The 2022 Paralympic Winter Games produced many unforgettable moments. From the resilience of the Ukrainian athletes to the history made by Oksana Masters and Brian McKeever, take a look back at some of the top moments from nine days of competition.
Ukraine sweeps three biathlon podiums
After a difficult and dangerous journey to get to the Paralympics, Ukraine's athletes competed with heavy hearts against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of their home country. Despite the circumstances, they proved to be a powerful force in the Nordic events, winning 11 gold medals and 29 total medals to finish second in the overall medal count and give Ukraine its best-ever medal haul at the Winter Paralympics.
One of the most captivating moments came on the opening day of the Paralympics when Ukraine swept a biathlon podium in the men's vision impaired sprint (video below). Ukrainian athletes went on to sweep two more biathlon podiums throughout the rest of the Games.
U.S. wins cross-country relay gold, making history for Masters
Cross-country skiing produced more medals for the United States than any other sport at these Paralympics, with three different athletes — Oksana Masters, Sydney Peterson and Jake Adicoff — earning individual medals. Those athletes teamed up with Dan Cnossen, who won six medals at PyeongChang 2018, for the mixed relay event, and the result was the first-ever U.S. relay gold and Masters taking the title of most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian of all time.
The race featured a dramatic ending as Adicoff, along with guide Sam Wood, raced the anchor leg and took the U.S. from fourth to first in half a lap.
Brian McKeever ties record with 16 golds
With three gold medals in Beijing, Canadian cross-country skier Brian McKeever upped his career total to 16, tying him with German Alpine skier Gerd Schoenfelder for most all-time by any man in Winter Paralympic history.
McKeever's most exciting race came in the sprint (video below), where he was challenged by American Jake Adicoff. The Canadian raced tactically, waiting until the very end of the race to make his move on Adicoff and claim the gold.
Brenna Huckaby overcomes obstacles to win banked slalom gold
Despite winning a pair of gold medals at the 2018 Paralympics, American snowboarder Brenna Huckaby was in danger of not being allowed to compete at this year's Games after her LL1 classification was removed from the Paralympic program due to a lack of athletes. She, along with Frenchwoman Cecile Hernandez, took legal action and ultimately won the right to "compete up" against less-impaired athletes in the LL2 classification.
Even though she was competing at a disadvantage in Beijing, Huckaby won medals in both of her events. It started with a bronze medal in snowboard cross, in which she recovered from an early crash to finish third in the big final, and ended with gold in banked slalom.
U.S. dominates en route to fourth straight sled hockey title
The U.S. was the undisputed best team throughout the entire Paralympic sled hockey tournament. In the four games they played, the Americans outscored their opponents by a combined score of 30-1.
Two of those games came against the team's biggest rival, Canada, and both resulted in 5-0 wins for Team USA. Declan Farmer and Brody Roybal each scored two goals during the final to lead the U.S. to its fourth straight Paralympic gold medal.
Aigner sisters finish 1-2 in women's slalom
It was a huge week for Austria's Aigner siblings, four of whom competed in Alpine skiing at the Paralympic Games in the visually impaired classification. Johannes Aigner, 16, dominated the men's program, earning a medal in all five events and winning two of them. His sisters Veronika and Barbara combined to win four medals in the women's events, with fellow sister Elisabeth serving as a guide for Veronika.
The sisters shared a podium twice, but it was the second occasion — the women's slalom race — where they finished first and second. Veronika and Elisabath landed on top for their second gold medal of the Games, while Barbara scored the silver for her second medal.
Oksana Masters, Kendall Gretsch trade 1-2 finishes
Two of Team USA's biggest Paralympic stars, Oksana Masters and Kendall Gretsch, lived up to their billing by combining to win 10 medals at these Games. They shared the podium in all three of the biathlon events and went 1-2 in two of them.
The first 1-2 finish came in the middle-distance race, as Gretsch won gold and Masters took silver (video below). A few days later, the two Americans flipped their finishing order in the 12.5km individual event.
China defends wheelchair curling title
Entering these Games, China had only ever won one medal at the Winter Paralympics, a 2018 wheelchair curling gold. Though China suddenly became a Paralympic powerhouse — they led all nations with 61 medals at these Games — one of the many medals they won was a second straight gold in wheelchair curling.
China defeated Sweden 8-3 in the final, blowing the game open with four points in the fifth end and three points in the decisive seventh end.
Carina Edlinger rewards guide dog for his help
Carina Edlinger, a cross-country skier competing in the visually impaired class, won two medals at these Paralympics, but it might not have happened without the support of her guide dog Riley.
Edlinger had to pull out of several races early in the Games because of pain and mobility issues, and Riley was there to comfort her afterward. The 23-year-old Austrian finally overcame those issues and triumphed with a gold medal in the cross-country sprint. During the medal ceremony, Riley joined her on the podium and quickly became a star. A few days later, Edlinger was back on the podium for another cross-country event, and this time Riley got a medal of his own.