The men’s downhill, which kicks off alpine skiing in Beijing (03:00), brings a rare phenomenon: a course on which nobody has won. No test events were held at this newly designed slope because of the pandemic, so it could be the fairest downhill race in history as everyone will be starting from scratch. Aksel Lund Svindal, who won gold in 2018, has since retired, although the downhill race – a straightforward speed test – could be won in Beijing by another Norwegian, Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, who has dominated the World Cup circuit this season.
American Jamie Anderson will bid for a third snowboard’s women’s slopestyle final (01:30) but watch out for New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, who just won X Games slopestyle gold in Aspen and was the leading qualifier for the 12-woman final.
Cross-country’s men’s skiathlon was the event in which Andrew Musgrave finished seventh at Pyeongchang 2018, his best Olympic performance and Britain’s best result in the sport. In Beijing, he told the BBC he needs a “ridiculously good day” to get a medal but “at the same time, there is a possibility”. Andrew Young and James Clugnet complete the GB cross-country ski team in Beijing. The race starts at 07:00.
Makayla Gerken Schofield gets a second and last chance to reach the women’s moguls final with qualification (10:00) before the final from 11:30.
The men’s singles luge concludes with runs three (11:30) and four (13:15). GB’s Rupert Staudinger was 24th after the first two runs on Saturday and needs to move up to the top 20 after the third run to make it to the final one.
In mixed doubles curling, Sunday pits GB against China (01:05) and Norway (12:05) as Bruce Mouat and Jen Dodds continue their bid to reach the semi-finals.
The women’s short programme in figure skating’s team event will give us a first Olympic look at Russian 15-year-old Kamila Valieva. Valieva has been winning events by record margins – watch in particular for her quad jumps. (Women’s short programme from 01:37, men’s free skate from 03:57. The team event concludes on Monday).
Every four years, Sven Kramer turns up and cranks out a men’s 5,000m speed skating title for the Netherlands. This year will apparently be his last hurrah – he has said he will retire later in 2022. If he wins again, he’ll join an exclusive group of people (currently six) who have won four Olympic gold medals in the same individual event. The event begins at 08:30. In a bid to mention a speed skater who isn’t Dutch in this guide, it’s worth noting Sweden’s Nils van der Poel was the world champion over 5,000m last year and could stop Kramer coasting back to gold.
There are question marks over the ability of China’s men to compete in ice hockey at Beijing 2022. As the host nation, China automatically earns a place, but concern has been expressed that the men won’t meet the standard and may need to be replaced by Norway, who were told to stand by for a surprise berth at the Games. In the women’s event, though, there is no such concern. China’s women reached the bronze-medal game in the inaugural women’s Olympic ice hockey tournament in 1998, and Japan – who’ve never finished higher than sixth at an Olympics – will be a good test at 08:40.
All times listed are GMT (Beijing is eight hours ahead). Event start times are subject to change and the BBC is not responsible for any that may be made. Also, coverage can be subject to late schedule changes, so details may differ from this page.
00:40-06:00 – BBC One
06:00-12:15 – BBC Two
12:15-15:05 – BBC One
15:05-17:00 – BBC Two
Plus an additional stream of action available here:
01:00-16:00 – BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and mobile app
16:00-01:00 – BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and mobile app
19:00-20:00 – Today at the Games – BBC Two
21:30-22:30 – Winter Olympics Extra – BBC Three
BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live will be on hand to bring you all the key moments, stories and reaction through the Breakfast, Nicky Campbell and Adrian Chiles shows.
Other TV coverage:
Eurosport is also a rights holder for Beijing 2022 in the UK. You need a subscription to watch, and have a choice of live action on TV channels including Eurosport 1 or Eurosport 2, or in-depth live coverage by event on the Eurosport app. Live coverage starts at 01:00 GMT each day until around 16:00, followed by highlights of the action. For the full schedule visit the Eurosport website.
Figure skating’s team event concludes with the pairs free skate (01:22), ice dance free dance (02:36) and women’s free skate (03:42). Canadian and Russian skaters have shared the two Olympic titles since the team event began in 2014 but the Russians look to have a significant edge this time around. The United States, bronze medallists in 2014 and 2018, will sense an opportunity to upgrade that.
Mikaela Shiffrin tops the billing in the first women’s alpine event. The American leads the overall World Cup standings, is ranked no lower than fifth in any event, and is a genuine medal threat in five different events – a staggering achievement if she somehow manages it. Shiffrin won giant slalom gold in 2018 and will defend the title from 02:15 with her final run expected nearer to 07:30. Alex Tilley goes for GB.
Freeskiing’s big air events are added to the Olympics for the first time. From 01:30 (women) and 05:30 (men), skiers will head down a massive ramp before performing tricks during the few seconds of air time they generate at the end. (If big air sounds familiar, the snowboarding version made its debut in Pyeongchang four years ago). British interest lies with Izzy Atkin – a slopestyle bronze medallist in 2018 – alongside James Woods, Kirsty Muir and Katie Summerhayes.
Britain’s final mixed doubles curling round-robin game comes against the United States at 01:05. If they’ve done enough, Jen Dodds and Bruce Mouat will then be in semi-final action at 12:05.
Short track’s men’s 1000m and women’s 500m take place on Monday. The 500m is the sport’s shortest and most frantic distance, a five-lap scramble that involves almost none of the pacing required for longer-distance skates. Kathryn Thomson, 24th in 2018, will represent GB from 11:30 if she comes through Saturday’s heats. Expect Arianna Fontana, the Italian who collided with Elise Christie in 2014 and then won Olympic gold in 2018, to star. Farrell and Niall Treacy may feature in the men’s 1000m from 11:44. Finals start at around 12:40.
If selected, Ellia Smeding will race for GB in speed skating’s women’s 1500m (08:30). Ireen Wust, a Dutch living legend of the sport, will look to win gold at a fifth consecutive Olympics.
Red Gerard was 17 when he overslept after a late night binge-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine, missed his alarm, lost his jacket and still won Olympic slopestyle gold later that day. Four years later he’s back and younger athletes are in pursuit, like fellow US team member Dusty Henricksen, who turns 19 two days before the opening ceremony. Watch out for Canada’s Mark McMorris and Norway’s Marcus Kleveland from 04:00.
Somebody named Oberg will probably stand on top of a biathlon podium in Beijing. Sisters Hanna and Elvira, from Sweden, have even finished on the podium together at recent World Cup events. Hanna, 26, won individual gold in 2018. Elvira, 22, is ahead of Hanna in this season’s rankings. Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser, extraordinarily accurate in a sport that combines shooting and skiing, is also a contender. The race starts at 09:00.
Ski jumping’s new mixed team event (11:45, final jumps 12:51) has been welcomed by athletes who say that bringing men and women together has changed the dynamic of what can be quite a lonely sport. The top eight teams of two men and two women from round one go in a second, final round to determine the medals. Germany, Austria and Norway are likely to be strong contenders.
The event takes place on the normal hill. That doesn’t mean there’s anything weird about other hills, it’s just called normal hill to distinguish it from the large hill, which is about 1.25 times the size and used by the men later in the Games.
The first Olympic women’s freeski big air final begins at 02:00. Watch for Tess Ledeux, from France. On her way to X Games gold in Aspen in January, she landed a double cork 1620 never previously performed in competition by a woman. Beijing is a chance for redemption for Ledeux, who was considered such a hot favourite for slopestyle gold in 2018 that she said “even I thought it was almost certain,” only to finish 15th. Canada’s Megan Oldham and GB’s Izzy Atkin will hope to challenge for medals.
Curling’s mixed doubles concludes with the bronze-medal game (06:05) and final (12:05). GB’s Jen Dodds and Bruce Mouat are the world champions but the draw kept them away from a similarly formidable Swedish team at that event. Watch for Sweden this time around, while Canada’s Rachel Homan – paired with John Morris – is trying to make up for a disastrous 2018 in which she led the first Canadian women’s curling team ever to miss the play-offs at the Olympics. Norway and Switzerland will also believe they can win gold.
The cross-country sprints are the sport’s fastest events, particularly this year as they’re in the freestyle (ordinarily faster) discipline, which alternates with classic discipline from one Olympics to the next. The men’s event will feature Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo defending his Pyeongchang title against Russian Alexander Bolshunov and Italy’s Federico Pellegrino. The women’s event could bring a first Olympic title for Maja Dahlqvist, now Sweden’s top prospect after compatriot Stina Nilsson switched to biathlon following her Pyeongchang 2018 win in this event. Races run from 08:00 to 12:15.
Cornelius Kersten will become the first Briton to compete in long track speed skating for 30 years in the men’s 1500m (10:30). Kersten’s father is Dutch – he and partner Ellia Smeding, also a speed skater, live in the Netherlands and opened their own coffee company to fund their ambition of competing in Beijing.
Also competing in big air are Kirsty Muir and Katie Summerhayes, while GB’s cross-country contenders in the sprints are Andrew Musgrave, Andrew Young and James Clugnet.
Men’s super-G (03:00) takes alpine skiing’s downhill event and throws in some turns but it’s still all about speed. Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt won the last World Cup super-G before the Olympics and is probably the favourite, although he’s considered even more dominant in the giant slalom coming up on 13 February. Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde will be a contender too.
Natalie Geisenberger arrives in Beijing on a reluctant quest for a third successive women’s luge title (fourth and final runs from 13:35). Geisenberger also took bronze in Vancouver so she hasn’t missed the podium in more than a decade, but the German only decided at the last minute to compete in China having earlier expressed concern about human rights violations and her belief that the hosts have not treated luge athletes well in the past. “It takes more than just a few athletes to boycott,” she said. “I would have destroyed my own dream.” Her rivals in Beijing will include another German, Julia Taubitz, and Austria’s Madeleine Egle.
In women’s ice hockey, the US and Canada meet in a preliminary-round game at 04:10. All the evidence suggests this will be a rehearsal of the final, but you never know (Finland, if anyone, could squeeze one of them out).
Keep an eye on figure skating’s men’s short programme (01:22) for clues as to where the medals are going when the event concludes on Thursday. Nathan Chen, who was already a superstar for the US aged 18 at Pyeongchang 2018, struggled in his short programme, ruining his chance of a medal that year. He went on to win three world titles in a row afterwards.
Racers in snowboard’s parallel giant slalom can reach speeds of more than 40mph. Once the knockout stage begins (from 06:30), competitors race alongside each other on identical courses and the first to the finish goes through. Ester Ledecka won gold in this event for the Czech Republic in 2018, one half of a unique double – she also won super-G gold in alpine skiing, the first time anyone has completed a ski and snowboard double at the same Olympics. Ledecka is back to defend both of those titles this year.
Wednesday, 9 February – day five
Medal events: 6
Alpine skiing (women’s slalom), freestyle skiing (men’s big air), luge (doubles), nordic combined (individual normal hill), snowboard (women’s snowboard cross), short track speed skating (men’s 1500m)
Women’s snowboard cross brings one of Britain’s biggest medal prospects in Beijing. Charlotte Bankes is the reigning world champion in a guaranteed crowd-pleaser of an event, in which athletes go toe-to-toe down a course of bumps and jumps, often with spectacular consequences. Bankes’ win in 2021 wasn’t a one-off, either – she won silver in 2019 and is this season’s World Cup points leader. France’s Chloe Trespeuch will be a close rival in Beijing, as will Lindsey Jacobellis, still a regular podium occupant for the US after making her Olympic debut in 2006 (where she took silver after an infamous late fall while leading). Head-to-head racing begins at 06:30 and the final will take place shortly after 07:45.
At the start of January, Mikaela Shiffrin failed to finish a World Cup slalom for the first time in four years. If that (plus her fourth-place finish in this event four years ago) makes you think her rivals have a shot in Beijing, bear in mind Shiffrin recovered from that DNF to win another World Cup slalom two days later, breaking the record for the most World Cup wins in a single event. Frida Hansdotter, who won in 2018, has since retired. Slovakia’s Petra Vlhova is one of few athletes capable of stopping Shiffrin. Racing starts at 02:15 with the climax expected at around 07:15. Charlie Guest and Alex Tilley ski for GB.
James Woods has been gradually closing in on an Olympic medal for GB. At Sochi 2014 he was fifth in freestyle skiing’s slopestyle event. In Pyeongchang four years later, he upgraded that to fourth. How about Beijing? Woods is primarily associated with slopestyle but he has three X Games big air medals to his name. In 2019 Norway’s Birk Ruud, 21, became the second athlete to win back-to-back X Games big air gold and is a name to watch on the sport’s Olympic debut (from 03:00).
Short track speed skating involves GB’s Kathryn Thomson in the women’s 1000m heats (11:44) and Farrell Treacy is expected to line up in the men’s 1500m (from 11:00, final 13:20). Ten of hosts China’s 13 winter medals in Olympic history have come in short track and while 2018 champion Wu Dajing has struggle for form lately, rising star Ren Ziwei has a shot at gold in the 1500m.
The men’s ice hockey tournament begins, again without many of the world’s leading players as the NHL has withdrawn its athletes for the second Olympics in a row. Last time that was to the benefit of Russia’s players, who won gold in Pyeongchang. The Russian Olympic Committee team open this year’s tournament against Switzerland (08:40).
Every four years, there are some Olympic certainties. The organisers will have to use artificial snow to make a venue work (this year? Check). There will be a lot of curling (check). And nobody will be able to fully comprehend luge doubles. Luge has been a traditional winter sport in Austria and Germany for centuries, and the two-man event has been a competitive discipline for more than 100 years. But one man lying down on another (there is no women’s event) and the two hurling themselves down an ice chute remains a unique spectacle. It’s on from 12:20. Germany has a team of people entirely named Tobias – Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt – who won gold in 2014 and 2018, but compatriots Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken may be this year’s favourites. Latvian brothers Andris Sics and Juris Sics have a chance.
Mixed doubles curling gives way to the beginning of the men’s tournament. Britain aren’t in action on the opening day so neutrals may prefer to check in on Norway v Switzerland (12:05), not least to see which trousers the Norwegians have brought this year.
Nordic combined begins with the individual Gundersen normal hill/10km event from 07:00. If that last sentence makes no sense, it’s an event that combines two nordic sports: ski jumping, then cross-country skiing. ‘Gundersen’ refers to the Gundersen method, developed by Norway’s Gunder Gundersen, which translates ski jumping performance into a head start in the cross-country skiing. It’s basically skiing’s answer to cricket’s Duckworth-Lewis-Stern. Athletes jump on the normal hill, rather than the large hill, then the cross-country ski lasts for 10km. Simple.
The top male figure skaters battle for gold in the free skate from 01:37. This is widely seen as a chance for US skater Nathan Chen to stamp his authority on the sport after three successive world titles, while Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu is looking for a third Olympic title in a row. Jin Boyang, twice a world bronze medallist, finished fourth at Pyeongchang 2018 – the best performance by a Chinese skater in the Olympic men’s event.
British curlers are in action three times on Thursday. Britain’s women begin their campaign against Switzerland at 01:05 then Sweden at 12:05, a big first day against the teams that placed first and fourth respectively at last year’s world championship. The men are drawn against Italy at 06:05.
Chloe Kim, the youngest woman to win a snowboarding gold medal at the Olympics, is the heavy favourite to do it again. Kim defends her halfpipe title from 01:30 with the final runs starting just before 02:30. If anyone stops her it could be US team-mate Maddie Mastro, while China’s Cai Xuetong – known as ‘Tongtong’ – will hope to win a medal for the hosts.
Huw Nightingale competes in the men’s snowboard cross from 03:15, with the final coming shortly after 07:15. France’s Pierre Vaultier retired after winning the past two Olympic titles, leaving Austria’s Alessandro Hammerle and Germany’s Martin Norl the leading contenders. At 40, Nick Baumgartner – fourth in Pyeongchang – becomes the oldest US snowboarder to attend an Olympics.
Skeleton was a medal factory for Team GB at Pyeongchang 2018. Laura Deas and Dominic Parsons each won bronze medals and, of course, Lizzy Yarnold won gold for the second Games in a row. British interest this time around begins with Matt Weston and Marcus Wyatt in the men’s first and second runs (from 01:30), with the event concluding on Friday.
Unusually, mixed team aerials gives nations flexibility in their team selection: you can have two men and a woman or two women and a man competing in the three-athlete event. Each skier completes an aerials course (a series of flips and twists) and the three scores are added together. China excel at aerials and the Russianteam are also medal contenders. The final starts at 11:00.
The US ice hockey men face China at 13:10. While the withdrawal of NHL players from the Winter Olympics has weakened the American side, there have long been fears that China’s men simply aren’t competitive at Olympic level – despite reports of China building hundreds of ice rinks and training thousands of players in a bid to change that after being awarded the Games. Many of the China players at Beijing 2022 are expected to be North America-born athletes who have switched nationality to the host nation. Canada play Germany at the same time, a repeat of an encounter that led to a huge upset when the Germans defeated Canada 4-3 in 2018’s semi-finals.
Martina Sablikova won 10 consecutive world titles in speed skating’s 5,000m (12:00) despite there being no speed skating rink in her home country, the Czech Republic. Despite that formidable record, she was pushed into second place in 2018 and faces a stern test this year from the Netherlands’ Irene Schouten and Canada’s Isabelle Weidemann.
He’s back. Shaun White, winner of Olympic snowboard gold in 2006, 2010 and 2018, returns to the halfpipe for the United States. Not that an unprecedented fourth title in his event will be a stroll – he’s had ankle trouble and Covid-19 in the build-up to the Games, and Australia’s Scotty James and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano (who competed in skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympic Games) will be out to stop him. Watch from 01:30.
Men’s skeleton reaches its climax with the final two runs from 12:20 and the climax just before 14:00. Skeleton has delivered at least one medal for Team GB at every Olympics in which it has featured, but only one this century – Dominic Parsons in 2018 – was won by a man. Matt Weston won World Cup gold in a remarkable three-way tie for first place in November, while Marcus Wyatt took silver in the Olympic test event on the Beijing track. Evergreen Latvian brothers Martins and Tomass Dukurs are still going – and still searching for a first Olympic title – and any of the German team will be medal threats, too.
Friday’s cross-country 15km men’s classic(07:00) falls between Andrew Musgrave’s focus on longer-distance events and the preference of James Clugnet and Andrew Young for sprints. At the business end of the race, you’re likely to find Finland’s Iivo Niskanen, Russian Alexander Bolshunov, and potentially Norway’s Johannes Hosflot Klaebo, all of whom are suited to both the distance and the classic format.
Women’s skeleton begins with runs one and two at 01:30 and 03:00. Laura Deas returns for Team GB following her bronze medal-winning performance in Pyeongchang, joined this time by Olympic debutant Brogan Crowley. Lizzy Yarnold, the Olympic champion in 2014 and 2018, retired from the sport after Pyeongchang and can be found on BBC TV this time around.
Friday’s curling pits GB’s men against the US (01:05) and Norway (12:05), while the women face South Korea (06:05).
Ester Ledecka will be back in the women’s super-G (03:00), the other half of her famous Pyeongchang 2018 double in which she won gold in both alpine skiing and snowboarding’s parallel giant slalom. Ledecka remains a top-10 athlete in super-G. Rivals could include Federica Brignone, who in 2020 became the first Italian woman to win the overall World Cup title.
Speed skating holds its longest individual event, the men’s 10,000m (08:00). In 2018, this was the first speed skating event not to be won by a Dutch skater – sort of. Canada’s Ted-Jan Bloemen, who switched from the Netherlands to represent Canada before Pyeongchang, won gold four years ago. Bloemen returns, as does Jorrit Bergsma, who finished second for the Dutch last time around.
Biathlon’s women’s 7.5km sprint (09:00) could be a battle between Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff, the world champion, and Marte Olsbu Roiseland, who won silver in Pyeongchang. The 2018 champion, Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier, has retired.
China has been drumming up the hype for short track speed skating by airing a 29-episode TV drama series titled Beyond, which tells the stories of several generations of the nation’s top skaters. Fan Kexin, who won silver at Sochi 2014, could go one step beyond for the hosts in the women’s 1000m (final at 12:43). Meanwhile, preparations in South Korea – normally a short-track powerhouse – have been distracted by a legal battle over disparaging text messages sent by star Shim Suk-hee about team-mates. Shim will miss Beijing 2022 after being banned by her national federation in response.
This is probably the first day Team GB’s chef de mission looks for when each Winter Olympic schedule is released: the women’s skeleton finale. At every Olympics since its introduction in 2002, women’s skeleton has delivered a medal for Britain – bronze in 2002, silver in 2006 and gold at every Games since. No pressure, then, on Laura Deas to match or upgrade her 2018 bronze. Recent results would suggest that will be tough, but then you could have said the same prior to Pyeongchang. The Netherlands’ Kimberley Bos starts as the favourite. Run three is from 12:20 and the fourth, final run begins at 13:55.
Snowboard cross was already one of the liveliest events on the Olympic calendar. Now there’s a new format to enjoy: the mixed team event sends the men off first, then hands whatever time advantage the male athlete earns over to the woman. The first female athlete across the line wins for the team. As usual, it’s a head-to-head knockout format and promises to be gripping. Starts at 02:00, final just before 03:00. GB’s entrants are Charlotte Bankes and Huw Nightingale.
Figure skating’s ice dance begins with the rhythm dance (previously known as the short dance) from 11:07 till 14:38. Lilah ‘No’ Fear and Lewis Gibson are the British entrants. Lilah has her own podcast where you can hear her interview Lewis as well as the likes of Jayne Torvill, who of course was one half of the last British ice dance duo to win an Olympic medal. Other interviewees include Canadian figure skating legend Tessa Virtue and US star Nathan Chen. Fear and Gibson placed seventh for GB at the last World Championship.
Just one slice of GB curling action on Saturday: the women play the US at 12:05.
The relays are usually where the Norway-Sweden rivalry in cross-country skiing reaches a climax. As an example, at Pyeongchang 2018, the two nations’ women’s relay teams were just two seconds apart after 20 kilometres – and more than 40 seconds ahead of anyone else. Expect similar this year. Starts 07:30.
Canada play the US in men’s ice hockey at 04:10. The lack of NHL players means each nation had to be creative at short notice in who they selected, and that’ll create an interesting match-up. For example, Canada’s squad includes youth in the form of Owen Power, 2021’s number one draft pick who has yet to play an NHL game, and Eric Staal, who played in the NHL for 17 years – and won Olympic gold at Vancouver 2010 – before leaving the league last year.
Ski jumping progresses to the men’s large hill event (11:00). In this sport, distance is all about the K-point, the distance roughly two-thirds of the way down the hill that is considered the equivalent of a par score. Jump beyond the K-point and you gain points, come up short and you lose them. (You’re also judged on style by a panel of judges positioned around halfway down the jump). A hill’s size is measured by its K-point. An average normal hill might be referred to as a K90, and a large hill would be a K120, for example, 120 being the distance in metres from the top of the hill to the K-point.
In short track speed skating, the men’s 500m is the sport’s quickest event (from 11:00). The hosts have huge potential in Ren Ziwei and Wu Dajing but they could be outwitted by a pair of Chinese-Hungarian brothers. Liu Shaolin and Liu Shaoang race for Hungary and are ranked first and fourth in the world respectively in this event. Their Chinese heritage makes Beijing something of a homecoming, although a strange one since the pandemic will limit who can actually attend. “Beijing is a huge opportunity for us,” Shaolin said before the Olympics. “Since there can only be local spectators, I hope they will support us in the same way as domestic competitors.”
Settling in for a serene Sunday of curling? Britain’s men face hosts China at 01:05 for night owls, then return at 12:05 against Denmark. GB’s women also play Denmark at 06:05.
On what is otherwise a quiet day for British action, the freeski slopestyle trio of Izzy Atkin, Kirsty Muir and Katie Summerhayes are in qualifying from 02:00 till 04:00.
Most of the new events at Beijing 2022 are mixed gender, but one exception is the women’s monobob – the first appearance of a one-person bobsleigh at the Olympics. (There is no equivalent men’s event, but the men have a four-person event and the women do not, so there are still nearly 80 more bobsleigh places for men in Beijing than there are for women). The discipline’s leading names may be familiar: topping the rankings heading into the Games are US duo Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries, both winners of multiple Olympic medals (Humphries won two Olympic two-woman titles for Canada before switching to the US team).
Following the women on Saturday, cross-country’s men hold their relay on Sunday (07:00). It’s twice the distance of the women’s event and is Norway’s event to lose. This was the scene of a signature Johannes Hosflot Klaebo moment in 2018 as he powered away to turn a close race into a comfortable Norwegian victory on the last leg of the Pyeongchang relay.
Speed skating’s rankings state there is no quicker woman in the world over 500m than the United States’ Erin Jackson. But she almost missed the Olympics. A slip during trials in January left her in third place and without a place on Team USA despite her track record – until team-mate Brittany Bowe gave Jackson her 500m place. “This is an act I’ll never forget,” said Jackson, who is the first black American woman to win a speed skating World Cup. The women’s 500m begins at 13:56.
It’s pursuit day at the biathlon, which brings with it a unique start. Competitors begin the race based on their performance in the sprints held on the previous days. Say you won the sprint by 10 seconds from your nearest rival. You would start the pursuit 10 seconds earlier than them, and the rest of the pursuit is them, well, pursuing you based on that initial advantage. So whoever performs well in the sprints at Beijing 2022 begins the pursuit with a better chance of securing another medal. The women’s event starts at 09:00 and the men’s race at 10:45.
Not many medals to be won on Monday. It’s almost as though the athletes have other things to think about on 14 February. Head to the figure skating for a matchless marriage of romance and resilience as the ice dance reaches its conclusion (01:22-04:36). This is probably the sport’s most open event in Beijing – winners could come from France (Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron), Canada (Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier), Russia (Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov) or beyond. GB duo Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson have improved from 24th to seventh at the World Championships since 2018.
Women’s ski slopestyle concludes from 01:30. Izzy Atkin was on the podium for GB as a bronze medallist in 2018 but any of Atkin, Katie Summerhayes or Kirsty Muir could challenge for medals in Beijing four years later. Atkin is having to come back from a broken pelvis sustained eight weeks before the Games. Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru, who first won an X Games gold medal at the age of 13, is a leading contender.
Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson started the year with World Cup silver in the two-man bobsleigh, a result that Hall said demonstrates “we’re serious Olympic medal contenders”. Monday is the day to start proving that in the first two of four runs (from 12:05 and 13:40).
Curling pits Britain’s women against Canada at 12:05. Eve Muirhead’s rink won bronze at Sochi 2014, the Games at which Canadian skip Jennifer Jones took gold, and a win here would be a statement for the Britons. Muirhead’s team is entirely changed from eight years ago and even from her last appearance, in Pyeongchang. Jones’ team retains Kaitlyn Lawes and Dawn McEwen from 2014 (Jones herself did not skip Canada’s team in 2018).
Men’s ski slopestyle qualification starts at 04:30 and features James Woods beginning his bid to improve upon fourth place in 2018.
Snowboard big air qualifying also takes place (women from 01:30 and men from 05:30), marking another medal opportunity for Katie Ormerod, who has six career World Cup big air podiums to her name.
Athletes ascending to the top of the Beijing ski jump will be met with a view of the Great Wall of China, local reports state, as they prepare to fling themselves down the ramp. In ski jumping’s team event in Pyeongchang, Norway took gold, breaking a cycle in which the top two podium places were shared by two of Germany, Austria or Finland for four straight Olympics. Ski jumping always looks great under lights so it’s one of the later events to start, at 11:00 (final round from 12:06).
Women’s freeski aerials (11:00) should be a happy hunting ground for the hosts. Xu Mengtao and Kong Fanyu have both reached the Olympic podium before but have never won gold. They’re the two leading athletes in the sport this season.
The monobob (concludes 03:00) introduces not only a new, one-person bobsleigh but also a new approach to the equipment athletes use. Traditionally, sliding sports benefit from the same kind of technological “marginal gains” as other sports like track cycling, where comparatively rich nations can invest large sums in developing sleds that outpace those of their rivals. Monobob changes that. The rules state only standardised one-person sleds can be used, and limitations are placed on the extent to which those sleds can be modified. In theory, that should serve to highlight the talent of the athlete and minimise the impact of behind-the-scenes research and development.
Tuesday, 15 February – day 11
Medal events: 9
Alpine skiing (women’s downhill), bobsleigh (two-man), biathlon (men’s relay), freestyle skiing (men’s slopestyle), Nordic combined (large hill), snowboard (women’s and men’s big air), speed skating (women’s and men’s team pursuit)
The women’s downhill is among the day’s early events at 03:00. Team USA’s aptly named Breezy Johnson is considered a top contender in the speed events although her build-up hasn’t been without complications – she crashed twice in two weeks on the World Cup circuit in January. Mikaela Shiffrin, her team-mate, is always a threat. The aftermath of another crash may open up this race: Italy’s Sofia Goggia, the 2018 champion, fractured a leg bone, partly tore a ligament and sprained her knee in a race just three weeks before the Games. She’s trying to make it back in time for the downhill but it would take an extraordinary recovery for Goggia to be competitive.
Nobody British has stepped on an Olympic two-man bobsleigh podium since Tony Nash and Robin Dixon won gold in 1964. Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson are ranked fifth in the world heading into Beijing 2022 and, if Monday’s first two runs were competitive, could be in a position to reset the clock from 12:15. Canadian pilot Justin Kripps and German equivalent Francesco Friedrich are back after dramatically sharing gold four years ago.
On paper, there are plenty of athletes standing between James Woods and a ski slopestyle medal (01:30-02:50). In practice, Woods delivers at big events: top four at Pyeongchang 2018 and last year’s World Championships, winning the world title in 2019. Favourites for gold will include Switzerland’s Fabian Bosch, this season’s world-leading athlete, who can only improve on a 2018 Olympics at which his unorthodox approach to escalators outshone his 24th-place finish.
Katie Ormerod will hope to feature in the women’s snowboard big air final from 01:30. In the men’s event (05:00), Canada’s Sebastien Toutant is hoping to defend his Olympic title. He warmed up by snowboarding through the streets of Montreal in January.
Natasha McKay skates in the short programme as the women’s figure skating begins (from 10:08). The 27-year-old finished 17th in the European Championships a month before the Games.
Round-robin curling continues. Britain’s men face Sweden at 12:05 after the women play Japan from 06:05.
Lloyd Wallace, whose mum and dad both appeared at the Olympics as freestyle skiers in the late 1980s and early ’90s, features in men’s aerials qualifying from 11:00.
Biathlon legend Martin Fourcade left the sport in a blaze of glory, winning three Olympic titles at Pyeongchang 2018. The 13-time world champion’s departure means a new generation of French biathletes are learning to win without him. Watch out for France as underdogs in the men’s relay (09:00), an event ordinarily dominated by Scandinavia, Germany and Austria.
Speed skating’s team pursuit will look familiar to anyone who enjoys track cycling at a Summer Olympics. Two teams race head to head, starting on opposite sides of the track. The race ends when the fastest team crosses the line or catches the other team (a rarity in speed skating). This is one event the Dutch have failed to dominate, winning only two of eight men’s and women’s titles since team pursuit was introduced to the Games in 2006. The women’s final is at 08:28 and the men’s final at 08:47.
Wednesday, 16 February – day 12
Medal events: 7
Alpine skiing (men’s slalom), biathlon (women’s relay), cross-country skiing (women’s and men’s team sprint), freestyle skiing (men’s aerials), short track speed skating (women’s 1,500m, men’s relay)
Dave Ryding’s astonishing World Cup slalom win in Kitzbuhel, less than a month before the Olympics, sent a wave of energy through Team GB on the eve of Beijing 2022. Wednesday is men’s slalom day, when Ryding will try to summon the same form that turned him into Britain’s first alpine skiing World Cup winner. He’ll be joined by GB’s Billy Major for the first runs at 02:15 and second runs from 05:45.
Speaking of GB firsts, nobody British has ever reached an Olympic cross-country skiing podium. Changing that in Wednesday’s team sprint will be a difficult task but an entertaining one to watch (from 09:00, finals start at 11:00). Two team-mates alternate short, ultra-fast laps at the same time as their rivals, often creating pandemonium at the finish and memorable finales like American Jessie Diggins plucking gold away from Sweden by a fifth of a second after nearly 16 minutes in 2018.
Five of the top male freeski aerials athletes in the world right now are Chinese, so the hosts’ expectations will be as sky-high as the jumps from 11:00 on Wednesday. Maxim Burov, a three-time world champion from Russia, could spoil the party. GB’s Lloyd Wallace has shown he can post top-10 finishes on the world stage.
Kathryn Thomson skates in the women’s 1500m short track speed skating from 11:30. Dutch skater Suzanne Schulting has obliterated the field over every distance in the past season and will be a favourite here. Unusually, Thomson tied with GB Olympian Elise Christie in August’s British trials – a photo finish couldn’t separate them.
Ice hockey’s women’s bronze-medal play-off takes place at 11:30. The popular wisdom would dictate that Canada will face the United States in the final, but it’s possible Finland – narrowly beaten finalists at 2019’s World Championship – could bump one of those two into the battle for third place. Still, half of the bronze medals awarded since women’s ice hockey entered the Olympics in 1998 have gone to Finland, so the odds are this is where they’ll end up, and the odds are they’ll win.
Sweden’s Niklas Edin has won five of the past eight men’s world curling titles, dating back to 2013 – the only skip in history to rack up that many world gold medals in the men’s game. Yet somehow, that has never translated into an Olympic title. Edin won bronze in Sochi and silver in Pyeongchang. By the time we reach the penultimate day of the 2022 round-robin tournament, whether Edin is on track to go one better in Beijing will be much clearer. Meanwhile, GB’s women play China from 01:05 and the men face Russia’s athletes from 06:05.
The Olympic women’s figure skating is one of the most viewed moments of any Games. Whose career-defining moments will come on Thursday? All the buzz is about 15-year-old Kamila Valieva and though she’s the favourite, she isn’t even the only Russian with an opportunity to win. Alexandra Trusova, 17, could pounce if Valieva slips up, as could Anna Shcherbakova – the reigning world champion. GB’s entrant is Natasha McKay. The women’s free skate starts at 10:08.
Snowboard cross has been and gone by this point in the Games. Step forward ski cross, which is every bit as exciting, just with added limb-flail. Thursday is women’s ski cross day with head-to-head racing from 06:00, culminating just after 07:10. Canada recorded a one-two in Pyeongchang and while Olympic champion Kelsey Serwa has retired, Canada easily has the talent to record the same result again. Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund is a leading contender too, as is Switzerland’s Fanny Smith.
There could be a lot on the line as both GB curling teams head into their final round-robin games. Britain’s men, in particular, will have to get past a major curling power in Canada (01:05) if they need a result from their last group game. GB’s women play the Russians from 06:05.
OK, so we’ve established that the women’s hockey gold-medal game at Pyeongchang 2018 ordinarily involves the same two teams – Canada and the US. That doesn’t stop the final being an exciting watch. Whenever these two have met in an Olympic final, the winning margin has always been two goals or fewer. In the past two Games, we needed overtime (and, in 2018, a shootout) to separate them. So either strap yourself in at 04:10 for another great match-up between the North American rivals, or enjoy a surprise final if one or both of them don’t make it.
Speed skating’s women’s 1000m (08:30) will mark one more opportunity for the Netherlands’ Ireen Wust to add to a tally that stood at five gold medals at the start of Beijing 2022. The 35-year-old, a champion at every Winter Olympics since 2006, has never won the 1000m event at the Games. The closest she came was silver at Sochi 2014.
Qualification begins in the freeski halfpipe (from 01:30 for the women and 04:30 for the men). GB are represented by Zoe Atkin and Gus Kenworthy. Kenworthy’s CV is, to put it mildly, varied. He won slopestyle silver as a US athlete in 2014, staying behind to help adopt stray puppies after the Sochi Games. He came out in 2015, becoming one of winter sport’s most prominent openly gay athletes. In 2019, he switched his competitive allegiance to Britain. He has also appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and starred as Chet Clancy in TV show American Horror Story: 1984. Asked about his decision to compete for GB instead of the US, he said: “I guess I’ve always looked good in red, white and blue.”
Zoe Atkin, younger sister of Izzy, is Britain’s hope in women’s ski halfpipe (01:30-02:49). The 19-year-old has two World Cup podium finishes to her name, including a gold medal when she was just 16. She took bronze in last year’s World Championship too. US freeskier Eileen Gu, Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru and Russian Valeriya Demidova are among the other contenders.
Curling medals start to be handed out, beginning with the men’s bronze-medal play-off at 06:05. At Pyeongchang 2018, Britain’s men lost a tie-breaker that would otherwise have seen them advance to the bronze play-off, and eventually finished fifth.
Ollie Davies became the first Briton to reach the ski cross big final at a World Championship last year, finishing fourth. Friday marks his Olympic debut with the knockout runs beginning at 06:45 and the finals starting just before 08:00.
Cornelius Kersten returns in speed skating’s 1000m event. He’s ranked 11th in the world over this distance in the 2021-22 season. The field includes Dutch skaters like Thomas Krol and Kjeld Nuis against Norway’s Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen and Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil.
Mica McNeill and Montell Douglas go in the first two runs of the two-woman bobsleigh (12:00 and 13:30).
Biathlon’s mass start does what it says on the tin: everyone starts at the same time. At Pyeongchang 2018 the top two biathletes even managed to finish at the same time: Martin Fourcade and Simon Schempp each crossed the line in a time of 35 minutes 47.3 seconds, requiring close scrutiny of the finish camera before Fourcade was handed the gold medal.
The men’s ice hockey semi-finals take place at 04:10 and 13:10.
Figure skating has two Olympic events that feature a man and a woman competing together: ice dance and pairs. To understand the difference, watch the pairs event’s opening day (10:38-13:43). Pairs involves more acrobatic moves like jumps and overhead lifts, while ice dance places more emphasis on choreographic elements like twizzles and step sequences. Pairs is also easily recognisable for elements like throw jumps – jumps where the man throws the woman into the air and she must then land without assistance – and death spirals, where the woman spins around the man while virtually parallel with the ice.
Saturday, 19 February – day 15
Medal events: 9
Alpine skiing (mixed team parallel), bobsleigh (two-woman), biathlon (women’s mass start), cross-country skiing (men’s mass start), curling (men’s), freestyle skiing (men’s halfpipe), figure skating (pairs), speed skating (women’s and men’s mass start)
The men’s halfpipe (01:30-02:49) will be the last event of Gus Kenworthy‘s career, he says. The Sochi 2014 silver medallist, then representing the US but now competing for GB, has reached Beijing 2022 despite having barely competed for the past year following a range of setbacks like head injuries and Covid-19. Even so, when he competes, he’s invariably a medal contender. New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, Canada’s Brendan Mackay and American Alex Ferreira are the form athletes heading into this event.
The last time Britain won a men’s curling gold medal was in 1924. By now we’ll know if there’s a chance of a repeat performance almost a century later. The battle for men’s curling gold begins at 06:05 and while Canada and Sweden are the most likely contenders on paper at the Games’ outset, Bruce Mouat led Scotland to last year’s world final so has demonstrated he can reach this stage. The women’s bronze-medal play-off follows at 12:05.
Two-woman bobsleigh concludes with run three (12:00) and run four (13:30). The selection of Montell Douglas, competing for GB alongside Mica McNeill, makes her the first British woman to compete at both a summer and winter Games – she ran in the 100m at Beijing 2008, meaning both of her Olympic appearances will have come in the same city. McNeill is looking to improve on eighth at Pyeongchang 2018, which was the best performance by a British women’s bobsleigh team at an Olympics.
Four-man bobsleigh also begins on Saturday. Brad Hall’s team will be in action from 01:30 (run one) and 03:05 (run two).
Figure skating’s pairs event concludes from 11:05. Russian athletes could dominate, with two duos – Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, and Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov – equally capable of winning gold. The Chinese team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, world and Olympic silver medallists, will try to go one better on home ice.
Ice hockey’s men’s bronze-medal play-off takes place at 13:10.
Cross-country skiing’s longest slog – a 50-kilometre race expected to take two hours or more – begins at 06:00. Finland’s Iivo Niskanen and Russian Alexander Bolshunov, the top two in 2018, remain two of the biggest medal threats. Of the British contingent, Andrew Musgrave is most likely to have a shot over this distance.
Speed skating’s mass start, described as ‘Nascar on ice’ after its introduction at the Pyeongchang Olympics, begins at 07:00. Up to 24 skaters line up at the start, then it’s a mad dash – or as much of a dash as skating more than six kilometres can be – to finish the 16 laps first.
Alpine skiing wraps up with the mixed team parallel event from 03:00 (final 04:46). In each round, nations select two men and two women. In four races, athletes from two teams ski head-to-head down identical courses at the same time. Whoever wins each race scores a point. At the end, whichever nation has the most points advances to the next round. If it’s a 2-2 tie, the team with the aggregate fastest time goes through.
Sunday, 20 February – day 16
Medal events: 4
Bobsleigh (four-man), cross-country skiing (women’s mass start), curling (women’s), ice hockey (men’s)
On the Olympics’ final day, the two team events that have been the backbone of the schedule finally conclude.
Curling’s women’s gold-medal game takes place early in the day at 01:05. Unlike the men, who can’t buy an Olympic gold, Sweden’s women have won three of the past four Olympic titles. Britain’s women haven’t reached the final since 2002, when Rhona Martin’s team won gold.
Ice hockey’s finale, the men’s gold-medal game, begins at 04:10. The absence of NHL players makes this the second successive wide-open Olympics, although the strength of Russia’s KHL means the ROC are hotly tipped to successfully defend their gold from 2018.
Brad Hall’s British four-man bobsleigh team competes in runs three (01:30) and four (03:20) to round off the event. Hall, Greg Cackett, Nick Gleeson and Taylor Lawrence have been racking up World Cup podium finishes this season so there’s hope for a significant improvement on Hall’s 17th-place finish at Pyeongchang 2018.
Cross-country skiing concludes with the women’s 30km mass start. This was the scene of Norwegian Marit Bjorgen’s stunning swansong at Pyeongchang 2018, when she won gold and her record 15th medal at a Winter Olympics. Bjorgen’s retirement means Norway will look to Therese Johaug but Sweden’s Frida Karlsson may see an opening.
Beijing 2022’s closing ceremony (12:00-14:10) will see organisers formally hand the torch to Milan-Cortina 2026. The Italian city of Milan and Alpine community of Cortina d’Ampezzo will be the next hosts of the Winter Olympics, the fourth time Italy has staged the Olympic Games and the second to visit Cortina d’Ampezzo, which also hosted in 1956. There are shades of London 2012’s logo in the stylised 26 that represents the next Winter Games.