Live Updates

Day 5 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Reporters press Eileen Gu over her citizenship. See her response
04:00

What we covered here

Our live coverage has ended. You can read more about how Day 5 of the Games unfolded in the posts below.

46 Posts

What happened while you were asleep: Shiffrin's nightmare, a wardrobe malfunction and the US's 1st gold

Wednesday marked the fifth day of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. If you’re just reading in now on the action — most of which happened in overnight US hours — here’s what you need to know:

⛷ Mikaela Shiffrin slips up … again

Mikaela Shiffrin’s Olympics nightmare continued Wednesday, as the American skiing sensation failed to finish her second straight event in Beijing.

Shifrin “slipped up” during her first run of the women’s slalom — an event she took Gold in in 2014 — lasting less than five seconds, and failing to make it past five gates.

The 26-year-old — who was seeking to become the first American skier to capture three medals in a single Games — admitted to feeling “pretty awful” and “pretty low” after coming up empty in her second straight event.

Shiffrin also failed to finish her giant slalom run on Monday, meaning her top two events yielded nothing more than heartbreak.

A two-time Olympic medalist, Shiffrin has a pair of speed races still on her Olympics agenda, the downhill and super-G.

🥇 Olympic veteran brings home first Team USA gold

Sixteen years ago, American Lindsey Jacobellis opted for pizzaz when she needed poise, trying a flashy maneuver despite having a comfortable lead in the women’s snowboard cross competition at the 2006 Olympic Games. The choice cost her: she fell and was forced to settle for silver. It was a mistake she wouldn’t make again.

On Wednesday, the 36-year-old finally captured the elusive gold medal she’s been seeking since her Turin topple, outperforming the field, and earning the US’s first gold in Beijing.

⚖️ “Legal consultation” delays team figure skating medal ceremony

Though the figure skating team competition has been over for more than 48 hours, the medals remain on ice. An International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesperson says the medal ceremony is being held up amid “legal consultation” as a result of what’s being described as an “emerging issue.”

As it stands right now, the ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) captured gold in the event, with the US and Japan earning silver and bronze respectively.

The goal is to get the issue sorted post haste, though the IOC spokesman noted that “legal issues can sometimes drag on.”

🏂 Shaun White hunting for one more gold

Shaun White’s Olympics victory lap was nearly done before it started. Competing in his fifth and final Games, the three-time Gold Medalist fell during his first men’s halfpipe run, putting his Beijing future in doubt. However, the man once dubbed the “Flying Tomato” rallied in his second attempt, turning in an 86.25, good enough to advance him to Thursday’s event final.

At 35 years old, White — who has competed in every Winter Olympics since 2006 — is the oldest-ever Olympic male halfpipe rider. He is seeking one final medal to add to a trophy case already bursting at the seams.

👚 Suited … then booted: Wardrobe malfunction leads to skiing sadness

Two centimeters. That’s what separates Olympic glory from a devastating disqualification.

Sara Takanashi’s massive 103-meter effort seemed poised to vault Japan into medal contention in the mixed team ski jumping event. However, Takanashi’s suit was ruled to be too wide — by two centimeters — around her thighs, thus resulting in a disqualification.

After the ruling, Takanashi posted on Instagram: “I am very sorry that the chance of winning a medal has been taken away from the Japanese team.”

The Japanese competitor was not alone in her disappointment, as teams from Austria, Norway and Germany also suffered disqualifications resulting from suit violations.

🚑 From a hospital bed to the medal stand

A 2016 car accident nearly cost American Colby Stevenson his life. He underwent a pair of major surgeries, suffered fractures to his skull, ribs, jaw, neck and an eye socket, and doctors feared he might not be able to walk out of the hospital. Nonetheless, he was back on skis five months later, and now he’s an Olympic medalist.

Stevenson brought home the silver in the men’s freeski big air competition on Wednesday, bringing to conclusion a comeback six years in the making.

“I’ve never been in such a grateful state and just so full of love, I guess, for the sport,” Stevenson said following his medal-winning performance.

“I think that was the secret in the end for me, just doing it out of love,” he added.

Some of the best action shots of Day 5 at Beijing 2022

As Day 5 of the Winter Olympics wraps up, take a look back at some of the best photos from Wednesday in Beijing.

From left, South Korean speed skater Hwang Dae-heon crosses the finish line ahead of Canada's Steven Dubois and the ROC's Semen Elistratov to win the men's 1,500m short track final on February 9.
Japan's Ryota Yamamoto competes in the ski jumping portion of the Nordic combined on February 9.
American snowboarder Shaun White reacts after finishing his second run on the halfpipe on February 9. He had fallen on his first run, and he needed the second run to qualify for the event final. This is the fifth and final Olympics for White, who won halfpipe gold in 2006, 2010 and 2018.
From left, the United States' Stacy Gaskill, the United States' Lindsey Jacobellis, France's Chloe Trespeuch and Italy's Michela Moioli compete in a snowboard cross semifinal on February 9. Jacobellis would go on to win the event, her first gold medal in her fifth Olympic Games.
American Andrew Blaser goes down the track during skeleton training on February 9.

See more of the best photos from the Games so far.

Beijing's uncompromising Covid-19 restrictions push Olympians to their limits

A bus filled with athletes travels within the "closed loop" system on February 4.

Weeks-long isolation, repeat stints in quarantine and sub-par meals: these are the conditions that some Olympic athletes snared in Beijing’s stringent system for controlling Covid-19 say they are contending with — and some are pushing back.

Finnish ice hockey head coach Jukka Jalonen on Sunday accused China of “not respecting human rights” for keeping his star player Marko Anttila in isolation for more than two weeks, leaving the athlete who tested positive for the virus out of commission into the first weekend of the Beijing Winter Games, which kicked off on Friday.

Jalonen told reporters Sunday that, according to his team doctor, Anttila was no longer infectious after first testing positive 18 days earlier.

Beijing has pushed back on the characterization, with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday stressing controls put in place by the organizing committee for the Beijing Games were meant “to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible, and ensure the safe and smooth running of the Games as scheduled,” while safeguarding the health of all those involved and in the host city.

The hockey star is one of 159 athletes or team officials who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Beijing as of Tuesday morning local time. Overall, some 393 Olympics-related personnel and other stakeholders have received that result, picked up in arrival screenings and daily tests — a key pillar of Beijing’s Olympic’s bubble.

The bubble completely cordons off the more than 10,000 athletes, media and other participants joining from around the world in a “closed-loop” system, where they live, eat, work and travel between Olympic venues some 111 miles (180 kilometers) apart, all without coming into contact with people or areas in the capital city outside.

The ambitious scheme, run by thousands of Chinese volunteers and staff, is meant to minimize the spread of Covid-19 inside the Games and prevent it from spilling into the Beijing. Its rigorous testing regimes and isolation requirements for positive cases are also meant to ensure that any infections that do enter the bubble are picked up quickly, before they can cause an outbreak and disrupt the Games.

Pulling off the Games without a major outbreak in the midst of a critical phase in the pandemic is also a high-stakes matter for China. The government has touted as a political win its ability to keep Covid-19 largely under control with its ‘zero-Covid’ strategy throughout much of the pandemic, even as the virus raged overseas.

But for athletes coming from parts of the world that have begun to shift their approaches to “live with the virus” after large portions of their populations received vaccines, the rules can seem jarring.

And for some, the virus and its controls have meant giving up Olympic dreams.

Read the full story here.

US figure skater Nathan Chen on verge of Olympic glory after world record performance

US star figure skater Nathan Chen is looking for his first Olympic gold medal in Beijing.

Nathan Chen is on course to win his first Olympic gold medal after setting a new short-program world record in the men’s figure skating event on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old’s near-flawless performance was rewarded by judges with an unprecedented 113.97 points, sending him over five points clear at the top of the rankings with the deciding free skate final to come on Thursday.

Chen’s rise to the top had been predicted … by Chen himself.

At just 10 years old, he said on national TV that he would make the 2018 US Winter Olympic figure skating team. Four years ago in PyeongChang, that became a reality.

Despite the fulfillment of a dream in 2018, an 18-year-old Chen ultimately left South Korea disappointed following a 5th-place finish in the individual event.

But the experience has only served as motivation and he’s in the perfect position to secure Olympic glory this week.

The Games also holds an added personal element for the Yale student with both of Chen’s parents born in China.

“Obviously, there are always things you can improve on, there are always things you can do a little bit better, but overall, I’m very happy,” Chen said ahead of Thursday’s finale.

Read more here.

Faux Snow-lympics: Beijing 2022 is the first Winter Olympics to rely on almost 100% fake snow

For the Olympics, China built a winter wonderland like it was in the metaverse.

This mountainous area used to be brown and barren. It’s cold enough, but it’s dry like a frozen desert.

The artificially snowed sloped for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

More than 100 snow generators and 300 snow-making guns pulled off an impressive feat — even allowing folks to show off their creative side by building snow sculptures.

At the Genting Snow Park, dragons seem to be the most popular. Some have oranges for eyes while others run along stairways leading to offices. Intricate details head-to-toe bring these snow creatures to life.

Dragons are the most popular snow sculpture spotted around Beijing

There’s even a tiger whose whiskers are wooden sticks.

A tiger snow sculpture

Despite the lack of precipitation so far at these Games, there’s still room to play. TechnoAlpin, the company providing the snow-making systems, told CNN that it began shipping a full arsenal of snow guns, fan-driven snow generators and cooling towers to Beijing in 2018 to start creating the artificial surfaces on which the snow-sport Olympians are competing.

The machines have been on snow duty since 2018

More than the snow, there are thousands — if not tens of thousands — of trees that weren’t here before. In theory, planting pines amid the massive mounds of artificial snow would be the cherry on top of this winter creation. However, some of the trees are oddly placed and hardly doing the trick.

Pine trees on slopes

The slopes have received mix reviews.

Two-time snowboard slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson called the course “gnarly,” saying, “It’s not quite ideal, but I would say we’re all making the most of it. You definitely don’t want to fall. It feels like bulletproof ice.”

CNN spoke to gold medalists Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand, Australia’s Jakara Anthony and Canadian Max Parrot, and they all spoke highly of the surfaces.

Team USA’s Julia Marino said, “The course was perfect.”

Great Britain’s cross-country skier James Clugnet told reporters, “The course is super, super slow… It’s so cold, and it’s a bit like a desert next to the track. So when it’s windy, the sand comes into the track. You have to reach a certain speed and then you’re all right, but when you’re going slowly, it feels like you’re standing still.”

The faux snow slopes have received mixed reviews.

Biney ready to "have fun and be happy" in Beijing

02:54

Two years ago, Maame Biney almost walked away from speed skating but says she’s arrived at her second Olympics stronger than ever.

The US skater said before the Games that “so many things were not going my way” after PyeongChang 2018 – where she made history as the first Black woman to compete for the United States short track speed skating team at an Olympics – and found the sport less enjoyable.  

Arriving in Beijing, Biney’s expectations are to “race and have fun and be happy and be confident” – goals that are no doubt fueled by her positive attitude and infectious smile.

“The world needs more laughter,” she told CNN before the Games.

Biney placed 13th in the 500m short track speed skating event on Monday and won her 1,000m heat on Wednesday to qualify for the quarterfinals on Friday.

Hear more from Biney here.

It's 11:30 p.m. in Beijing. Here are the gold medal wins from Day 5 of the Winter Olympics

Six gold medals were at stake on the fifth day of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Here’s a list of who won and how the competition is shaking out so far:

  • Alpine Skiing: Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova won the gold in women’s slalom.
  • Freestyle Skiing: Norway’s Birk Ruud captured the gold in men’s freeski big air event.
  • Luge: Germany’s Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt won the doubles event.
  • Nordic Combined: Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger took gold the individual gundersen normal Hill/10km, cross-country event
  • Short Track Speed Skating: South Korea’s Hwang Dae-heon clinched the gold in men’s 1500m event. 
  • Snowboard: USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis won the women’s snowboarding event, giving the country its first gold in Beijing. 

Here is the official Olympic medal count so far.

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

Germany's Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt celebrating after winning gold in doubles luge.

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.

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

Three-time Olympic medalist Mikaela Shiffrin crashed out of her second event on Wednesday.

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:

YANQING, CHINA - FEBRUARY 07: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Alternate crop) Mikaela Shiffrin of Team United States crashes during the Women's Giant Slalom on day three of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Alpine Ski Centre on February 07, 2022 in Yanqing, China. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Mikaela Shiffrin aims to bounce back from crash and make Winter Olympics history at Beijing 2022

Lying down on the job

You win some, you luge some.

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.

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

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 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.

Fun or frightening? A brief history of Olympic mascot design

Beijing 2022 mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, seen here before the Opening Ceremony on February 4, has been a hit with fans around the world.

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.

Complaints about the food inside Olympic bubble mount

A robotic food delivery system is seen in the cafeteria of the Main Media Center, ahead of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on Feb. 1.

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.

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.

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.

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

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:

01:20

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

Lindsey Jacobellis reacts to crossing the finish line to win the gold medal during the women's snowboard cross big final on February 9.

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.

“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.

You’re never too old to be an Olympian

Claudia Pechstein of Germany celebrates and makes a heart with her hands after the women's 3,000m speed skating event on Feb. 5

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.

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.

Life inside the Olympic bubble: Peking duck and hazmat suits

Peking duck served by a staff member in a hazmat suit at the Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing.

Walking into the Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing’s Olympic bubble, it’s immediately clear that Covid-19 prevention measures are being taken to the next level – even in the context of one of the strictest places in the world.

Guests are sprayed from head-to-toe with a mist of disinfectant in a neon-lit walkway upon entering the building, and guests walk through a roped-off alley surrounded by half a dozen staff wearing full hazmat suits.

Temperatures are also checked, N95 or KN95 face masks are mandatory, and hand sanitizer is dispensed from hands-free containers – as with all locations within the “closed loop.”

Airport-level security is also employed at building entrances, with the Olympic accreditation identification scanned through the security gates, so people can be traced at all times.

Preventing Covid-19 from spreading within the “closed loop” – or more importantly, escaping into the rest of the population – has been a key priority for Olympic organizers.

Even the restaurant at the Shangri-La takes an extreme approach to safety. The famous northern Chinese dish of Peking duck was hand-rolled by a member of staff wearing a hazmat suit, who spread out the wafer-thin pancakes, adding the plum sauce, juicy duck and spring onions, all while wearing surgical gloves.

The Olympic personnel, media and other guests staying at the dozens of hotels inside the “closed loop” are tested for Covid-19 every day, a mandatory process which has to take place before 11pm (local time.) If anyone tests positive within the “closed loop,” staff will come to remove them from the hotel and transfer them to an isolation facility or a hospital until they test negative twice.

The Covid-19 testing staff at CNN’s hotel are stationed outside in temporary metal shelters, unable to leave their station for hours on end, relying on layers of clothes under their hazmat suits to protect them from the sub-zero temperatures. Guests at some hotels have received warnings for forgetting to take their Covid-19 tests on time and have been warned that they will be banned from leaving the hotel until they do their test.

So far, the strict containment measures have prevented an outbreak of Covid-19 within the “closed loop,” with only five cases reported on Tuesday.

Medal ceremony for figure skating team event delayed due to "legal consultation," says IOC

 IOC spokesman Mark Adams speaking at a press briefing on February 9.

The medal ceremony for the figure skating team event has been delayed due to “legal consultation,” International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman Mark Adams told a press briefing on Wednesday.

The ROC clinched the gold medal with the United States taking silver and Japan bronze in Monday’s event.

The ceremony was due to be held on Tuesday evening local time but was removed from the events list.

Adams said the situation arose at short notice, adding that it was an “emerging issue,” which requires “legal consultation with the International Skating Union.”

When asked whether the legal issues will be resolved in time before the athletes leave Beijing, Adams said everyone is doing “absolutely everything” to sort the situation out as soon as possible as it includes athletes who won medals.

“We will be doing our level utmost to make sure it is resolved as quickly as possible, but as you know, legal issues can sometimes drag on,” he added.

Beijing 2022 event guide: Skeleton

China's Zhao Dan takes part in the women's skeleton training Feb. 9.

Flying head first down a narrow ice track at speeds of over 100km/h (about 62mph) might not be everyone’s idea of a good day out but it’s certainly fun to watch.

Skeleton has been a fan favorite at the Winter Olympics since it first appeared in competition but it’s had a love hate relationship with the Games ever since.

After British and American holiday goers constructed the first toboggan run in 1882 in Davos, Switzerland, a new steel sledge was built ten years later — which became known as the skeleton.

It fell in and out of the Olympic program for a number of years, before it was reintroduced at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics.

In Beijing, there will be six gold medals across the discipline with athletes participating on the same track across two days, getting four runs each, which are then added together.

The competitor who gets to the bottom of the track in the quickest cumulative time wins the event.

Great Britain and the United States are two of the powerhouses in the sport but, given the nature of the event, anything can happen on the day.

The skeleton takes place from Thursday, February 10 to Saturday, February 12.

You can learn more about the events at this year’s Games in CNN’s event guide here.

IOC President says governing body is in contact with Peng Shuai “all the time”

Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai watches the women's freestyle skiing big air finals on Tuesday.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is in contact with Peng Shuai “all the time,” its president Thomas Bach told reporters at the Beijing Games on Wednesday.  

Bach said that the governing body has been regularly communicating with the Chinese tennis star since their first video conference with her in November last year. 

“Since then, we have been all the time in contact and this is why also because we wanted to keep this contact up that we invited her for the first meeting, for a meeting here, to show everybody it’s not only just a one off effort, but it is a continuous effort … and we will keep this contact up,” Bach told reporters. 

“Now, we are continuing by having invited her to come to Lausanne and maybe also to visit other places in Europe, so that whenever she wants, she can travel, and in all the conversations, we have assured her that we will support her, whatever she decides,” he continued. 

Bach held an in-person meeting with Peng on Saturday inside the Olympics “closed loop” system, which separates athletes, stakeholders, and staff from the public in Beijing. On Tuesday, the two then watched China’s Eileen Gu take home gold in the big air freestyle skiing competition. 

Bach said Peng’s various appearances show that “she is enjoying the Games and enjoying being among athletes and the public.”

The IOC Chief ended by telling reporters he will not see Peng again during this trip, as the tennis star will soon leave the Games’ “closed loop” system. 

Lindsey Jacobellis wins women's snowboard cross to clinch Team USA's first gold of Beijing 2022

Lindsey Jacobellis of the United States celebrates after winning gold at the women's snowboard cross big final on Wednesday.

Team USA’s Lindsey Jacobellis won the women’s snowboard cross competition Wednesday, finally claiming an elusive gold medal in her fifth Olympics.

It’s the first gold medal for the United States at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

In the 2006 Turin Games, Jacobellis had the gold medal in the bag when she went for a flashy move on a jump and then fell. She finished with the silver.

The 36-year-old, who has been chasing gold since then, beat France’s Chloe Trespeuch, who took silver, and Canada’s Meryeta O’Dine who earned bronze.

According to sports data site Gracenote, Jacobellis is the second US athlete to win a Winter Olympics medal at least 16 years after her first.

Belarusian skier Darya Dolidovich flees to Poland after being barred from competing in Olympics 

Belarusian cross-country skier Darya Dolidovich poses in this handout picture taken in Kirovsk, Russia, November, 2021

Belarusian skier Darya Dolidovich has fled her home country after being barred from competing in the Winter Olympics over accusations regarding her involvement with the country’s opposition movement. 

The 17-year-old cross-country skier’s International Ski Federation (FIS) code – which is required for athletes to compete in events run by the governing body – was changed to “not active” approximately three weeks ago. It followed a decision from the Belarus Ski Union, according to Reuters.

Dolidovich told Reuters in December that the ban – which precluded her from competing in the Beijing Winter Games – came after sports officials accused her of “supporting” the country’s opposition.

CNN has reached out to the Belarus Ski Union and the Belarus Cross-Country Skiing Federation for comment on Dolidovich’s case.

In a statement to CNN, the FIS said: “FIS has reached out to the Belarus Ski Association to ask the reason why the status was changed, but has not yet received an update.”

Family flees: Her coach and father, Sergei Dolidovich, is a seven-time Olympian who has spoken out publicly against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime and took part in street protests following the disputed presidential election in August 2020, which opposition groups say was marred by fraud.

Darya confirmed that her family had relocated to Poland during a video interview with Reuters Wednesday. 

Her father told Reuters the family had been targeted over their political views, and that his daughter had been “stripped” of her right t