Day 5 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

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

Updated 4:17 p.m. ET, February 10, 2022
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8:41 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

US snowboarder Chloe Kim is through to the halfpipe finals

American snowboarder Chloe Kim competes in the halfpipe qualification round on Wednesday.
American snowboarder Chloe Kim competes in the halfpipe qualification round on Wednesday. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Snowboarding phenomenon Chloe Kim qualified for the finals of the women's halfpipe competition on Wednesday.

She landed a cab 900 and a switch backside 500 in her first run, scoring 87.75 — putting her top of the leaderboard. Kim fell on her second run.

Kim joins 11 others in the finals, including Japan's Mitsuki Ono and China's Cai Xuetong.

At 21, Kim already boasts five X Games gold medals, two world championships and, four years ago in Pyeongchang, announced herself to the world with a near-perfect score to win her first Winter Olympic gold medal at age 17.

But Kim admitted she struggled to deal with the fame that came with her success. When she attended Princeton University afterward, "everyone was kind of staring at me, taking pictures," she told CNN in 2021.

After taking a break from competitive snowboarding while at Princeton, Kim is now hungrier than ever to get back on the Olympic slopes and defend her crown.

Read more about Chloe Kim's Olympic campaign here.

8:42 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Shaun White fumbles first run on the halfpipe in his final Olympics

American snowboarder Shaun White makes a halfpipe qualification run on Wednesday.
American snowboarder Shaun White makes a halfpipe qualification run on Wednesday. (Andrew Milligan//PA Images/Reuters)

Snowboarding legend Shaun White fumbled a jump on his first run at the men's halfpipe qualifying competition on Wednesday, as he chases one last epic moment at his final Olympic Games.

He opened his run with 1080 jumps, before attempting his signature double cork 1260, a move he unveiled at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. However, he overbalanced on the landing and fell on the icy halfpipe, before skating down to the bottom.

White has one more run in the qualifying, which will determine who advances to the final.

An icon of the sport: Beijing is the 35-year-old's fifth Olympics, after he competed in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018. When he hit the halfpipe on Wednesday, he became the oldest male halfpipe rider from any nation in the history of the Games — and he has the chance to become the sports' oldest Olympic champion.

Once dubbed the "Flying Tomato" because of his flowing red hair, White is one of the sport's most iconic figures. Even if he doesn't win gold, taking home any medal will make White — already a three-time gold medalist — the most decorated men's snowboarder ever.

Ahead of his competition, White said that he would retire after the Games, citing a spate of injuries.

"I won't be worried about some kind of competition," he told reporters last week. "I'll just purely be here to enjoy the resort, maybe check out other runs besides the halfpipe for once."

This post has been updated to show how many runs White has left in qualifying. It is one.

Take a look back at Shaun White's illustrious career.

12:07 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

American freeskier Colby Stevenson just won silver in the big air. He nearly died in a car crash 6 years ago

US freestyle skier Colby Stevenson won the silver medal during the men's freestyle skiing freeski big air final on Wednesday.
US freestyle skier Colby Stevenson won the silver medal during the men's freestyle skiing freeski big air final on Wednesday. (Harry How/Getty Images)

US freestyle skier Colby Stevenson nearly died in a car accident six years ago. On Wednesday, he won silver at the men's freeski big air competition — his Olympic debut.

Stevenson, 24, suffered a fractured skull, ribs, an eye socket, jaw and neck in his 2016 accident. He underwent two major surgeries, and doctors at the time weren’t sure if he would walk out of the hospital.

But five months after the crash, he was back on skis, according to the official Olympics site. He still faced pain and a long recovery ahead — but he was able to return to competition in 2017. He missed the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang because of a torn muscle in his shoulder.

“I’ve never been in such a grateful state and just so full of love, I guess, for the sport," he told the official Olympics site.  
“I think that was the secret in the end for me, just doing it out of love rather than trying to win or to make money to pay for my travels and all the other stressors that weighed on me before the crash.”
12:02 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Norway's Birk Ruud wins gold in men's freeski big air

Norway's Birk Ruud performs a trick during the men's freestyle skiing freeski big air final with the Norwegian flag in his hand on Wednesday.
Norway's Birk Ruud performs a trick during the men's freestyle skiing freeski big air final with the Norwegian flag in his hand on Wednesday. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Norway's Birk Ruud won the men's freeski big air in the event's Winter Olympics debut on Wednesday with a score of 187.75.

Knowing he had already clinched the gold, the 21-year-old held the Norwegian flag in his hand as he completed his final jump.

Team USA's Colby Stevenson took silver with a score of 183 and Sweden's Henrik Harlaut won bronze.

10:54 p.m. ET, February 8, 2022

Beijing organizers reports 5 new Covid-19 cases among Games personnel

From CNN's Gawon Bae

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

Of the new cases, three were found among airport arrivals and two from people already inside the “closed loop” system, which keeps Olympic athletes, stakeholders and staff separate from the public.

Three of the new cases involved athletes or team officials, two of which were already inside the closed loop.

Since the closed loop system officially began on Jan. 23, 398 Olympics-related personnel and stakeholders have tested positive. Of those, 162 have involved athletes or team officials.

Covid in China: On Tuesday, China reported 73 local symptomatic cases — 72 in the southern region of Guangxi and 1 in northeastern Liaoning province, according to the National Health Commission.

The Guangxi cases were all found in the southwestern city of Baise. Authorities locked down the entire city on Monday, banning its 3.5 million residents from leaving their homes.

10:39 p.m. ET, February 8, 2022

Mikaela Shiffrin says she feels "pretty low right now" after slalom upset

Mikaela Shiffrin sits on the side of the course after skiing out in the first run of the women's slalom.
Mikaela Shiffrin sits on the side of the course after skiing out in the first run of the women's slalom. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

American ski star Mikaela Shiffrin said she's feeling "pretty awful" after tumbling out of the first run of the women's slalom.

"I was pushing out of the start. I had full intentions of skiing as hard as I could," she said, following the run.

"I slipped up a little bit on one turn and I just didn't give myself room to make any kind of error like that. I was planning to go on the most aggressive line, the most challenging line to ski."

Shiffrin said she knew that line was also the fastest: "I didn't make it past five gates, so I guess that's what happened," she added.

The two-time Olympic medalist said she is feeling "pretty awful."

"But it won't feel awful for ever. I just feel pretty low right now."

The two races Shiffrin skied out on — the giant slalom on Monday and the slalom today — are by far her favorite. They are known as “technical” races and were her best chances at a medal.

The 26-year-old — who was hoping to become the first US skier to win three medals at a single Games — is also scheduled for the upcoming speed races, the downhill and super-G.

10:16 p.m. ET, February 8, 2022

A hotel in the Beijing bubble will only serve steak well done due to Covid concerns

From CNN's Nectar Gan in Beijing

Steak or beef jerky?
Steak or beef jerky? (Nectar Gan/CNN)

Thousands of staff, volunteers, journalists and other Olympics personnel are confined to a "closed loop" system in Beijing, designed to prevent Covid-19 from spreading at the Games.

Inside the bubble, the Covid restrictions can sometimes seem a touch overzealous.

On Monday, our taxi driver prevented us from winding down the car window to take a photo while approaching the big air venue, saying we were "breaking the bubble."

And at one of the closed loop hotels, Covid restrictions have even reached diner's plates.

Anyone ordering steak for lunch after a cold day out at the snow events was told by staff the only way they can cook the meat is well done — due to Covid concerns.

It's unclear what the exact logic behind the charred beef is, but the jerky-like texture is a chewy reminder of how nearly every aspect of life within the bubble is adjusted for Covid risks — whether perceived or genuine.

3:27 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Mikaela Shiffrin "OK, but disappointed" after missing a gate in the slalom

Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin skis out in the first run of the women's slalom on Wednesday.
Team USA's Mikaela Shiffrin skis out in the first run of the women's slalom on Wednesday. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Defending champion Mikaela Shiffrin skied out of the women's slalom course early, another shock for the American who crashed out of the giant slalom on Monday.

She was favored to win the slalom event, but instead missed a gate early in the first run and was seen sitting on the sidelines of the course with her head in her hands.

The US Ski and Snowboard team said on Twitter she, "is ok, but disappointed."

10:24 p.m. ET, February 8, 2022

Where are all the medals?

Games staff prepare to give Beijing 2022 mascots to medal winners.
Games staff prepare to give Beijing 2022 mascots to medal winners. (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

After many of the medal events at the Beijing Winter Olympics, the top three athletes will stand on the podium and receive a miniature replica of Beijing 2022's Bing Dwen Dwen mascot.

But what about the medals?

It's been a tradition at the Winter Games to award the medals in a separate ceremony, called the victory ceremony.

The medals are then presented in these ceremonies that are held much later after the events have finished.

According to the Olympics website, this has been the case at the Winter Olympics since Nagano 1998.

In Beijing, China has built two medal plazas — one near the Bird's Nest National Stadium and one in Zhangjiakou, where many of the snow events are held.

Some events, like the bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and curling, have the medals presented at the venue.