The Beijing Olympics’ closing ceremony was held on Sunday, Feb. 20, and Team USA returned home with eight gold medals around its neck.
USA won its first gold of 2022 when Lindsey Jacobellis became the oldest American woman to win gold at the Winter Olympics. Having dominated in women’s snowboard cross, she later earned another gold in mixed team snowboard cross with fellow Team USA member Nick Baumgartner.
Sporting a galaxy-themed shirt to match his free skate theme– Elton John’s Rocketman— men’s singles skater Nathan Chen wowed the audience by pulling off five quads. Combined with the record-breaking 113.97 points from his short program, his free skate score made Chen the second gold medalist from Team USA. He previously won a silver medal in the team event.
Shortly after, Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Lillis, Justin Schoenefeld took first place in mixed team aerials, a first-of-its kind event at the Olympics.
Chloe Kim’s first run in the women’s halfpipe final made her a back-to-back gold medalist; having secured a safe score early on in the event, she attempted in her subsequent runs to land a trick that had previously never been done before at the Olympics. Despite her falls, Kim was all smiles as she left the slope.
Erin Jackson made history in women’s 500m when she became the first Black American athlete to win gold in speed skating. It was also the first time in 26 years that an American medalled in the event.
Meanwhile in monobob, bobsledder Kaillie Humphries won her third Olympic gold medal, the previous two having been won during her time on Team Canada.
Team USA’s final gold medallist was Alex Hall, who placed first in men’s slopestyle skiing. In the same event, Nick Goepper also took home silver for Team USA.