Day 2 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

By Rhea Mogul, Adam Renton and Ben Morse, CNN

Updated 3:26 p.m. ET, February 7, 2022
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12:26 a.m. ET, February 6, 2022

Beijing reports 10 new Olympics-related Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Wayne Chang

Beijing is taking stringent coronavirus measures at the Winter Olympics, in line with China's zero-Covid policy.
Beijing is taking stringent coronavirus measures at the Winter Olympics, in line with China's zero-Covid policy. (Annice Lyn/Getty Images)

The Beijing Olympic Committee on Sunday reported 10 new Games-related Covid-19 cases, the organizers said in a statement. 

Of the new cases, four were detected among new airport arrivals and six were found inside the “closed loop system" — a bubble cut off from the rest of the Chinese capital and its wider population.

Six of the 10 cases involve athletes or team officials, the statement said.

Beijing is taking stringent coronavirus measures at the Games, in line with China's zero-Covid policy.

Inside the bubble, anyone who tests positive is immediately removed from the Games. Those who are symptomatic are sent to a designated hospital for treatment, while asymptomatic cases are taken to an isolation facility. They aren't allowed to return to the bubble until all symptoms disappear and they test negative twice in a row.

"Smooth progress": Officials are hopeful the Games will continue to see a downward trend of new Covid-19 cases.

"With less number of arrivals, there will be less positive cases," Beijing 2022 health official Huang Chun said at a news conference Sunday, adding officials "do not see any cluster spreading."
"It has not affected the smooth progress of the competition," Huang said.

As of Sunday, a total of 814,376 Covid-19 tests have been administered inside the "closed loop" system since Jan. 23, and 12,555 people have arrived in Beijing, according to Games organizers.

10:34 p.m. ET, February 5, 2022

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott wins first ever Winter Olympics gold for New Zealand

New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski-Synnott celebrates after winning the snowboard women's slopestyle on February 6.
New Zealand's Zoi Sadowski-Synnott celebrates after winning the snowboard women's slopestyle on February 6. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

New Zealand snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott made history on Sunday by claiming the country's first ever Winter Olympics gold medal in the women's slopestyle with an impressive final run that saw her finish with 92.88 points.

"HISTORY MADE" wrote the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games Teams on Twitter. "Could not be more proud right now."

Julia Marino of the United States came second in the event, winning Team USA's first medal of Beijing 2022 with a score of 87.68. She was followed by Australia's Tess Coady, who took bronze with 84.15.

Marino and Coady embraced Synott after her landing.

Team USA's Jamie Anderson a favorite to win missed out on her third Olympic gold after she sat down on a landing and finished ninth.

9:33 p.m. ET, February 5, 2022

It's 10:30 a.m. in Beijing. Here's what's happening at the Winter Olympics today

Welcome to Day 2 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, where gold medals are up for grabs in seven events on Sunday:

  • Men's downhill Alpine skiing
  • Men's cross-country skiing
  • Women’s freestyle skiing
  • Men's luge
  • Men's ski jumping
  • Men's snowboarding
  • Men's speed skating

Athletes to watch:

  • All eyes will be on Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, the favorite to win the men's downhill Alpine skiing. He laid down a marker Friday by setting the fastest time in the wind-affected second training run.
  • The women’s moguls in freestyle skiing is likely to see a duel for gold between Perrine Laffont of France and Australia's Jakara Anthony.   
  • Germany's Felix Loch is aiming to reclaim the Olympic title in men's single's luge, having finished fifth at Pyeongchang in 2018. He's up against defending champion David Gleirscher from Austria.
  • In women’s snowboarding slopestyle, Jamie Anderson will be looking to add to the 31 medals under Team USA's belt — making it the most successful nation ever in the Olympic event, ahead of Switzerland.

7:19 p.m. ET, February 5, 2022

UN Secretary-General António Guterres meets with Chinese leaders at Olympic Games

From CNN's Richard Roth

UN Secretary-General António Guterres met with top leaders of the Chinese government amid the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, a UN spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.

Guterres spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Guterres congratulated them on the organization of the Games and voiced his appreciation for China’s cooperation with the United Nations.

They discussed vaccine inequalities and the need for a global vaccination plan, the UN said.

Guterres also encouraged a “credible” visit from the High Commissioner for Human Rights to China, including Xinjiang, where China has been accused of detaining Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups.

The group also discussed climate change, global development, and regional issues, such as Afghanistan.

7:37 p.m. ET, February 5, 2022

US bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor cleared to compete after bout with Covid-19

From CNN's Homero DeLaFuente

Elana Meyers Taylor
Elana Meyers Taylor (Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Team USA)

American bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor has been cleared to compete at the Winter Olympics after testing negative for Covid-19 twice, according to the Games' official website.

Meyers Taylor, who tested positive for Covid-19 two days after arriving in Beijing, revealed the news to NBC’s Today Show on Saturday.

"I'll be leaving tonight, which is the morning for you guys, and headed to another hotel, so I can start the process of getting back into training and getting everything ready to race," she told NBC's Today Show.

Meyers Taylor, 37, was put into self-isolation after testing positive, where she continued to train during the week, while awaiting to be cleared

The three-time Olympic bobsleigh medalist is scheduled to compete in the women’s monobob and two-woman bobsled events.

6:39 p.m. ET, February 5, 2022

Norway takes home the gold as China wins big on Saturday

From CNN's Jack Bantock

Having arrived in China as the most successful country in Winter Olympics history, Norway was quickly into the groove on day one of Beijing 2022.

Norway got off to a golden start on Saturday, with the Nordic country claiming two top medals to take its all-time gold tally to 134. That's 29 more than the United States, which sits in second on 105.

Norwegian Therese Johaug won the first gold of Beijing 2022 with a dominant victory in the 15-kilometer cross-country skiing race in the women's skiathlon, cruising to her first individual Olympic title in 44 minutes and 13.7 seconds.

The 33-year-old is competing in her third Games, but missed Pyeongchang 2018 due to a positive drug test in 2016.

"I've been training a lot for this for many, many years," Johaug told reporters. "It's been a special week for us."

Johaug finished just over 30 seconds ahead of the ROC's Natalia Nepryaeva, who won silver in a time of 44:43.9.

Austria's Teresa Stadlober completed the podium, securing bronze with a 44:44.2 finish.

Medal tally for Feb. 5:

  • Biathlon: Mixed relay 4x6km (women's and men's): Norway
  • Cross-country skiing: Women's 7.5km + 7.5km skiathlon: Therese Johaug, Norway
  • Freestyle Skiing: Men's moguls: Walter Wallberg, Sweden
  • Short Track Speed Skating: Mixed team relay: China
  • Ski Jumping: Women's normal hill individual: Ursa Bogataj, Slovenia
  • Speed Skating: Women's 3000m: Irene Schouten, Netherlands

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6:37 p.m. ET, February 5, 2022

Medal-winning athletes at Beijing 2022 get to take home a panda souvenir

From CNN's Nectar Gan in Beijing

Athletes that make the podium in Beijing will have more than just a medal to take home.

All medal-winning athletes will receive a special souvenir for their achievements — featuring panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen and a golden garland of pine, bamboo and plum flower, a traditional Chinese art motif known as the "three friends of winter."

The trio is known as such because they do not wither in winter, embodying "steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience.”

According to the official Olympic website, "Bing" has several meanings in Mandarin Chinese, though the most common is ice. The word also symbolizes purity and strength.

“Dwen Dwen” means robust and lively, and also represents children.

The Bing Dwen Dwen design — created by Cao Xue — was chosen from more than 5,800 submissions from China and 35 countries as part of a global competition arranged by the Beijing 2022 organizing committee, the official Olympic website said.

6:41 p.m. ET, February 5, 2022

All the Beijing snow is human-made — a resource-intensive, "dangerous" trend as planet warms

From CNN's Derek Van Dam

It would be hard to hold a conversation over the deafening sound of the snow machines preparing the Olympic venues northwest of Beijing. They are loud and they are everywhere, blowing snow across what will be this month's most-watched slopes.

It is almost beautiful — except that the venues are surrounded by an endless brown, dry landscape completely devoid of snow.

In an Olympic first, though not an achievement to boast about, climate variability has forced the Winter Games to be virtually 100% reliant on artificial snow — part of a trend that is taking place across winter sports venues around the world.

Just one of the 21 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics in the past 50 years will have a climate suitable for winter sports by the end of the century, a recent study found, if fossil fuel emissions remain unchecked.

As the planet warms and the weather becomes increasingly more erratic, natural snow is becoming less reliable for winter sports, which forces venues to lean more on artificial snow.

But it comes at a cost: human-made snow is incredibly resource-intensive, requiring massive amounts of energy and water to produce in a climate that's getting warmer and warmer. Elite athletes also say that the sports themselves become trickier and less safe when human-made snow is involved.

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