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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6:17 a.m. ET, February 18, 2022

Thomas Krol wins gold in men’s 1,000m to continue Dutch speed skating dominance

From CNN's Aleks Klosok

Thomas Krol of the Netherlands skates during the men's 1,000m on Friday.
Thomas Krol of the Netherlands skates during the men's 1,000m on Friday. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dutchman Thomas Krol won gold in the men's 1,000m at Beijing 2022, handing the Netherlands its 11th medal in speed skating overall at this year's Games.

The 29-year-old’s victory also makes the Netherlands the first country to win three consecutive gold medals in this discipline.

Krol made up for his earlier disappointment when he had to settle for silver in the men’s 1,500m after finishing behind compatriot Kjeld Nuis.

"This is just fantastic. I'm crazy happy with this gold medal," Krol said afterwards.

"In comparison to the 1,500m, I didn't expect it to happen. When I saw my time, I wasn't really sure it would be enough. The one time (like in the 1,500m) you think it's enough, and it isn't, the other time you think it's not enough and then it is.

"This is really a dream coming true. I don't have proper words for it. Well, I do have words, of course, otherwise the interview would be pretty boring (laughs). This is something you hope for for so long."

Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil won silver with Håvard Holmefjord Lorentzen of Norway taking bronze in Friday's final.

5:03 a.m. ET, February 18, 2022

"We have our own empty medal box waiting in our room": US ice dancers speak to CNN about Valieva situation

From CNN’s Gawon Bae and Coy Wire

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue during their CNN interview.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue during their CNN interview. CNN

Team USA ice dancers Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue have told CNN they have their “empty medal box waiting in our room,” as they wait to receive their figure skating team event medal which has been postponed without a date in light of Kamila Valieva’s ongoing doping case.

Speaking to CNN’s Coy Wire, Hubbell said they were “disappointed” at being informed at the last minute on February 8 that the medal ceremony would be delayed. The US had finished second behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

“We were really looking forward to sharing that Olympic moment together. It’s an incredibly difficult situation for everyone involved, but certainly I don’t think that it’s fair to any of the athletes who medal that we have to forego that Olympic moment … it’s hard to go home empty-handed,” Hubbell said.

Donohue added that he hopes the situation would be solved “as quickly as possible,” both for the athletes and for the integrity of sport.

“We have a whole team of athletes that have finished competing and are staring looking at an empty box and the unknown of the future and missing out on that Olympics moment,” Donohue said.

Valieva finished fourth in the women’s individual skating competition while her teammates Anna Shcherbakova and Alexandra Trusova won the gold and silver respectively. Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto took the bronze.

“It’s really sad to see a group of athletes working under the same coach that obviously do not have that same respect for each other,” Hubbell said.

She added: “I felt very bad to see the Japanese athlete celebrating and being excited about her victory next to two people that didn't seem like they were able to enjoy their moment."

Speaking about 15-year-old Valieva, Donohue said it was awful that everything she had done to this point would be put into question as a result of her ongoing doping case.

“The story isn’t about a young Olympian. It’s about a scandal. And she’s getting swallowed up in that. I think that’s terrible,” he said.

The two ice dancers were among the US skaters that met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach on Wednesday, which Bach described on Friday as “very fruitful.”

Both Hubbell and Donohue said they appreciated meeting the president to share their perspectives on the Valieva situation.

“We didn’t leave the meeting feeling, I don’t think any better about this situation, but at least you know, we had our chance to kind of say what it feels like to be an athlete in our shoes,” Hubbell said.

Donohue confirmed that they have received Olympic torches from the IOC, which Bach earlier clarified was a “token of appreciation” for an honest meeting, not a consolation for an Olympic medal.

4:28 a.m. ET, February 18, 2022

Eyes on the prize as Finland go for gold

From CNN Sport staff

"This is gunna hurt."
"This is gunna hurt." (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

Finland's ice hockey team defeated Slovakia 2-0 on Friday to advance to the men's gold medal game at Beijing 2022, where it will face either Sweden or the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

"We are excited. It was our goal to get there and we feel very happy about that," Finland's head coach Jukka Jalonen said.

"If you want to win, you have to defend well and that is what I think we did really well. There was not much room for the Slovak forwards. It is one of our strengths."

For Finland forward Marko Anttila, the semifinal win was an emotional moment given he had spent time in quarantine after a positive Covid-19 test while at this year's Games.

"It wasn't an easy time then and I had a lot of time to think all kind of thoughts. But this was one of them, to play in an Olympic final. Now, it's possible," he said.

"Everybody has been a bit scared of those tests and it's been nervous, but I'm proud of the guys and how they've handled all the pressure."

4:24 a.m. ET, February 18, 2022

French biathlete Justine Braisaz-Bouchet mounts huge comeback to win gold in women's 12.5km mass start

From CNN's Ben Morse

France's Justine Braisaz-Bouchet wins the gold medal during the women's biathlon mass start on Feb. 18.
France's Justine Braisaz-Bouchet wins the gold medal during the women's biathlon mass start on Feb. 18. (Michel Cottin/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

France's Justine Braisaz-Bouchet had built up such a commanding lead in the women's 12.5km mass start that she was able to grab a French flag and wave it as she crossed the finish line in a time of 40:18.0, 15.3 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.

But it wasn't a straightforward race, having to mount a huge comeback to claim gold.

After the second shooting station 5km into the race, Braisaz-Bouchet was way down in 14th position, a minute and 14 seconds behind the leader after two misses in the opening prone shoot.

Before the final shooting station 7.4km into the race, Braisaz-Bouchet was in seventh, over a minute behind leader Marte Olsbu Røiseland of Norway.

However, after poor visits to the two standing shoots by both Røiseland and compatriot Tiril Eckhoff — both women missed two shots in each of their last two range visits — Braisaz-Bouchet surged into the lead.

And the 25-year-old Frenchwoman accrued a lead of over half a minute with about a kilometer to go, so was able to enjoy the final straight as she claimed her first Olympic gold medal, having won bronze in the women's 4×6 km relay at PyeongChang 2018.

Braisaz-Bouchet attempted to put her emotions into words after the race and said focusing on herself was her only plan.

"I was so shocked I had won. I'm really happy to say that I'm Olympic champion," she said. "It's quite amazing. It's a really big feeling and I want to thank my family, my husband, especially for him. A big thank you to all the team and the people who support."

She added: "Today, I was just really calm and happy, even during the race. I really wanted to take part in this race and felt really, really calm during the race. I didn't think about results or anything or the girls around me. I was just racing my own biathlon and in the moment."

Eckhoff and Røiseland won silver and bronze — Røiseland's fifth medal of the Games.

3:27 a.m. ET, February 18, 2022

CAS "decided to ignore" terms of anti-doping code in regards to Valieva case, says WADA

From CNN's Sports staff

A file photo of CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.
A file photo of CAS headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.  (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has responded to the Court of Arbitration for Sport's (CAS) decision to reject the appeal to the decision to allow Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva from competing in the 2022 Beijing Games, saying "it is surprising and of serious concern."

On Thursday, CAS published a 41-page document explaining the reasons for rejecting the appeal filed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), WADA and the International Skating Union (ISU) to lift 15-year-old Valieva’s doping suspension.

In the report issued by CAS on Thursday explaining its decision, the organization laid blame on WADA as to how the situation unfolded. 

WADA has responded with the following statement Friday, saying CAS "decided to ignore the clear and unambiguous terms of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code (Code) regarding the criteria for lifting a mandatory provisional suspension."

"In effect, by making this award, the CAS Panel has re-written the Code to say that mandatory provisional suspensions for 'protected persons' shall now be considered as optional provisional suspensions. This is not what the Code says, not what the Code drafters intended and was never proposed by any of WADA’s stakeholders during the three rounds of Code consultation.

"This re-writing of the Code, which would apparently allow 'protected persons' to continue competing after testing positive for non-specified substances without any clarification of the circumstances, risks undermining the integrity of sporting competition and the confidence of athletes that they are competing on a level playing field."

"The Panel also takes into account that if the athlete’s case had been heard before the CAS Appeals Division rather than the CAS Ad Hoc Division, she could have sought provisional relief (based on different criteria) and therefore competed. WADA does not accept this argument for two fundamental reasons.

"First, the criteria for lifting a mandatory provisional suspension, under the Code, simply do not include the criteria for the grant of provisional relief. Second, in a scenario where WADA (and/or others) had appealed against the decision of the RUSADA Disciplinary Committee to the CAS Appeals Division, the athlete would have had no need to seek provisional relief given the provisional suspension would have been already lifted. Furthermore, if the RUSADA Disciplinary Committee had decided not to lift the mandatory provisional suspension, that decision would not have been appealable under the Code at all."

The statement continued to say that is "surprising and of serious concern to WADA that a CAS Panel would see fit to depart from the clear terms of the Code, which was subject to three consultation phases involving all anti-doping stakeholders, including athletes, over a period of two years before being unanimously adopted in November 2019.

"This sets a dangerous precedent, which WADA hopes and expects will be corrected by future CAS Panels.

"In relation to the delay between the sample being collected and the anti-doping laboratory in Stockholm reporting the positive test result, as stated on 14 February, WADA reiterates that it is the clear responsibility of the Anti-Doping Organization that initiated the test, in this case RUSADA, to communicate effectively with the laboratory to ensure the timely analysis of samples, especially in the lead-up to a major event. Unfortunately, RUSADA did not flag the high-priority nature of the sample despite being informed by the laboratory of delays being caused by a COVID-19 outbreak among its staff."

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

Those responsible in Kamila Valieva's doping case will face "very strong measures," says IOC president

IOC President Thomas Bach talks to the media during a news conference on Friday.
IOC President Thomas Bach talks to the media during a news conference on Friday. (Alexander Vilf/Sputnik/AP)

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach criticized teen Russian skater Kamila Valieva's entourage Friday, saying those responsible for her doping scandal will face "very strong measures."

Bach said he was "very concerned" for the teenager's wellbeing after her performance in the women's single skating event in Beijing on Thursday.

Valieva was tipped for gold in the event but fell numerous times during her free skate routine and placed fourth.

Sharing his past experiences, Bach said “doping very rarely happens alone by athletes,” adding he hopes competitors will speak up at hearings, and through tools like IOC hotlines.
“Now, the enquiry into the entourage who is responsible to protect her, this has to follow,” Bach said.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Sunday they will investigate Valieva's entourage.

2:34 a.m. ET, February 18, 2022

Swiss skiers Ryan Regez and Alex Fiva top podium in men's cross final

Switzerland’s Ryan Regez won gold and his teammate Alex Fiva took silver in the men’s freestyle skiing cross final on Friday.

It's a first Olympic medals for both Swiss skiers.

Sergey Ridzik of the ROC wins bronze in this event for the second consecutive Winter Olympics.

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

Inside the bubble, hundreds wait in line for mementos of the Beijing Winter Games

From CNN's Rebecca Wright in Beijing

Long queues at the souvenir shop in the Main Media Centre (MMC) in the Olympic bubble on Friday.
Long queues at the souvenir shop in the Main Media Centre (MMC) in the Olympic bubble on Friday. (Bex Wright/CNN)

As the Beijing Games draws closer to a final weekend of winter sports action, hundreds of people have joined long queues to buy official Olympics merchandise.

A long line formed outside the souvenir shop in the Main Media Center of the Olympic bubble on Friday.

Volunteers and staff inside the "closed loop" lined up to buy souvenirs from the official Beijing 2022 store, before moving to the pop-up post office next door to send the items to their families.

The store sells items including branded bags, scarves and replicas of the hugely popular mascot, Bing Dwen Dwen.

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

China's Su Yiming turns 18, but coach reminds him that superstars "never rest"

Su Yiming celebrates after winning gold in the men's big air on Feb. 15.
Su Yiming celebrates after winning gold in the men's big air on Feb. 15. (Kyodo News/Getty Images)

Chinese snowboard Olympic champion Su Yiming celebrated his 18th birthday on Friday, and while he might be taking a well-deserved day off, his coach doesn't want him to get too comfortable.

Su's coach Yasuhiro Sato wished the athlete happy birthday in a post on Instagram Friday, telling him he "can change the world," adding it "is an honor to ride towards the future together."

But Sato was quick to remind Su that he couldn't take too long of a rest.

"Training starts at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow," he wrote. "SUper star never rest."

Su's fans were quick to chime in on the fun, with the hashtag "Su Yiming still needs to train at 8 a.m." gaining more than 11 million views on Chinese social media platform Weibo.

Su won gold at the men's big air event, adding to the silver he won in slopestyle.