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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9:51 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt win historic third consecutive luge doubles gold

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok

Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt celebrating after winning gold in doubles luge.
Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt celebrating after winning gold in doubles luge. (Robert Michael/picture alliance/Getty Images)

Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt made history on Wednesday by becoming the first luge doubles team to win three consecutive Winter Olympic gold medals.

The pair edged out compatriots Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken by just 0.099 seconds to claim the historic gold with Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller picking up bronze for Austria.

It is the fifth Olympic gold medal for Wendl and Arlt after they were also victorious in the team relay event in Sochi 2014 and four years ago in Pyeongchang.

And the German duo could add yet another gold medal to their haul when they compete in the team relay event at the Yanqing National Sliding Centre on Thursday.

The pair have competed together since they were 13 and are powerhouses in the sport having won countless World and European Championships.

9:43 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Mikaela Shiffrin "would really like to call" her late father after Beijing 2022 disappointment

From CNN's Matias Grez and Ben Church

Three-time Olympic medalist Mikaela Shiffrin crashed out of her second event on Wednesday.
Three-time Olympic medalist Mikaela Shiffrin crashed out of her second event on Wednesday. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Beijing 2022 has been particularly difficult for Mikaela Shiffrin.

The US ski star has crashed out of two events in the first Olympics since her father, Jeff, died suddenly from an accident in February 2020.

After her second DNF on Wednesday, Shiffrin's thoughts immediately turned to her dad.

"It does give me perspective but right now, I would really like to call him," she said. "So, that doesn't make it easier. He would probably tell me to get over it, but he's not here to say that, so on top of everything else I am pretty angry at him too."

It is a given in the skiing world that few families are as tight as the Shiffrins.

During the season, her mother is frequently seen alongside Shiffrin on the race hill and her father is rarely far from her mind.

"Skiing is something that my entire family shares. And my dad, he loved skiing, he loved it ... I found being on the mountains was like being close to him."

Read more about Shiffrin at Beijing 2022 below:

9:20 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Lying down on the job

From CNN Sport staff

You win some, you luge some.
You win some, you luge some. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

Doubles luge is one of the more... visually interesting events of the Winter Olympics. American pair Zachary DiGregorio and Sean Hollander are hoping for a medal in the final, which is currently being contested.

9:48 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Hwang Dae-heon wins gold in men's 1,500m short track speed skating

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

South Korean speed skater Hwang Dae-heon celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 1,500m short track event.
South Korean speed skater Hwang Dae-heon celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 1,500m short track event. (Elsa/Getty Images)

South Korean speed skater Hwang Dae-heon won gold in the men's 1,500 meter short track speed skating at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old finished in a time of 2:09.219 to earn his first Olympic gold medal. At the 2018 PyeongChang Games, Hwang placed 14th in this event.

After the final, Hwang said, "I can’t find words for my feeling right now. It was the most intense race ever. I am really proud of myself, accomplishing gold in such a race. I am especially proud for being able to add another medal for my country. What a beautiful day.

"The result was achieved by all of us. I want to thank my teammates, my coaches, my family and my people. They have been cheering for us and giving us so much strength. Thank you."

This is South Korea's first gold of the 2022 Winter Games and fourth in six holdings of the event in Olympic history, including in 2018.

Silver went to Canadian Steven Dubois, with Semen Elistratov of the Russian Olympic Committee claiming bronze.

8:39 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Fun or frightening? A brief history of Olympic mascot design

From CNN's Leah Dolan and Ben Church

Beijing 2022 mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, seen here before the Opening Ceremony on February 4, has been a hit with fans around the world.
Beijing 2022 mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, seen here before the Opening Ceremony on February 4, has been a hit with fans around the world. (Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Getty Images

The mascot has long been an important element of the Olympic Games with the often feathered or furry friend encapsulating the host city's culture and history.

According to the International Olympic Committee, the role of these quirky characters is to help spread a "festive atmosphere" and embody the exuberant spirit of the event.

From snowmen to cowboy-hat-wearing bears, the Winter Games has seen it all since the first mascot was created in 1968 by designer Aline Lafargue.

The designs are often selected and finalized years before the event takes place and finding a worthy representative requires plenty of work.

Read more about the cartoonish characters that have graced the Games throughout history here.

7:35 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Complaints about the food inside Olympic bubble mount

From CNN's Rebecca Wright

A robotic food delivery system is seen in the cafeteria of the Main Media Center, ahead of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Feb. 1.
A robotic food delivery system is seen in the cafeteria of the Main Media Center, ahead of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Feb. 1. (Alexander Vilf/Sputnik/AP)

Complaints about the food inside the "closed loop" have been mounting, with athletes, media and other personnel posting on social media about the lack of quality, variety, or healthy choices at the available restaurants, including the canteen at the Main Media Centre (MMC).

One hotel manager even admitted to CNN that the food in one of their own restaurants is “disgusting.”

Fresh fruit is hard to find, and no snack items or hot food are allowed to be delivered to guests into the bubble from outside. The only shop in the MMC sells low-quality packaged snacks, a small number of toiletry items, and Chinese beer – and the shelves are often half-empty.

Supplies are limited at the only shop in the Olympic media center.
Supplies are limited at the only shop in the Olympic media center. Rebecca Wright/CNN

Those who were able to visit Beijing before the pandemic have lamented their disappointment about the poor choices available in a city that is famous for its excellent food.

Even the much-touted, robot-powered restaurant at the MMC is often overcrowded with people taking videos for social media, and they warn customers that it could take 40 minutes to be served.

Customers at a robot-themed restaurant in the Olympic media center.
Customers at a robot-themed restaurant in the Olympic media center. Rebecca Wright/CNN

And despite the robot-powered food delivery system – which lowers plates of food via a wire from purple pods that slide along the ceiling – the rest of the operation still runs in a far less futuristic way, with customers paying in cash or credit card at the till and staff in some sections hand-delivering the trays of lukewarm dumplings that were made by the robots.

The robot cocktail bar is often closed, and on several visits, the machines had run out of ingredients, so the staff on site reverted to making the drinks the old-fashioned way.

The dinner buffet at the Shangri-La Hotel – which includes good quality Chinese dishes and international options – and the restaurant at the Marco Polo Hotel are among the only places inside the "closed loop" escaping major criticism of their food. But they come at a cost -- notably a price tag of more than $60 per head for the Shangri-La buffet.

8:39 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott "cracked up laughing" at dad's viral interview

From CNN's George Ramsay

When Zoi Sadowski-Synnott won New Zealand's first ever gold medal at the Winter Olympics last week, the reaction wasn't just about the 20-year-old's performance in the snowboard slopestyle, but also her dad's viral interview back home.

"He'd definitely had a few too many beers," Sadowski-Synnott told CNN, having watched the interview from Beijing.

"I just cracked up laughing because it was so him," she added.

Watch Sadowski-Synnott speak with CNN's Coy Wire about her gold medal — and her dad's response — here:

6:41 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

Lindsey Jacobellis felt a pressure to be the "golden girl" before winning USA's first gold medal in Beijing

From CNN's Ben Church

Lindsey Jacobellis reacts to crossing the finish line to win the gold medal during the women's snowboard cross big final on February 9.
Lindsey Jacobellis reacts to crossing the finish line to win the gold medal during the women's snowboard cross big final on February 9. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Team USA's Lindsey Jacobellis says she felt a pressure to be the "golden girl" during her career before winning an elusive gold medal at Beijing 2022.

The 36-year-old claimed victory in the women's snowboard cross competition on Wednesday — her country's first gold medal of the Games.

Success was redemption for throwing away a gold medal in the 2006 Turin Games, where Jacobellis had the win in the bag before she fell after opting for a flashy move on a jump.

She finished with the silver 16 years ago and had come to terms with the possibility that she may never experience Olympic glory before she retired.

"There was so much pressure on me to be the golden girl. I'd won so many races going into it and it's a lot for a young athlete to have on their plate," she said, speaking about the 2006 Games.

"That's definitely something that the media doesn't always understand and you don't realize how young some of these athletes are," she added.

Jacobellis suffered injuries and required surgery during her long career but pushed through a tricky season to make it to Beijing 2022.

She says she has no desire to slow down and wants to continue competing at the highest level.

"I can't really remember last year, but my body was allowing me to keep racing," she said. "I've had surgeries, I've had injuries, and it's just day by day and season by season. It seems like you blink your eye and another four years have gone by.

She added, "Maybe I'll blink again and I'll be back the next Olympics, but I want to say that I'm really excited with how things are happening right now so I'm going to try to live in this moment a little bit longer."

Read the full story here.

8:40 a.m. ET, February 9, 2022

You’re never too old to be an Olympian

From CNN's Ben Church and George Ramsay

Claudia Pechstein of Germany celebrates and makes a heart with her hands after the women's 3,000m speed skating event on Feb. 5
Claudia Pechstein of Germany celebrates and makes a heart with her hands after the women's 3,000m speed skating event on Feb. 5 (Peter Kneffel/picture alliance/Getty Images)

We’ve seen some thrilling performances from teenage athletes in Beijing – including 15-year-old figure skater Kamila Valieva and 18-year-old freestyle skier Eileen Gu – but it would be remiss to overlook the competitors at the other end of their sporting careers.

Introducing Claudia Pechstein, the German speed skater who turns 50 later this month.

At the age of 49 years and 348 days, Pechstein became the oldest woman to compete at a Winter Olympics when she took to the ice on Saturday, making a record-equaling eighth appearance at a Winter Games.

Having already won nine Olympic medals, Pechstein – who served a two-year doping ban earlier in her career – had more humble ambitions heading to Beijing: “To be negative for Covid,” she joked on Friday.

She placed 20th in the 3,000m event last week as Dutch skater Irene Schouten won gold and broke Pechstein’s 20-year-old Olympic record.

Norwegian curler Torger Nergaard is the oldest male athlete in Beijing, aged 47 and competing in his sixth Winter Olympics.

Carl August Kronlund photographed in 1924.
Carl August Kronlund photographed in 1924. Swedish Olympic Committee/Public Domain

But who was the oldest Winter Olympian ever? That distinction goes to another curler: Sweden's Carl August Kronlund, who at the age of 58 years and 155 days, competed at the 1924 Chamonix Games and won a team silver in the process.