security during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on Friday evening as he reported in front of the National Stadium in Beijing.
Per Reuters, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams called the incident “an unfortunate circumstance” and said that journalists — who are restricted during the games to an area known as the “closed loop” — will be able to carry on with their work uninterrupted within that space.
“Obviously, we have been in touch with the NOS, the state broadcaster, and it was an unfortunate circumstance,” Adams said, according to the wire service.
“I think someone was being overzealous. He [the reporter] was able to, very quickly afterwards with the help of officials there, do his piece to camera,” he added. “These things do happen and I think it’s a one-off. I hope it’s a one-off and we will assure you that within the closed loop you will be able to carry on your work.”
But den Daas disagreed the incident was an isolated one.
“In recent weeks, we, like several foreign colleagues, have been hindered or stopped several times by the police while reporting on subjects related to the Games,” he wrote on Twitter. “Therefore, it’s hard to see last night’s incident as an isolated incident, as the IOC claims, although such interference rarely happens live on broadcast.”
“And now back to work,” he added.
The broadcaster was interrupted and dragged away by a security guard with a red armband bearing the words “Security Volunteer,” Insider reported.
“We are now being pulled out of here,” said den Daas as the incident unfolded, according to the outlet. “We have just been expelled from another area, so I’m afraid we’ll have to come back to you later.”
According to a video of the incident posted on Twitter by NOS, as den Daas was taken away, another security guard placed his hand on the camera in an apparent attempt to stop the recording.
Besides restricting reporters and other games participants to the closed loop, China has multiple COVID-19 protocols in places to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a strict attendance limit on guests and visitors and stringent testing requirements.
— Brad Dress
China wins its first gold medal in 2022 Olympics
China won its first gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in the short-track speedskating mixed-gender team relay.
Italy took second and Hungary took third, The New York Times reported.
Both the U.S. and Russian teams were disqualified during the event, with U.S. skater Ryan Pivirotto explaining that a violation was called on him for getting in the path of a Chinese skater while illegally crossing from the infield.
“I feel that I’ve waited for this Olympic gold medal for too long,” Fan Kexin, a member of the Chinese team, said.
“I don’t care about what I’ve been through in the past — the pain, the injuries. When you’re standing on that competition field, at that moment, there are no excuses, and you go all out,” she added. “In the coming events, we won’t give up for one moment, not for one second. We’ll continue going for it.”
— Lexi Lonas
Olympic athletes complain of lack of food, information at quarantine hotels
Olympic athletes who have tested positive for COVID-19 in China are slamming conditions in Beijing’s quarantine hotels, The Associated Press reported.
Multiple athletes have criticized the lack of available information and edible food, as well as an uneven implementation of quarantine protocols.
Athletes who have COVID-19 and are symptomatic are supposed to go to a hospital while those who are asymptomatic are supposed to isolate at a designated hotel. However, the AP noted that some athletes who have tested positive for the virus have been allowed to isolate in the Olympic village.
Belgian skeleton racer Kim Meylemans took to social media after she was transported to a second location to quarantine despite being under the impression that she would be discharged at the time, the AP reported.
Valeria Vasnetsova, a Russian biathlon athlete, complained about the food she was given, posting on Instagram a photo of a meal that included several potatoes, plain pasta and charred meat, among other items. She discovered that her coronavirus-positive team doctor was given better food, including prawns and salad.
— Caroline Vakil
Norway wins first gold medal in skiathlon event
Norway secured the first gold medal of the 2022 Beijing Olympics on Saturday after Therese Johaug took first place at the 15-kilometer skiathlon.
Johaug, 33, is a 14-time world champion and three-time Olympic medalist. She skied the first half of the race in the “classical” style, greatly outpacing her opponents, and completed the second half in the “skating” style, according to The New York Times.
Natalya Nepryayeva of Russia and Teresa Stadlober of Austria trailed not too far behind Johaug in a battle for silver and bronze medals. Nepryayeva ended up edging out World Cup leader Stadlober by three-tenths of a second, the news outlet noted.
Both women finished the race more than 30 seconds after Johaug, who finished with a time of 44 minutes and 13.7 seconds, The New York Times reported.
— Cameron Jenkins
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