Day 14 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

By Aditi Sangal, Ben Morse, Ben Church, Rhea Mogul, Adam Renton and Patrick Sung, CNN

Updated 8:03 p.m. ET, February 18, 2022
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10:08 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

How Eileen Gu made Winter Olympics history

China's Eileen Gu wins gold in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday.
China's Eileen Gu wins gold in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

China's Eileen Gu won gold in the women's freeski halfpipe final on Friday — and it wasn't even close.

On a windy day at the Genting Snow Park, Gu posted a best score of 95.25, a full 4.5 points ahead of her nearest challenger, Canada's Cassie Sharpe in silver.

The win means Gu is the first athlete to win three medals in three different freestyle skiing disciplines at a single Games. An emotional Gu embraced her competitors as they posed for photos after the event.

Face of the Games: The Beijing 2022 Olympics have been a breakthrough moment for Gu as she became one of the biggest stars of the Games.

She took gold in the big air event last week and added silver in the freeski slopstyle event on Tuesday. Friday's gold medal will only help strengthen the Gu legend.

The American-born skier, born to a Chinese mother and American father, chose to represent China in 2019, and has seen her star soar since the start of what is a home Winter Olympics for her.

Her face is plastered across Chinese cities on advertisement boards and magazine covers and featured in promotional videos ahead of the Olympics showing Gu performing tricks midair and running on the Great Wall.

10:04 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

BREAKING NEWS: China's Eileen Gu wins gold in freeski halfpipe to make Olympic history

China's Eileen Gu wins gold in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday.
China's Eileen Gu wins gold in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday. (Lu Lin/ChinaSports/VCG/Getty Images)

China's Eileen Gu has just clinched her second gold medal of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics with one run still to go in the women's freeski halfpipe final.

The 18-year-old sensation becomes the first freeskier to win three medals in a single Games.

Last week, Gu topped the podium in the big air event and then added a silver to her collection in Tuesday's slopestyle final.

Canada's Cassie Sharpe claimed silver with a best score of 90.75, with her teammate Rachael Karker taking bronze.

9:35 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

With one run to go, China's Eileen Gu is dominating the women's freeski halfpipe final

China's Eileen Gu reacts after watching her score as she competes in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday.
China's Eileen Gu reacts after watching her score as she competes in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday. (Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images)

Eileen Gu posted a huge second run best score of 95.25 to extend her lead at the top of the leaderboard in the women's freeski halfpipe final.

Canada's Cassie Sharpe is in the silver medal position with a second round run of 90, and her compatriot Rachael Karker is in third.

9:08 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

Eileen Gu leads the pack after first run of freeski halfpipe final

China's Eileen Gu competes in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday.
China's Eileen Gu competes in the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final run on Friday. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

China's superstar Eileen Gu completed her first run in the women's freeski halfpipe with a score of 93.25 — placing her in first place.

Canada's Cassie Sharpe is in second with 89 points, followed by teammate Rachael Karker, with 87.75.

3:12 a.m. ET, February 18, 2022

Ukrainian bobsledder Lidiia Hunko provisionally suspended over doping violation

Ukrainian bobsledder Lidiia Hunko.
Ukrainian bobsledder Lidiia Hunko. (Pavlo Bagmut/Ukrinform/Future Publishing/Getty Images)

Ukrainian bobsledder Lidiia Hunko has been provisionally suspended from competing at the Beijing Games after she tested positive for a banned substance, a statement from the International Testing Agency (ITA) said Thursday.

Hunko returned a positive sample for the anabolic steroid dehydrochloromethyl-testosterone, which is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) prohibited list, the statement said.

The sample was collected on Feb. 14. Hunko competed in the monobob the day before, finishing 20th.

Hunko has been informed of the case and has been provisionally suspended until a resolution is met in line with rules set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WADA, according to the statement.

Hunko has the right to challenge the provisional suspension before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and also has the right to request analysis of the B-sample, the ITA said.

Doping controversy: Hunko is the third athlete to receive a doping violation inside the “closed loop” system at the Winter Olympics. Ukrainian skier Valentyna Kaminska received a provisional suspension from the ITA Thursday after she tested positive for three banned substances. Iranian alpine skier Hossein Savah-Shemshaki also received a provisional suspension for testing positive for a banned anabolic androgenic steroid. 

But the most talked about doping case involves the 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva, who was allowed to continue competing despite her positive test provided in December.

Valieva fell multiple times in Thursday's free skate program and finished fourth.

The IOC has made it clear that Valieva — and the people surrounding her — will continue to be investigated long after the closing ceremony.

8:00 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

It's 9 a.m. in Beijing. Here's what’s coming up on Day 14 of the Winter Olympics

Home favorite Eileen Gu will attempt to make Winter Olympics history on Friday as the 18-year-old freeskier goes for a third medal at the Beijing Games.

Here's the pick of what's coming up today:

 ⛷️History in the making? China's superstar Eileen Gu is the favorite heading into the women’s freeski halfpipe final after topping the leaderboard in qualifying. Gu has already won gold in the big air event and silver in slopestyle at the Beijing Games. If she finishes on the podium, she will become the first athlete to win three medals in three different freestyle skiing disciplines. But she'll face tough competition from Canada’s Rachael Karker and Estonia's Kelly Sildaru.

🥇Olympic champion eyes another gold: Canada's defending Olympic champion Brady Leman aims to retain the men’s ski cross title he won in Pyeongchang four years ago. The 35-year-old is competing in his fourth — and perhaps final — Olympics. Fellow Canadians Kevin Drury and Reece Howden are also medal contenders, along with France’s Jean Federic Capuis and Swiss skiers Ryan Regez and Marc Bischofberger.

⛸️ Dash for gold: Dutchman Thomas Krol will attempt the race of his life as he competes for the top title in the men’s 1,000 meters speed skating event. The 29-year-old has the season's best time of 1 minute 6.44 seconds and tops the World Cup rankings. He faces China’s Ning Zhongyan, who has the second best time this season.

🏒Battle on ice: It's down to the last four teams in the men’s ice hockey tournament following the surprise elimination of favorites Team USA and Canada. Slovakia face off against Finland in today's first semi-final, followed by the ROC vs. Sweden for a place in the final.

7:03 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

Why Kamila Valieva's "very traumatizing" skating controversy matters

From CNN's Ben Morse and Jack Bantock

Kamila Valieva competes in the women's free skate on Feb. 17.
Kamila Valieva competes in the women's free skate on Feb. 17. (Peter Kneffel/Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

As Kamila Valieva fell multiple times in Thursday's free skate program at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, many of the figure skating fans in attendance felt for the 15-year-old.

Under the immense weight of a huge doping scandal, Valieva finished in fourth place in the women's individual event, while her Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) teammate Anna Shcherbakova captured gold.

Valieva — who was the clear favorite to finish in first place after coming out on top of Tuesday's short program — broke into tears as she left the ice as the emotion of the past few days appeared to catch up with her.

Loud chants of "Kamila, Kamila, Kamila" came from the stands as a tearful Valieva was consoled by coach Eteri Tutberidze as she made her way off the rink.

Former US Olympic figure skater Polina Edmunds offered her support to Valieva on Twitter.

"Very traumatizing Olympic experience for Kamila Valieva. She should not have been allowed to compete, it's devastating that she was put in this situation, on all levels."

Shcherbakova, who was the skater who competed directly before Valieva in the final, said she felt "nervous" watching her teammate skate.

"I watched Kamila but probably did not understand what I was experiencing," the 17-year-old said. "Of course, I was very nervous for her during the skate because from the very first jump it was clear that the skate is going very hard and I understand perfectly what an athlete feels at those moments."

Why was Valieva even allowed to compete? The doping controversy was the main talking point as she struggled to maintain her run and penned the next chapter in a story that is certain to rumble on far beyond the Beijing Games.

The Russian figure skater has been at the heart of a doping scandal that can be traced back to December 2021, when the 15-year-old tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine, which experts say can enhance endurance.

Valieva has sought to blame the positive test on contamination from medication taken by her grandfather, an IOC official familiar with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing which cleared Valieva for the rest of the Games said on Tuesday.

However, the test was only analyzed and reported to Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in February, resulting in Valieva's suspension on February 8.

The suspension came a day after Valieva had helped the ROC to a gold medal victory in the figure skating team event.

Valieva was reinstated after an appeal, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) allowed her to compete in the Olympics. CAS said in a statement it had decided Valieva should be allowed to compete due to "exceptional circumstances," including specific provisions linked to her status as a "protected person" — because she is a minor — under the World Anti-Doping Code.

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7:06 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

Norway leads the medal table going into Day 14 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

The gold medal race is drawing tighter after nearly two weeks of Winter Olympic competition in Beijing.

  1. Norway leads the way with 14 golds among 29 medals in total — the most of any team.
  2. Germany is second with 10 golds and 22 medals overall.
  3. The United States ranks third with eight golds and 21 total medals.
  4. Sweden has leapfrogged into fourth with seven golds and 15 medals overall.
  5. Host nation China moves down to fifth with seven golds and 13 medals in total.
6:56 p.m. ET, February 17, 2022

"This is redemption": Canada celebrates winning women's hockey gold with victory over Team USA

From CNN's Ben Morse

(Left to right) Sarah Fillier, Jill Saulnier, Renata Fast and Melodie Daoust celebrate with their gold medals after beating Team USA.
(Left to right) Sarah Fillier, Jill Saulnier, Renata Fast and Melodie Daoust celebrate with their gold medals after beating Team USA.

Four years ago, it was heartbreak for Canada's women's ice hockey team. The team lost to their oldest rival, Team USA, in a penalty shootout in the gold medal match at Pyeongchang 2018, ending their winning streak of four consecutive Winter Games gold medals.

But in Beijing at the 2022 Winter Games, they finally had their opportunity to make amends, and they seized the moment.

It was nervy and exciting, but finally Canada held on to secure a 3-2 victory in the final as they saw a 3-0 lead evaporate under late pressure from Team USA.

As the final buzzer sounded, Canadian players erupted into cheers of celebration, some broke into tears and bundled together into a group hug.

"It's just so good. It's a great feeling," Canadian forward Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored two goals in the final, said. "It was one hell of an effort. This is redemption."

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