More than 80 Olympians with Utah ties competed at the 2022 Winter Olympics, with nearly every day of competition in Beijing featuring someone with ties to the Beehive State.
From Nathan Chen to Erin Jackson, athletes with Utah ties produced many memorable moments at the 2022 Olympics.
Here are five of the best Olympic moments from the 2022 Games.
Nathan Chen, gold medal in figure skating
Chen’s second run at gold was perhaps the most anticipated event at the Olympics. His first trip to the Olympics in 2018 was well-publicized in the years and months leading up to the 2022 Games. In 2018, Chen finished 17th in the short program before vaulting to fifth place after the free skate, but was still off podium position.
Chen’s mentality change since the 2018 Games allowed him to skate freely without fear of failure. Instead of trying to win, he focused on the technical aspects of his skate, feeling and listening to the music, keeping his mind clear and focusing on the present moment.
Leading up to the 2022 Games, the Salt Lake City-born skater had won all but one of his 18 events entered, and won three world championships.
But could he do it in the Olympics?
Chen shattered the short program world record with a score 113.97 at the Olympics, landing two quadruple flips in a virtually flawless performance.
In his long program, set to “Rocket Man” by Elton John, Chen secured the gold medal with a score of 218.63 in the free skate, and a combined score of 332.60. He landed five quadruple flip jumps, including a quad lutz — the most difficult jump in figure skating.
Chen leaves Beijing with two medals, the individual gold and the silver in team figure skating.
Jessie Diggins, silver medal and bronze medal in cross-country skiing
Never before in Olympic history had an American woman won an individual cross-country medal.
That is, until Jessie Diggins in the 2022 Olympics.
Diggins proved that she could get on the podium in sprint and distance, winning two medals at the 2022 Games — a silver medal in the 30-kilometer mass start race and a bronze medal in the in the 1.5-kilometer women’s cross-country individual sprint.
After finishing the 30-kilometer mass start race, Diggins revealed that she had food poisoning just 30 hours prior to the race, making an already grueling race ever harder.
The former Westminster student added to her legacy as one of the best female American cross-country skiers at the Olympics.
The 30-year-old now has three Olympic medals overall after she won gold in the team sprint at the 2018 Games.
Alex Hall, Nick Goepper, gold and silver medals in slopestyle skiing
Park City residents Alex Hall and Nick Goepper went 1-2 on the podium in men’s slopestyle skiing.
With three runs in the finals, some competitors in the event play it a little safer on the first run, electing to go all out on their second or third runs.
Hall’s first run ended up winning gold.
With a score of 90.01, Hall’s run included a switch 270 grind on the rail section, then a double cork 1620 followed by a pull-back 900 on the jump section — pulling back what would have been a double cork 1080 in midair to land going backwards. NBC announcer Tom Wallisch called it a “pretzel rotation.”
Goepper’s silver-medal run came with a score of 86.48. He got up high for a grind on the “shred shed,” part of a great rail section. He landed a switch double bio 1260 and a double cork 1400 in the jump sections.
Erin Jackson, gold medal in speedskating
Salt Lake City Erin Jackson almost didn’t get the chance to make history at the Olympics.
After Jackson uncharacteristically slipped and failed to qualify for the Olympics in the 500-meter at the USA speedskating Olympic trials, Bowe — who finished first — gave up her spot in the event to Jackson.
Jackson took full advantage of the opportunity, becoming the first Black woman to win an individual speedskating medal at the Olympics. She won the 500-meter race with a time of 37.04.
She was also the first American woman to win the 500-meter race at the Olympics since Bonnie Blair in 1994 and the first American woman to win an individual speedskating medal since Chris Witty won the 1,000-meter race in 2002.
Bowe also got to compete in the 500-meter race in Beijing after countries returned quota spots in the event. She finished 16th with a time of 38.04 in that event, but won bronze in the 1,000-meter race.
Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld, gold in mixed team aerial skiing
In one of the biggest upsets at the Beijing Olympics, the United States defeated China in the Olympic debut of mixed team aerial skiing.
Park City residents Ashley Caldwell, Chris Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld turned in a combined score of 338.34, 14 points ahead of China, who was expected to win the event.
Caldwell, a graduate of the University of Utah, landed a back full-full-full jump to earn a score of 88.86.
Lillis received the highest score of any individual in the four-team final, earning a score of 135.00 for his back double full-full-double full jump.
Finally, Schoenefeld, who attends Utah Valley University, turned in a score of 114.48 for his back double full-full-full jump to secure the gold medal for the United States.