Winter Olympics: All the highs and lows after Eve Muirhead took home gold for Great Britain

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Eve Muirhead is the best Brit after taking home gold in the curling, while the troubling case of Kamila Valieva was a poignant and sad sight… the highs and lows from the Winter Olympics in Beijing

  • Eve Muirhead helped Great Britain to Olympic Gold in the women’s curling
  • 15-year-old Kamila Valieva was subject to abuse in figure skating final 
  • Mikaela Shiffrin was the biggest name at the Games but failed to deliver
  • Muirhead’s victory was Team GB’s first medal at the Winter Olympics in China 


After two weeks, 109 events and almost 3,000 athletes, the 2022 Winter Olympics in China have come to a close.

Norway ended up victorious with an impressive 37 medals, 16 being gold, with Germany and China rounding off the podium respectively.

Though it wasn’t an overly successful time for Team GB, who picked up just two medals, the highs and lows of the tournament were clear to see. 

Eve Muirhead helped Great Britain secure Olympic gold in the women's curling in Beijing

Eve Muirhead helped Great Britain secure Olympic gold in the women’s curling in Beijing

Best Brit

Without doubt, Eve Muirhead. In a very limited field, she reached the top after a very hard road.

One to watch

Kirsty Muir, who finished fifth in Big Air at only 17. Unlike far too many of a mediocre Team GB bunch, she actually gave it a go.

Honourable mention

Gus Kenworthy. He had the ring of a Brit of convenience, having switched from the US, but no athlete from any country spoke so forcefully about why the Olympics were wrong to go to China. It was brave to use his platform to speak out about the human rights situation. Good for him.

Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy decided to speak out against decision to host games in China

Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy decided to speak out against decision to host games in China

Star from afar

Eileen Gu. She caused an international row by leaving the US to represent China, her mother’s homeland. She won two golds and a silver and her deft handling of the nationality minefield was almost as impressive as her skiing.

Broken idol

Mikaela Shiffrin was the biggest name at the Games and targeted five medals. As it transpired, the two-time skiing gold medallist from the US failed to cross the finish line entirely in three individual races and managed no better than ninth in the other two.

Pain game

They call it the Winter Olympics, so cold is part of the deal. It regularly dipped to -25ºC in the mountains, and spare a thought for Remi Lindholm, the Finnish cross-country skier. He finished his 28km race on Saturday and promptly reported that his penis had frozen.

Biggest story

That has to be the troubling case of 15-year-old Kamila Valieva, who became the biggest story of these Games and almost any other. 

She was the star of Beijing 2022 after the figure skating team event, but it descended into the most extraordinary scandal. 

Her collapse under all the attention during the singles will stand as one of the most poignant and sad sights in the history of the Olympics. If there was complicity from the wider Russian team, then there has to be a whole new conversation about a unilateral ban.

Kamila Valieva broke down after the 15-year-old was sent out for a doomed figure skating final

Kamila Valieva broke down after the 15-year-old was sent out for a doomed figure skating final

Final thoughts

The Olympics remain the greatest show on earth, in spite of those who run it. 

Staging the Games in China was a mistake that could echo for decades, if the fears of human rights groups are realised. 

It is simply not good enough that Thomas Bach can put his fingers in his ears and turn the Games into a launderette for those who need it.

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