Whether it was a photo finish, come-from-behind victory or an unexpected result, there were dramatic finishes aplenty at the 2022 Winter Games. Check out a few of the most memorable from these Games...
Double measurement in extra ends eliminates Canada
Canada’s attempt to defend its Olympic title in mixed doubles curling ended by a millimeter. It would take extra curling to determine the winner between Italy and Canada to advance to the semifinals.
The officials would double measure Italy’s yellow stone and Canada’s red stone in relation to the button. For perspective, a millimeter is the equivalent of a pencil point. It was quite the heart-breaking loss for Canada, which went home empty handed. Italy, meanwhile, went on to win the gold medal.
Slovakia sends USA home with shootout win
In the most stunning finish of the men’s hockey tournament, Slovakia tied the game with 43 seconds remaining. With under two minutes to go, the Slovaks pulled their goalie for the 6-on-5 advantage. Marek Hrivik capitalized, pocketing a bouncing puck past USA goaltender Strauss Mann.
Slovakia goaltender Patrik Rybar stopped all five Americans in the shootout. Peter Cehlarik scored the lone goal for Slovakia, giving them the 3-2 victory. Slovakia won the bronze medal after pulling off the unexpected upset.
Men’s snowboard cross photo finish
Grondin originally took a sizeable lead out of the start. However, Haemmerle’s good gliding kept him right behind the Canadian. About halfway through the race, Haemmerle passed Grondin. The two men were the two fastest in the world all season. Grondin, off the final jump, threw himself at the finish line but it was too little, too late.
Unexpected ending to Valieva’s Olympics
The women’s singles event in figure skating could claim the most shocking finish of the 2022 Winter Games. Kamila Valieva was always favored to win gold. Even after testing positive for a banned substance, and being allowed to compete, and being subjected to a week of intense media scrutiny, she was still expected to win. The 15-year-old led the field after her short program.
She was the last skater to take the ice and it was a complete disaster. She was unable to execute any of her four quads and she finished her routine in tears. Her catastrophic performance opened the door for compatriot Anna Shcherbakova to win gold. Fellow Russian, Aleksandra Trusova took silver while Japan’s Kaori Sakamoto won bronze.
Photo finish in men’s mass start
It was a nearly immeasurable .002 seconds that made difference between silver and fourth in the men’s mass start in speed skating. Unfortunately, American Joey Mantia was on the losing end, when .001 separated him and the podium.
This may have been the closest finish in any event at the 2022 Winter Games. Bart Swings won gold (Belgium's first Winter gold since 1948 -- 74 years!), finishing .007 seconds ahead of Chung Jae-Won. As mentioned, Lee Seung-Hoon edged out Mantia for bronze.
Dramatic finish in short track mixed team relay
The hometown team of China beat Italy for gold by .016 seconds in the short track mixed team relay. China once held a large lead, before Italy steadily closed the gap over the final few laps. At the finish line, Italy’s Pietro Sighel used every inch of his skate to try and beat China’s Wu Dajing, however it wasn’t enough.
Instead, China goes down in the history books as the winner of the first ever short track mixed team relay at the Winter Olympic Games.
Gu goes for gold on final run
The 18-year-old put down a run worth 94.50 points in the women’s big air to overtake France’s Tess Ledeux for the gold medal. Both riders threw down runs with massive scores of 94.50. Gu’s other top run was her first worth 93.75, while Ledeux’s second run was a flat 93.
In big air, the lowest score is thrown away, so Gu’s 94.50 on her final run (where she landed her first-ever attempt at a four-and-a-half-rotation trick) gave her the gold by .75 points.
Ayumu Hirano ends silver streak, finally finds gold
Japan’s Ayumu Hirano put down one of the most clutch runs of the Olympics in the men’s halfpipe to come from behind to win gold. Entering his final run, Hirano was sitting in a position he knew well. He won silver at the 2014 and 2018 Games in the same event.
Hirano was the only competitor to attempt a triple cork, the trick a lot of people believed would be needed to earn gold. He landed the trick in all three runs. Many thought the judges short-changed Hirano on his second run when he landed the triple cork. For his third run, he pulled off an even cleaner run with the triple cork and a pair of 1440s and 1260s.