Day 12 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

By Aditi Sangal, Ben Morse, Matias Grez, Adam Renton and Helen Regan, CNN

Updated 8:01 p.m. ET, February 16, 2022
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7:15 p.m. ET, February 15, 2022

Kamila Valieva breaks into tears after taking to ice for first time since doping scandal ruling

From CNN's Simone McCarthy

Kamila Valieva reacts after skating during the women single skating short program on Tuesday.
Kamila Valieva reacts after skating during the women single skating short program on Tuesday.

Russian figure skating star Kamila Valieva broke into tears after she posted an impressive performance in the women's short skating program in her first appearance since the controversial doping ruling allowed her to continue competing at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

There was a slight stumble on her opening jump, a triple axel, but she held it together well until the end to post the top score of the women's short program: 82.16. The result means she qualifies for Thursday's free skate medal event.

The crowd were audibly getting behind Valieva, perhaps more so than any other skater, according to CNN staff in the arena.

As soon as she finished, she broke into tears on the ice as the emotions of the past few days appeared to catch up with her.

Weight on her shoulders: When Valieva first skated onto the Olympic ice at Beijing's Capital Indoor Stadium on Tuesday, she was carrying more than the usual pressure of a top-ranked athlete hoping to make the best of under three minutes on the ice.

The 15-year-old is at the center of a doping scandal that has inflamed mistrust of the Russian athletic establishment, pressed sports organizations and athletes around the world to call for reform, and seen the International Olympic Committee (IOC) postpone medal ceremonies for any event that could place Valieva on the podium.

Officials are still investigating whether Valieva or her entourage broke anti-doping rules, after a test she took in December was found to be positive for a banned substance.

Grandfather's medication: On Tuesday, an IOC official said Valieva is blaming the doping violation — in which she tested positive for a heart medication that experts say can improve stamina — on contamination from her grandfather's medication. Her coach, Eteri Tutberidze, told Russian state news agency Tass they are "absolutely sure" she is innocent.

Despite the drug controversy, a top sports court on Monday cleared Valieva to participate in the women's singles competition, one of the most high-profile events of the Winter Olympics and one the young skater sees as a chance for solo gold.

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11:43 a.m. ET, February 16, 2022

Here's who won gold on Day 11 of the Beijing Winter Olympics

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

European athletes dominated most medal events scheduled for Tuesday. Here's a recap of the gold medal wins on Day 11 of the Winter Games.

Alpine skiing: Switzerland's Corinne Suter captured the top spot on the podium for the women's downhill event.

Biathlon: Norway took the gold in the men's 4x7.5km relay.

Bobsled: Francesco Friedrich won gold to enhance his legend status in the sport on an all-German two-man bobsled podium.

Freestyle skiing: Switzerland's Mathilde Gremaud clinched the gold in the women's freeski slopestyle event.

Nordic combined: Jørgen Graabak of Norway won the individual Gundersen large hill/10km cross-country event in an event filled with drama.

Snowboard:

  • Austria's Anna Gasser bagged the gold in the women's snowboard big air event.
  • China's Su Yiming win in the men's snowboard big air event ensured the host nation's best ever Winter Olympics haul.

Speed skating:

  • Canada won the women's team pursuit event in a shock finale where favorites Japan had a skater fall on the last turn of the race.
  • Norway took the gold in men's team pursuit in dominant fashion.