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
15 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
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.
9:23 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

A UK TV network is sending an all-disabled line-up of hosts and pundits to the Beijing Paralympics

From CNN's Toyin Owoseje

From left: Arthur Williams, Ed Jackson, Ade Adepitan, Lauren Steadman, Ellie Robinson, Billy Monger, Sean Rose.
From left: Arthur Williams, Ed Jackson, Ade Adepitan, Lauren Steadman, Ellie Robinson, Billy Monger, Sean Rose. (Channel 4)

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has announced that its coverage of the Beijing 2022 Paralympic Winter Games will be fronted by a team consisting entirely of disabled anchors and pundits.

In what it described as a "global first" for a world-class sporting event, the network's line-up will include former champions presenting on the ground in China when the games begin next month.

A daily highlights show will be helmed by Ade Adepitan, an award-winning host and wheelchair basketball player, Channel 4 said in a news release Monday.

Paralympic champion triathlete Lauren Steadman will host the breakfast show alongside quadriplegic former professional rugby player Ed Jackson.

Steadman took home a gold medal victory from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and also won silver at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio.

The presenting line-up also includes recently retired Paralympic swimmer Ellie Robinson, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Games aged just 15. She will be joined by British racing car driver Billy Monger.

Former sit-skier Sean Rose has been recruited as a pundit, and Channel 4's overnight sports coverage will be led by Tokyo 2020 presenter Arthur Williams.

Read more:

9:05 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Crowd warned not to throw flowers and toys onto the ice ahead of men's figure skating

From CNN's Nectar Gan in Beijing

Winnie the Pooh toys are thrown to Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu during the 2018 Olympics.
Winnie the Pooh toys are thrown to Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu during the 2018 Olympics. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Due to Covid restrictions, limited numbers of spectators are allowed into the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing to watch the men's figure skating short program.

The stands may be less than half full, but an announcement inside the stadium today warned fans not to throw flowers and gifts onto the ice due to Covid-19 concerns.

It's common for fans to throw flowers and stuffed animals onto the ice after a skater completes their performance as a sign of appreciation.

Fans of Japanese skating sensation Yuzuru Hanyu have taken the tradition to another level — showering the rink with dozens of Winnie-the-Pooh toys after he skates.

It all started after their hero began carrying a tissue box in the shape of the much loved A.A. Milne character back in 2010. The 27-year-old now regularly carries the bear as a mascot.

It's not the first time Winnie the Pooh has brushed up against Chinese authorities. In 2017, the honey-loving teddy bear was banished from China's cyberspace after internet users compared him to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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

It's 9:30 a.m. in Beijing. Here's what's coming up at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday

A spectator looks on prior to the women's freestyle skiing big air finals on Tuesday.
A spectator looks on prior to the women's freestyle skiing big air finals on Tuesday. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Day 4 of the Beijing Winter Olympics looks set to be action packed, with fierce rivals facing off on the ice and people's favorites gunning for gold.

There's also gold medals up for grabs in alpine skiing, biathlon, curling, freestyle skiing, luge, speed skating and snowboarding. Here are some key moments to look out for:

  • China's "Snow princess" goes for gold: The Chinese darling of the Beijing Olympics, Eileen Gu has her first medal chance in the freestyle skiing big air finals. The 18-year-old ranked fifth in the qualifiers, and will face a stern challenge from Canada's Megan Oldham and France's Tess Ledeux. 
  • Top skaters face off: The race for gold in men’s figure skating stretches well beyond two headline skaters. While all eyes are set to be on reigning and two-time Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu and American Nathan Chen —who has won the last three world titles — a strong field of skaters is set to factor into the podium conversation. The men hit the ice Tuesday in the first of four individual events and Hanyu, 27, will attempt the quadruple axel — a jump that has never been done at the Olympics, or elsewhere. US figure skater Vincent Zhou will not compete on Tuesday after testing positive for Covid-19.
  • Fierce rivalry to ignite on the ice: The United States and Canada will attempt to extend their respective undefeated streaks when they meet in the women's ice hockey preliminary round. The countries have faced each other in the last three Olympic gold-medal games. It's both teams’ final matchup in the preliminaries before the seeds are determined for the quarterfinals, which begin Thursday. 
  • US snowboarding star seeks golden repeat: Defending Olympic women’s half-pipe champion Chloe Kim, 21, competes in the qualifying round today. One of the stand-out stars of the last Winter Olympics, Kim has been in stunning form since returning last January after interrupting her career when she broke her right ankle and also attended Princeton University.
  • Snowboarding legend bows out: Team USA's Shaun White says Beijing 2022 will be his final Games after a storied snowboarding career. It's the 35-year-old’s fourth Olympics. When White hits the halfpipe qualifiers on Tuesday he will become the oldest male halfpipe rider from any nation in the history of the Games. He also has the chance to become the sport's oldest Olympic champion. Even if he doesn’t win gold, taking home any medal will make White the most decorated men’s snowboarder ever.
8:13 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022

Here's the medal rankings as Day 4 kicks off

As Day 4 of the Beijing Games begins, here's a look at the medal standings, according to the official tally.

  1. Sweden tops the medal board with three golds.
  2. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) is second with two golds, three silvers and two bronzes. ROC has the won most medals so far with seven in total.
  3. The Netherlands is ranked third with two golds, two silvers and one bronze.
  4. And hosts China are in fourth with two golds and two silvers.