The two weeks-plus duration of the Olympic Games tends to have a certain rhythm. And it’s in the final week that fatigue can start to set in. So many great performances. So much triumph and heartbreak. How much more can we take?
Consider that all of these events, and many more – featuring a host of Olympic stars in Beijing – are still to come.
In figure skating, ice dancing and pairs will draw their share of attention, but there are few events more anticipated than women’s singles skating. And this time, off-the-ice drama has intruded: After Kamila Valieva of Russia tested positive for a banned substance, it is still unclear whether the skater with the dazzling quad jump will be in the final. A decision is expected by Monday afternoon in Beijing. The good news for Russia? It has a strong bench and could win gold even without Valieva. The women’s short program is on Tuesday, and the free skate is on Thursday.
In freestyle skiing, it’s all about Eileen Gu of China. After winning the big air event, she could add the slopestyle gold in the final on Monday (Sunday night in the United States) and another in the halfpipe on Friday (Thursday night in the United States). And ski cross, one of the wildest events of the Games, with four skiers racing one another on the same course all at once, is on Thursday for the women and on Friday for the men. The potential for chaos traditionally makes it a wide-open event, but Sandra Naslund of Sweden sure is tough to beat.
In Alpine skiing, the women’s downhill – always a big race – is on Tuesday (Monday night in the United States). And the combined event, scheduled for Thursday, offers Mikaela Shiffrin one more chance at a gold medal after early exits in her first two events, and a finish well off the podium in her third.
In hockey, the women’s final, almost certainly between the longtime rivals Canada and the United States, is on Thursday (Wednesday night in the United States). The men’s final is next Sunday (Saturday night in the United States).
In curling, the finals are on Saturday for the men, and next Sunday (Saturday night in the United States) for the women.
In bobsled, the new monobob event for women makes its debut on Sunday and Monday (Saturday and Sunday night in the United States). Two Americans, Elana Meyers Taylor (after a Covid scare) and Kaillie Humphries (who used to race for Canada), might go 1-2 – or is it 2-1?
In speedskating, if you’ve been left unmoved by the races so far, which have been in a time trial format, you might fall in love with the mass start events on Saturday. In those, 24 skaters are crowded onto the ice at once.