More than 80 Olympians with ties to Utah have competed in the 2022 Winter Olympics, with nearly every day of competition in Beijing featuring someone with ties to Beehive State.
From Nathan Chen to Erin Jackson, Utah-bound athletes produced many memorable moments at the 2022 Olympics.
Here are five of the best Olympic moments from the 2022 Games.
Nathan Chen, gold medalist in figure skating
Chen’s second run to gold was perhaps the most anticipated event of the Olympics. His first trip to the Olympics in 2018 was highly publicized in the years and months leading up to the 2022 Games. In 2018, Chen finished 17th in the short program before jumping to fifth after the free skate, but was still off the podium.
Chen’s change in mentality since the 2018 Games has allowed him to skate freely without fear of failure. Instead of trying to win, he focused on the technical aspects of his skating, feeling and listening to the music, keeping his mind clear and focusing on the present moment.
Prior to the 2022 Games, the Salt Lake City-born skater had won all but one of his 18 events and won three world championships.
But could he make it to the Olympics?
Chen broke the short program world record with a score of 113.97 at the Olympics, landing two quadruple flips in a virtually flawless performance.
In his long program, set to Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” Chen earned the gold with a free skate score of 218.63 and a combined score of 332.60. He landed five quadruple jumps, including a quad lutz – the toughest jump in figure skating.
Chen leaves Beijing with two medals, individual gold and silver in team figure skating.
Jessie Diggins, silver medalist and bronze medalist in cross-country skiing
Never before in Olympic history has an American woman won an individual cross country medal.
That is, until Jessie Diggins at the 2022 Olympics.
Diggins has proven she can step onto the podium in both sprint and distance, winning two medals at the 2022 Games – a silver in the 30-kilometre mass start race and a bronze in the individual sprint cross country. -country women’s 1.5 kilometer .
After completing the 30 kilometer mass start race, Diggins revealed she had suffered from food poisoning just 30 hours before the race, making an already grueling race increasingly difficult.
The former Westminster student added to her legacy as one of America’s top Olympic cross-country skiers.
The 30-year-old now has three Olympic medals in total after winning gold in the team sprint at the 2018 Games.
Alex Hall, Nick Goepper, gold and silver in slopestyle skiing
Park City residents Alex Hall and Nick Goepper took the podium 1-2 in men’s slopestyle skiing.
With three runs in the final, some competitors in the event are playing it a little safer on the first run, opting to go all out on their second or third run.
Hall’s first run ended up winning gold.
Scoring 90.01, Hall’s run featured a switch 270 grind on the rail section, then a double cork 1620 followed by a 900 pull-back on the jump section – removing what would have been a double cork 1080 in the air to land back. NBC announcer Tom Wallisch called it a “pretzel rotation”.
Goepper’s silver medal run came with a score of 86.48. He stood up for a grind on the “shred shed,” which is part of a large railroad section. He landed a double bio 1260 switch and a double cork 1400 in the jump sections.
Erin Jackson, speed skating gold medalist
Salt Lake City Erin Jackson almost didn’t get a chance to make history at the Olympics.
After Jackson slipped uncharacteristically and failed to qualify for the Olympics in the 500 meters at the United States Olympic Speed Skating Trials, Bowe – who finished first – gave up his spot in the ordeal in Jackson.
Jackson took full advantage of the opportunity, becoming the first black woman to win an individual medal in speed skating at the Olympics. She won the 500 meter race with a time of 37.04.
She was also the first American to win the 500 meters at the Olympics since Bonnie Blair in 1994 and the first American to win an individual speed skating medal since Chris Witty won the 1,000 meters in 2002.
Bowe was also able to compete in the 500 meter race in Beijing after countries surrendered their quota spots in the event. She finished 16th with a time of 38.04 in that event, but won bronze in the 1,000 meters.
Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld, Gold in Mixed Team Aerial Skiing
In one of the biggest upsets at the Beijing Olympics, the United States beat China in the Olympic debut of mixed team aerial skiing.
Park City residents Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld posted a combined score of 338.34, 14 points ahead of China, who were expected to win the event.
Caldwell, a University of Utah graduate, landed a full back jump to score 88.86.
Lillis received the highest score of any individual in the four-team final, earning a score of 135.00 for her double full-full-double full back jump.
Finally, Schoenefeld, who attends Utah Valley University, scored 114.48 for her full-full-full double back jump to secure the gold medal for the United States.