The Olympic delegation of the People's Republic of China parade during the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 20, 2022. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)
The Chinese national team for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games tallied nine gold medals and a total of 15 medals, marking it China’s best result at a Winter Olympics.
China’s short-track speed skating team captured two golds, one silver, and one bronze at Beijing 2022. The team won the country’s first gold medal in the mixed team relay short-track speed skating event during the Games.
Sui Wenjing (L)/Han Cong of China celebrate after winning the gold medal in the figure skating pair skating free skating of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 19, 2022. (Xinhua/Cao Can)
On Feb. 19, China won its record ninth gold medal as figure skating world champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong triumphed in the pairs competition, becoming the second Chinese pairs skaters to win the Olympic gold since 2010.
Gao Tingyu became China’s first-ever male Olympic gold medalist in speed skating when he won the 500m event with an Olympic record time.
Snow sports was a comparatively weak point for China in the past, contributing only one of the 13 gold medals between the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, U.S. and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Xu Mengtao (L) and Gao Tingyu, flag bearers of the Olympic delegation of the People's Republic of China react during the closing ceremony of the 24th Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 20, 2022. (Xinhua/Wang Jingqiang)
However, the tide turned this time, as China nailed down five gold medals and two silvers in snow sports at Beijing 2022. China’s talented freeskier Gu Ailing, 18, won the women’s freeski big air gold medal, and added a silver medal in slopestyle before wrapping up her Olympic debut with a gold in the halfpipe event.
Chinese athlete Gu Ailing celebrates during the flower ceremony after the freestyle skiing women's freeski halfpipe final of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 18, 2022. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)
Meanwhile, China’s snowboard prodigy Su Yiming, who turned 18 on Feb. 18, shone in snow sports. Following a silver in slopestyle, Su bagged a big air gold with 1800 showpieces, winning China’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in snowboarding.
China's Su Yiming has training before the men's snowboard slopestyle final at the Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 7, 2022. (Xinhua/Yang Shiyao)
While Chinese youngsters are on the rise, the country’s veterans also demonstrated the Olympic spirit by persisting in chasing their dreams.
Freestyle skiers Xu Mengtao and Qi Guangpu, both competing in their fourth Olympics, finally realized their golden dream in the women’s and men’s aerials events. Besides, they claimed a silver medal in the mixed team final with their teammate Jia Zongyang, also a veteran.
Qi Guangpu of China competes in the men's aerials final of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 16, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)
A new chapter was also written in sliding sports. Chinese skeleton athlete Yan Wengang won a bronze in the men’s skeleton, the first medal for China in any sliding sport.
In addition to winning medals, China has witnessed many breakthroughs in Olympic history, including first-time appearances in 35 out of the 109 events that Chinese athletes featured at Beijing 2022.
For example, Zhao Dan and Li Yuxi, Chinese female skeleton racers, led China’s women’s debut in the skeleton event at the Games. Zhao Jiawen completed the individual Gundersen normal hill/10 km event, becoming the first-ever Chinese athlete to finish a Nordic combined competition at a Winter Olympics.
China has also made breakthroughs in promoting ice and snow sports. As of October 2021, about 346 million Chinese people participated in winter sports activities since Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2015, accounting for more than 24 percent of China’s total population, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That means China’s goal of engaging 300 million people in winter sports has become a reality.