Over the weekend, the Beijing Olympics kicked off and now is in full swing. The situation in China is extremely awkward to say the least, but the Olympics have taken place despite awkward situations many times before (including one time in Nazi Germany).
So despite the circumstances here are some of the best moments so you can take part in the water cooler chat about team U.S.A. and beyond:
- The women’s slopestyle snowboarding finals
The women’s slopestyle finals were very exciting with two competitors from the USA qualifying for the final run and Julia Marino taking home the first medal for team U.S.A at the Beijing Olympics. Julia struggled on her first run but came back strong getting major air. It wasn’t until the very last run of the day that anyone could top Julia and it happened to be the World Champion New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott who landed what I can only describe as insane tricks (back to back 1080s), snatching the gold and leaving team U.S.A happy with a silver.
But the best part of the women’s slopestyle final is the camaraderie. It’s not common in competitive sports that upon losing your gold medal you tackle your opponent into a hug. Rarely in the Olympics or any sport is there a shot of all the finalists hugging and celebrating the victory of their competitors.
- Team U.S.A. Team Figure Skating
Team U.S.A. finished with their highest score of all time and nabbed a silver medal behind the unstoppable Team Russia (more on that below) largely thanks to Team U.S.A’s incredible partner skaters in both pairs and ice dancing.
- The Russian Figure Skater, Kamila Valieva
15 year old Russian skater Kamila Valiyeava may not be who we want to root for but that doesn’t really matter cause she’s so much better than everyone. She became the first woman to land a quadruple jump in Olympic history this weekend and just before that she was only the fourth Olympic woman to land a triple axel in Olympic history. She did both with hands over her head which increased the degree of difficulty for both jumps (tucking your hands in increases velocity and keeps center of gravity unaltered). Her closest competitor lost to her by nearly 30 points (a normal victory would be about 5 points). Kamila is definitely a big part of why Russia was able to keep position for that team Gold which will be decided Monday.
- Short Track Speed Skating
Short Track speed skating is so dramatic no matter who wins. There is always some catastrophic fall that results in a surprise last minute victory as was the case for the men’s final.
- U.S. Women’s hockey team remains undefeated
Not to mention they shutout two opponents in a row meaning they didn’t allow them to score. This sets up the United States to face their arch rivals, Canada, both undefeated for what will be very likely an incredible match-up.