If the exciting Tokyo Olympics were not enough for you in 2021, the Winter Olympics are back for 2022 in Beijing along with 200 American athletes ready to compete. This year the seven different sports are biathlon, bobsledding, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing, with a record 109 different events. For all the Olympic fans to watch, the events will be airing on NBC and can also be streamed on Peacock if the timing doesn’t work, given that Beijing is 13 hours ahead of Atlanta. Many veteran US athletes are back this year to compete again and are looking to keep up the success from prior years.
Alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin seeks to add to her Olympic success from the past this year after winning a combined two gold medals and one silver medal in Sochi and Pyeongchang. Despite a decline in her performance after attempting this in 2018, Shiffrin decided to compete in all five events again this year, including downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and combined, because it ensures she can compete even in the case of the often bad weather. Just recently on Jan. 11, 2022 she won the World Cup in Austria, setting a world record for the most World Cup slalom wins with 47. You can watch Shiffrin on NBC in the finals of the downhill at 10 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 15.
Since becoming the youngest competitor to win a gold medal in the halfpipe in Pyeongchang, Chloe Kim is back this year as a favorite. During the break between the Olympics, Kim has been busy, first attending Princeton University while healing an injury then coming back to win a gold medal at the X Games and a world title. She is now back and ready to compete in her second Olympics and is one of the top contenders for winning the gold medal in the halfpipe again.
The Olympic hockey team will look different in 2022 than in the past as younger players in the NCAA are now allowed on the rosters. Citing the rise of COVID-19 cases interrupting the league as their reason, the NHL announced that their players would not be allowed on the roster for the Beijing Olympics. In order to fill a team, standout college players such as Jake Sanderson from the University of North Dakota and Matty Beniers from the University of Michigan have agreed to play. The team will be led by 2010 Olympic silver medalist Bobby Ryan, who had to sit out from the NHL this year but is excited to play in the Olympics again to make up for it. The qualification playoffs are on all day on Tuesday, Feb. 15, and if they make the finals it will be on Sunday, Feb. 20 at 11 p.m. EST.
Figure skating is always such a fun sport to watch, and this year the United States has some of the top athletes ready to compete. Nathan Chen is favored for the gold, even against tough competition from Japan, and has impressively won the US title for six consecutive years. Mariah Bell also won the US title this year and became the oldest woman to do so at age 25. In the pairs, Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier came out on top at the US championships with the gold medal and are the top US competitors. They both have Olympic experience- Knierim even won the team gold medal in 2018- but this will be the first competition that they are competing in together. You can watch the pair skating finals on NBC at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, and the individual skaters all throughout the 3- weeklong Olympic schedule.