No other competition provides a bigger platform for athletes to break records than the Games. The 2022 Winter Olympics saw athletes turn dreams into achievements, with some creating legacies without winning any medals.
Recount the record-breaking moments of the 2022 Winter Olympics.
First non-binary Winter Olympian
American figure skater Timothy LeDuc made history as the first openly non-binary Winter Olympian. The pairs figure skater began using the they/them pronouns in 2021. LeDuc finished eighth in the short program with partner Ashley Cain-Gribble, who has been body shamed for being taller than the average skater. The partners wanted to show how athletes of all identities and sizes can be open and successful in sports.
Germans sweep all six luge and skeleton
The German reign is here. German athletes claimed first in all six events in luge and skeleton, announcing the country’s stronghold on the sport. The country also took silver in the men’s skeleton individual, women’s luge singles and luge doubles events.
Skeleton gold medalists:
Luge gold medalists:
Nils van der Poel sets world record in 5000m
Dutch speed skater Patrick Roest was ecstatic when he broke the world record in the men’s 5000m race with a time of 6:09.31. Minutes later, Swedish speed skater Nils van der Poel shattered it. Van der Poel shocked the world when he finished first with his time of 6:08.84, 0.47 seconds faster than Roest. Van der Poel also broke the world record in the men’s 10,000m event to win his second gold medal. His time of 12:30.74 was two seconds faster than the previous world record, which he also set.
Erin Jackson becomes first Black woman to win speed skating medal
No Black woman had ever won an Olympic speed skating medal. American skater Erin Jackson changed that when she secured gold in the women’s 500m race, 0.08 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Japan’s Miho Takagi. Although Jackson eventually secured her own spot on the Olympic team, Jackson’s teammate Brittany Bowe originally gave Jackson her place in the event. Jackson slipped during the Olympic trials race and narrowly missed qualifying for the team, but found redemption at the Games.
Kaishu Hirano soars above world record
Japanese halfpipe snowboarder Kaishu Hirano broke the world record for the highest amplitude a snowboarder has flown out of a 22-foot snowboard halfpipe. The original world record was 23 feet and nine inches, set by Australian snowboarder Valentino Guseli. Hirano matched that height in his second run during the men’s snowboard halfpipe final. And he surpassed it during his final run, when he flew a whopping 24 feet and four inches out of the pipe — over 46 feet off of the ground.
Ireen Wuest wins fifth career gold medal
Dutch speed skater Ireen Wuest holds a lot of records. Her newest one? Becoming the first Olympian — summer or winter — to win five individual gold medals at five separate Olympic Games. She accomplished the feat with her golden victory in the women’s 1500m race, but the speed skating legend didn’t stop there. She set an Olympic record with her time of 1:53.28 in the 1500m, and followed it up with a bronze medal in the women’s team pursuit. This year’s haul brings her career medal count to 13, tying her with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjorndalen for the second-most Winter Olympic medals.
Nick Baumgartner becomes oldest snowboarding medalist
American snowboarder Nick Baumgartner made headlines early in the Games when he was eliminated from the men’s snowboard cross event during the quarterfinal. Baumgartner was crushed. He found redemption when he was picked to race in the debut mixed team snowboard cross race with Lindsey Jacobellis. There, the pair won gold, making Baumgartner — at 40 — the oldest Olympic medalist in snowboarding.
Eileen Gu first skier to win medals in halfpipe, big air and slopestyle
China’s Eileen Gu this year became the first freeskier to earn medals in big air, slopestyle and halfpipe and is one of the few who regularly compete in all three disciplines. She earned gold medals in halfpipe (her most dominant event) and big air (making its Olympic debut) and secured silver in slopestyle. Gu landed her first 1620 to take gold in big air.
Sarah Nurse breaks points record, becomes first Black woman to win hockey gold
Canada women’s hockey player Sarah Nurse broke the record for most points in a single Olympic tournament in China. The forward scored five goals and had 13 assists during the 2022 Winter Olympics. The final of the five goals was during Canada’s 3-2 win over the U.S. during the gold medal game. By winning gold, Nurse also became the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in hockey.
Norway sets record for most gold medals in single Winter Olympics
Norway, as it is wont to do at Winter Olympics, displayed its dominance all Games long. The Scandinavian country set the record for the most gold medals in a single Winter Olympics when biathlete Johannes Thingnes Boe took first in the men’s 15km mass start. The medal marked No. 15 for Norway and a fourth gold for Thingnes Boe at these Games.