Day 3 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

By Helen Regan, Patrick Sung, Ben Church, Aditi Sangal and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 8:07 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022
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6:22 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Canada and ROC women's ice hockey teams wear facemasks after delayed Covid-19 test results

From CNN's Gawon Bae in Seoul

Russian Olympic Committee's goaltender Mariia Sorokina checks her face mask during a women's group A match at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games at the Wukesong Sports Centre on February 7.
Russian Olympic Committee's goaltender Mariia Sorokina checks her face mask during a women's group A match at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games at the Wukesong Sports Centre on February 7. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

The women’s ice hockey match between the ROC and Canada was delayed by an hour on Monday as the ROC’s Covid-19 test results had not arrived on time, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation said in a statement on Monday.

The puck was set to drop on the preliminary match at 12:10 p.m. local time but, according to ROC player Maria Batalova, the match was delayed after Canada refused to play until all the test results had arrived.

“We take the tests in the mornings and in the evenings, and the Canadian team wanted to wait for our morning test results and their own as well,” Batalova told the official Beijing 2022 website.

“At the beginning, there was an agreement that we will come out to play, and then they decided to wait for the test results."

The federation said in its statement that both teams got tested before 9 a.m. local time on Monday, but the results did not come through in time.

"Russia's results from this morning weren't back in yet," said Canada forward Natalie Spooner.

"I know in the past few days they've had a few positives and we just wanted to make sure their results came back and we were safe to play."

The ROC women's ice hockey team was subjected to three days in quarantine early last week after several players tested positive for Covid-19. The team has since been cleared to compete at the Games.

According to the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, both sets of players were later instructed by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) that they could play the match wearing face masks.

The two teams abided by the regulation until the third period when the IIHF allowed the players to play with their masks off.

Team ROC played out the remainder of the game without masks, while the Canadian team maintained wearing personal protective equipment.

Canada eventually won the match 6-1, securing their second win in the Beijing Olympics’ preliminary round after Saturday’s victory against Finland.

6:34 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

German Denise Herrmann wins women's 15km biathlon gold

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

Gold medalist Denise Herrmann celebrates during the women's biathlon 15km individual flower ceremony on February 7.
Gold medalist Denise Herrmann celebrates during the women's biathlon 15km individual flower ceremony on February 7. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

German biathlete Denise Herrmann won gold in the women's 15km individual biathlon at the 2022 Beijing Games on Monday.

The 33-year-old crossed the finish line in 44 minutes and 12.7 seconds to earn her first-ever Olympic medal. 

For Herrmann, the gold was a dream come true and one that has yet to sink in.

"It becomes more and more realistic. I'm super happy. I phoned my boyfriend and my mother at home, and they are going totally crazy," she said.
"It's a dream you have as a child and the dream came true today. It's unbelievable."

Germany is the only delegation in history to win multiple Olympic gold medals in women's individual biathlon — with Antje Misersky-Harvey winning in 1992 and Andrea Henkel in 2002.

Herrmann's success is Germany's second gold medal of the Games and its third overall.

The silver medal for the women's 15km biathlon went to Anaïs Chevalier-Bouchet of France, while Norwegian Marte Olsbu Røiseland won bronze.

5:38 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Speed skater Ireen Wüst the first athlete to win individual gold medals at five different Olympics

From CNN's Ben Church and Aleks Klosok

Ireen Wüst competing at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing on Feb. 7.
Ireen Wüst competing at the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing on Feb. 7. (Koji Ito/The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP) 

Ireen Wüst became the first person to win an individual gold medal in five different Olympics after victory in the women's 1,500m speed skating event at Beijing 2022.

The Dutch skater won her first gold medal back in 2006 before winning at least one in every Games since — winning two gold medals in 2014.

“It’s really hard to describe. A lot of emotions, especially the good ones. I don’t realize it yet. It’s insane, actually,” she said after the race.

Wüst, the most decorated speed skater in the history of the Winter Olympics, blew away the field on Monday, winning gold in an Olympic record time of 1:53.28.

The 35-year-old now has a total of 12 Olympic medals to her name — she sits in third place alongside Norway’s Bjørn Dæhlie on the all-time Winter Games medal list.

Only the Norwegian pair of Ole Einar Bjørndalen (13) and Marit Bjørgen (15) now sit above Wüst.

The Dutch speed skater still has two competitions left at Beijing 2022.

Japan’s Miho Takagi claimed silver and Antoinette de Jong of the Netherlands took bronze in the 1,500m event on Monday.

5:15 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Sweden's Sara Hector "can't put it into words" her giant slalom gold medal run

From CNN's Jacob Lev and Patrick Sung

Gold medalist Sara Hector poses during the women’s giant slalom medal ceremony at National Alpine Ski Centre on Feb.7.
Gold medalist Sara Hector poses during the women’s giant slalom medal ceremony at National Alpine Ski Centre on Feb.7. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Swedish skier Sara Hector won gold in the women's giant slalom, finishing with a time of 1:55.69.

Italian Federica Brignone won silver, finishing with a time of 1:55.97 and Switzerland's Lara Gut-Behrami took home bronze, with a time of 1:56.41.

"I'm so proud, I can't put it into words," Hector said after her gold-winning run.

"I really tried to push it and give it all I got. It's just amazing.

"I don't know how to describe (my emotions). It's been so much all day. I've been so nervous. It's so much feeling, it's crazy. It's for sure a lot of joy."

American star Mikaela Shiffrin, the defending gold medalist in women’s giant slalom, missed a gate early after crashing in her first run and was disqualified from the event.

After the race, she said that she "won't ever get over this."

Shiffrin, 26, has the potential to become the first American alpine ski racer to win three gold medals, but she is now down to four events to accomplish the feat.

Fellow American Nina O'Brien had a scary moment herself during the second run, after losing balance before the finish and crashing hard.

The US Ski and Snowboard team said O'Brien is alert and responsive. 

Sweden now has three gold medals at Beijing 2022. 

4:23 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

"I won't ever get over this," says Mikaela Shiffrin after Olympic disappointment

From CNN's Ben Church

American skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin reacts after not finishing her run during the women's giant slalom.
American skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin reacts after not finishing her run during the women's giant slalom. (Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin says she won't forget her disastrous run in the women's giant slalom at Beijing 2022.

The three-time Olympic medalist got a Did Not Finish on her first run after missing a gate and failed to complete the course, ending any hopes of a medal in the event.

"I won't ever get over this. I have never got over any [disappointments in big races]. I still remember how much it hurts four years ago in Kronplatz when I fell before the last Olympics," she said.

"I remember thinking that was so heartbreaking and it wasn't even at the Olympics.

"That heartbreak never goes away and I think that's what drives me to keep working. Sometimes, they do still happen and unfortunately it happened today." 

Shiffrin still has another four events she can compete in at this year's Winter Games and is determined to put this initial disappointment behind her.

"I am not going to cry about this because that is just wasting energy," she said.

"My best chance for the next races is to move forward, to re-focus and I feel like I am in a good place to do that."

3:56 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

"I'll have to delay the celebration until the spring," says Olympic men's downhill winner

From CNN's Patrick Sung

Switzerland's Beat Feuz reacts after competing in the men's downhill final  at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing on Monday.
Switzerland's Beat Feuz reacts after competing in the men's downhill final at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre in Yanqing on Monday. (Robert Michael/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

Switzerland's Beat Feuz claimed his country's first gold medal of Beijing 2022 in the men's downhill skiing final Monday, but you won't catch him throwing a massive party after winning a medal that he called "the world to me."

"Certainly, tonight, we'll celebrate together as a team, but in these Covid times and because the World Cup season continues, I'll have to delay the celebration until the spring," he said.

Feuz finished with a time of 1:42:69, beating out 41-year-old Frenchman Johan Clarey and Matthias Mayer of Austria, who won silver and bronze respectively.

The men's downhill competition had been postponed until Monday due to high winds over the weekend, but the weather played nice on Feuz's winning run as he took his debut Games gold.

"It was perfect weather, no wind, and I was just standing perfectly on the skis. A dream came true," he reflected.

"The Olympics are a big thing, and today, it worked for me. In (PyeongChang) four years ago, I was second and third, but today everything came together. It means the world to me."

The day was also momentous for France's Clarey, who — with his silver — became the oldest medalist ever in the sport of alpine skiing.

"I was pushing, pushing, taking a lot of risk. I knew I only had one chance left in my career to get a medal in the Olympics," Clarey said.

"When I was going down I knew I made a good run but you never know in downhill, sometimes you are fast, sometimes you are not and you never know why.

"But today, I was fast. Not enough for the gold but silver is just my happiness. 

"When you are a medalist, (whether) you are 20 or 41, it doesn't matter, it's just an Olympic medal. It's already a good memory."

3:56 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

French journalist who interviewed Peng Shuai says she was "cautious" about her answers on sexual assault allegations

From CNN's Ben Wright, Selina Wang, Angus Watson and Teele Rebane

Marc Ventouillac runs with the torch during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Torch Relay at the Olympic Forest Park in Beijing Feb. 4.
Marc Ventouillac runs with the torch during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Torch Relay at the Olympic Forest Park in Beijing Feb. 4. (Li He/Xinhua/Getty Images)

A French sports journalist who interviewed tennis star Peng Shuai in Beijing on Sunday told CNN that his impression was that Peng was “cautious” when he asked about the sexual assault allegations she made against a retired Communist Party leader.

Marc Ventouillac, a senior reporter for L’Equipe, and his two colleagues sat down for an hour-long interview with Peng a day after she had a dinner with IOC President Thomas Bach. Both meetings were inside the Olympics "closed loop" in Beijing.

Peng had posted the allegations on Chinese social media site Weibo on November 2, in a post that was later deleted. In the interview, she told Ventouillac that the controversy around the incident was an “enormous misunderstanding.”

There were six people present at the interview, including Wang Kan, the chief of staff of the Chinese Olympic Committee, who also translated the interview.

There were three members of L’Equipe staff at the interview, and also a young woman Ventouillac thought was an Olympics volunteer. The newspaper had their own translation done from Chinese to French later.

He said they had to submit a list of questions in advance, and they were required to publish the story as a Q&A, instead of a piece with analysis and quotes. But they were also able to ask as many follow-up questions in the room as they wanted, and he didn’t feel that the interview was curtailed. 

“I didn't feel during the interview any censorship,” Ventouillac said, adding that Peng seemed relaxed and was “laughing” when speaking about sports.

But he said that her demeanor changed when they moved onto the topic of the alleged sexual assault.

“Then, at one moment, we began to speak about the affair, and at this moment, my feeling is, and it was the feeling of my colleague Sophie, was that we saw on her face, in her eyes, that she was very cautious about the question, what we said, what we asked her, and about her answer.”

Ventouillac said that as Peng understands English, he thought she was getting the sense of their questions, even though they were being translated into Chinese, a language that his team don’t speak. She was also wearing a mask, so all of her facial expressions weren’t visible.

Ventouillac added that Peng’s answers on the sexual assault questions were “very short.” 

“I asked, 'Why your post on Weibo was deleted so early?' and she said, 'Because I decided, I did it myself, to delete the post.' So then I asked, 'Why? Why delete Weibo posts?' 'Because I've decided.' Short questions, short answers.”

Ventouillac said they had been pursuing the interview since mid-January. He said they asked the IOC the best way to request an interview, and they were directed to the Chinese Olympic Committee, which arranged the interview.

He said that they predicted that Peng’s answers would remain the same as from previous reports, but he felt it was important for an independent journalist to see her in person to check she was OK.

2:57 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen is a big hit at the Beijing Winter Olympics

From CNN's Coy Wire in Beijing

Bronze medalist Isabelle Weidemann of Canada holds up a miniature version of Olympic mascot Bing Dwen Dwen on Sunday.
Bronze medalist Isabelle Weidemann of Canada holds up a miniature version of Olympic mascot Bing Dwen Dwen on Sunday. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Beijing 2022's official mascot has emerged as a fan favorite at the Winter Games.

Eliciting some of the biggest cheers from crowds — sometimes louder than those heard for the athletes — panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen appears all over the Olympic venues. From dancing in the stands, to appearing on signage, on flags waved by spectators or held by Olympians, like American snowboarder Hailey Langland.

And miniature, stuffed Bing Dwen Dwen's are awarded to Olympians when they win a medal.

But good luck to anyone in China trying to find Bing Dwen Dwen souvenirs. There are reports that souvenir shops are sold out, with the Beijing organizing committee requesting the production of more Bing Dwen Dwen swag to satisfy fans.

A man holds a replica of mascot Bing Dwen Dwen as people line up at the official 2022 Winter Olympics flagship store on Feb. 6, in Beijing.
A man holds a replica of mascot Bing Dwen Dwen as people line up at the official 2022 Winter Olympics flagship store on Feb. 6, in Beijing. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Who is Bing Dwen Dwen? According to the official Olympic website, "Bing" has several meanings in Mandarin Chinese, though the most common is ice. The word also symbolizes purity and strength.

“Dwen Dwen” means robust and lively, and also represents children.

The "shell" design enables the panda — China's national animal — to skate, snowboard and ski.

The Bing Dwen Dwen design, created by Cao Xue, was chosen from more than 5,800 submissions from China and 35 countries as part of a global competition arranged by the Beijing 2022 organizing committee.

2:45 a.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Canada and ROC women's ice hockey teams play match wearing face masks

Canada's Brianne Jenner (L) and ROC's Oksana Bratishcheva face off during the women's hockey preliminary round group A match on Monday.
Canada's Brianne Jenner (L) and ROC's Oksana Bratishcheva face off during the women's hockey preliminary round group A match on Monday. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

Canada and the ROC faced off in their women's ice hockey match Monday with both teams wearing face masks underneath their helmets.

The masks didn't appear to hinder the performance of the Canadians, however, who won the game 6-1.

The Group A preliminary round fixture got started after an hour's delay, when the players entered the ice wearing masks due to "safety and security concerns," Reuters reported, citing a communique to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In the third period, it appeared the ROC team returned to the ice maskless.

It comes after the ROC women's ice hockey team were put into quarantine due to several players contracting Covid-19, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation said in a news release on Wednesday.

The whole team went into quarantine on Jan. 31 due to positive PCR tests among several players. Those players were subsequently isolated from the rest of the ROC contingent.

The ROC ice hockey team was subsequently cleared to play in the Winter Games.