Updated 8:23 PM ET, Sat February 5, 2022
The 2022 Winter Olympics are officially underway after Friday’s opening ceremony in Beijing, and the first medals were awarded Saturday.
The first gold went to Norwegian cross-country skier Therese Johaug, who won the women’s skiathlon. Host nation China won its first gold of these Games in short track, defeating Italy in the mixed relay by just 0.016 seconds. And Dutch speedskater Irene Schouten set a new Olympic record on her way to winning the 3,000 meters.
This is the second Olympics to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. As with last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a raft of Covid-19 countermeasures have been put in place and the Games will be held inside what authorities have called a “closed loop system” — a bubble completely cut off from the rest of the city. Tickets for the Games will not be sold to the general public; they will be distributed by authorities instead.
Beijing is the first city in history to host both a Summer and a Winter Olympics.