Day 4 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

By Aditi Sangal, Matias Grez, Patrick Sung, George Ramsay, Helen Regan and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 8:30 p.m. ET, February 8, 2022
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11:32 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Donovan Carrillo is Mexico's first Olympic figure skater in 30 years

Mexico's Donovan Carrillo competes in the skating short program on Tuesday.
Mexico's Donovan Carrillo competes in the skating short program on Tuesday. (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Mexico's Donovan Carrillo said many people told him it was impossible for a Mexican figure skater to qualify for the Olympics, but in Beijing on Tuesday he qualified for the free skate after his performance in the men's short program.

Carrillo is Mexico's first Olympic figure skater in 30 years and his country's flag bearer at Beijing 2022.

Following his skate, Carrillo said he was "super happy" with his performance, with his highlight being the quadruple toeloop.

"I didn't want it to end. I wanted to keep skating and living the Olympic dream," he said.

On being a Latin American athlete at the Beijing Olympics, Carrillo said: "Many people told me during the beginning of my career that this was a crazy dream."

"I always tried to push harder and harder, competition through competition, to try to be the best version of myself. I want people in Latin America and in my country to think about it, to have their big goals and go for it," he said.

On being able to develop an Olympic-level program despite training at a shopping mall ice rink during public sessions, Carrillo said, "It's challenging, I'm not lying."

"But instead of regretting myself and thinking of what I don't have, I always try to work with what I have. That's key for me being here. It's better to focus on what you have and try to exploit that and live the dream."
11:08 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Olympic sportsmanship on display after Eileen Gu's big air win

Silver medalist Tess Ledeux of France, left, is comforted by gold medalist Eileen Gu of China and bronze medalist Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland during the freestyle skiing big air finals on Tuesday.
Silver medalist Tess Ledeux of France, left, is comforted by gold medalist Eileen Gu of China and bronze medalist Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland during the freestyle skiing big air finals on Tuesday. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

In a display of Olympic sportsmanship after the big air freeski final, China's Eileen Gu and Switzerland's Mathilde Gremaud rushed to comfort a visibly upset Tess Ledeux from France.

Ledeux looked disappointed following her third and final jump, knowing that it wasn't enough to clinch the gold.

The 20-year-old finished in silver position, with Gu taking the win and Gremaud the bronze.

11:07 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Chinese social media is going crazy for Eileen Gu

From CNN's Lizzie Yee in Hong Kong and Nectar Gan in Beijing

China's Eileen Gu competes in the freestyle skiing big air finals on Tuesday.
China's Eileen Gu competes in the freestyle skiing big air finals on Tuesday. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Fans on Chinese social media rushed to congratulate big air freeski star Eileen Gu after her gold medal win in Beijing.

On China's Twitter-like platform Weibo, Gu dominated searches with seven out of the 10 top trending topics all about her victory.

Gu has become a Beijing 2022 poster child for China and has 2.6 million followers on Weibo, with fans leaving 90,000 comments in half an hour after her win.

American-born Gu, whose mother is from China, decided to compete for Team China at the Games. She has the overwhelming support of the home crowd and her image has been splashed across billboards, magazine covers and promotional videos in China.

11:12 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Beijing reports 6 new Olympics-related Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Hannah Ritchie

Masks are seen before the women's hockey game between Canada and the Russian Olympic Committee on Monday. The game was delayed for an hour for what was believed to be a Covid-19 issue. When the teams finally played, they wore masks under their cages.
Masks are seen before the women's hockey game between Canada and the Russian Olympic Committee on Monday. The game was delayed for an hour for what was believed to be a Covid-19 issue. When the teams finally played, they wore masks under their cages. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Beijing Olympic Committee identified six new Covid-19 cases among Olympics-related personnel on Monday, it said in a statement Tuesday.

All the cases were identified in people already in the “closed loop” system, which separates Olympic athletes, stakeholders, and staff from the public.

Five of the infections were from athletes or team officials, and one involved an Olympic stakeholder. 

Since the official “closed loop” system began on Jan. 23, some 393 Olympics-related personnel have tested positive for Covid-19, with 159 of those cases involving athletes or team officials.

Covid situation in Beijing: It comes as Beijing reported no new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 outside the Olympic bubble on Monday, the first time since the city clamped down on a recent cluster.

On Monday, authorities lifted all lockdown measures for neighborhoods in Fengtai district where cases had been reported. 

Covid in China: Overall, China reported 65 locally transmitted symptomatic cases on Monday, including 64 in Guangxi and one in northern Tianjin city, according to the National Health Commission. The country also reported four asymptomatic cases, including two in northeastern Heilongjiang province and two in Guangxi.

11:35 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Home crowd roars Eileen Gu on to big air freeskiing gold

From CNN's Bex Wright in Beijing

Beijing 2022 mascot Bing Dwen Dwen entertains the crowds on Tuesday at the women's big air event.
Beijing 2022 mascot Bing Dwen Dwen entertains the crowds on Tuesday at the women's big air event. (Tom Booth/CNN)

Fans filled the stands Tuesday to cheer for Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu — known as the “snow princess” in China — roaring her on to gold in the women’s big air freeski event

Supporters waved paper Chinese flags and blue Beijing 2022 flags, as hundreds of media personnel and IOC President Thomas Bach watched from the sidelines.

Pumping music and upbeat commentary filled the newly-built Big Air Shougang venue, which is set in the backdrop of four giant industrial chimneys on the outskirts of Beijing.

American-born Gu, whose mother is from China, decided to compete for Team China at the Games.

As well as her skiing career, she is also a model, brand ambassador and plans to attend Stanford in the fall.

In a hotel within the closed loop in the mountain area of Zhangjiakou, staff were seen crowded around a big TV to watch Gu compete.

Read more about Eileen Gu:

11:07 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Eileen Gu jumps into first place in big air freeskiing's Olympic debut

China's Eileen Gu reacts after her final run of the big air finals on Tuesday.
China's Eileen Gu reacts after her final run of the big air finals on Tuesday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The home crowd erupted when China's Eileen Gu won the women's big air freeskiing gold in Beijing.

Gu jumped into the top position with her third run, scoring 94.50. Her total score was 188.25 in the event's debut at the Winter Olympics.

She beat France's Tess Ledeux, who took silver with a score of 187.50. Her first run was her best of the day, with a 94.50.

Switzerland's Mathilde Gremaud wins the bronze.

11:07 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

BREAKING NEWS: China's home crowd favorite Eileen Gu wins gold in big air event

Eileen Gu reacts during the big air finals on Tuesday.
Eileen Gu reacts during the big air finals on Tuesday. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

Home crowd favorite and teen skiing sensation Eileen Gu has just won the gold in the women's freeski big air competition at Beijing's Shougang Industrial Park.

10:57 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

What is the quadruple axel?

Japanese skating sensation Yuzuru Hanyu has made it his goal to attempt the fabled quadruple axel during his Beijing Olympics appearance.

The jump has never been completed in competition before, let alone at the Olympics.

But what exactly is the jump everyone is talking about? The quadruple axel is a jump that involves four-and-a-half rotations in the air.

An axel is the most challenging of figure skating jumps "because it is the only jump in the sport in which skaters take off facing forward," according to the Olympics website.

"It’s also the easiest for fans to spot at home: If the skater is facing forward when he or she takes off for the jump, kicking their free leg into the air to spring into it, it’s an Axel."

Triple axels are seen in elite men's — and increasingly women's — programs.

Skating history already made: On Monday, ROC's Kamila Valieva became the first woman to land a quad at the Games.

The 15-year-old Valieva landed two quads in the team event. First was a quad Salchow, which involves four complete rotations in the air, and the second was a quad toeloop and she landed a triple Axel in the same routine.

9:44 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Rivals Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu prepare for battle on the ice in Beijing

Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu attends a training session on Monday.
Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu attends a training session on Monday. (Bernat Armangue/AP)

Favorites in the men's short program — American Nathan Chen and Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu — begin their Beijing 2022 skate campaigns today in the Capital Indoor Stadium.

Hanyu, 27, is hoping to make history in Beijing by attempting the quadruple axel — a jump that has never been done at the Olympics, or elsewhere.

The reigning two-time Olympic men's singles champion, who won successive golds at Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018, is also aiming for a third gold.

It's a feat not achieved in men's figure skating since the 1920s.

American Nathan Chen competes in the team figure-skating event on February 4.
American Nathan Chen competes in the team figure-skating event on February 4. (Mao Jianjun/China News Service/Getty Images)

His main rival, Nathan Chen, 23, is the three-time world title holder — claiming victory in 2018, 2019 and 2021.

He left Pyeongchang 2018 disappointed following a fifth-place finish in the individual event. Since then, Chen embarked on a three-year international winning streak that ended with a third-place finish at Skate America in Las Vegas last October.

He arrives in Beijing as the favorite despite the presence of Hanyu.

Yet for Chen, to compete against his "idol" is nothing but a privilege.

"He's done so much for the sport, both with himself and then all the things that he's done outside of the rink — I think he's just really changed the sport for the better," Chen said.
"Just to be able to have opportunities to compete against him, to be on the same ice as him, is an honor in itself.