Sport by Sport, What's on My Mind with One Week to Go Until Beijing 2022
What are you hoping to see?
How will 'newly focused' Mikaela Shiffrin perform across her anticipated multiple events? She's back competing after a Covid-19 delay.
Sturla Holm Laegrid's 2020/21 season marked him an early star to watch at Beijing 2022, but Tarjei Boe Johannes Boe, and Vetle Sjstaad Christiansen are the top Norwegians in the World Cup standings. Can Laegrid have a comeback?
According to biathlonworld.com, Elvira Oeberg is the "most exciting athlete of trimester 1 (of the World Cup)". Will she keep her winning momentum into Beijing?
Who will be the debut Olympic champion in women's monobob, the first event on the schedule? Three Canadians, two U.S. athletes, two Germans, and one Australian, one Swiss, and one Russian make up the World Cup's top ten. Both Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers Taylor - the two USA drivers - have a medal from each of the last three Winter Olympics. Can either make it four?
On the men's side, Francesco Friedrich dominated this season's World Cup, with 14 of 16 possible wins. Were the two blips in his record this season an aberration or a sign of what's possible at the Games?
Will Finland's Kerttu and Iivo Niskanen duplicate unique World Cup success and become sibling Olympic medalists at the same Games?
"Here comes DIggins!" gave cross-country a rare must-see highlight for U.S. viewers during Pyeongchang 2018 (despite lots of worthy relay moments for the sport). The star of that sprint race - Jessie Diggins has proven to be no one-hit wonder...she's in the top three of the World Cup overall standings. What could she have in store this year?
After Pyeongchang 2018's surprise USA champions led by John Shuster and South Korean silver medalists "garlic girls" led by Kim Eun-Jung, who will be this year's fan favorite team?
Also...surprisingly, Denmark has only one total Winter Olympics medal ever, a silver from curling at Nagano 1998. They're in both the men's and women's tournaments at Beijing 2022...can another medal be in store?
Can Nathan Chen live up to his promise with a gold in the men's event, despite defending champion Yuzuru Hanyu returning to form?
After becoming the first rookie to win three X Games medals, and the first double cork 1440, can Stanford University-bound Eileen Gu create more history?
Is Japan a new powerhouse in moguls? Daichi Hara's bronze in Pyeongchang 2018 may have been just the start...
Is Team (Russia) really destined to win again, with National Hockey League players now out of the men's tournament? And, how will Team China perform on the men's side? Maybe now better than expected...
Can anyone other than Team Canada and Team USA make the top two in the women's tournament? Only once in six Olympic tournaments has that happened.
Latvian brothers Andris and Juris Sics have a silver and two bronze medals from previous Games since Vancouver 2010. Can they win gold finally? They're near the top of the World Cup standings in doubles so far.
Meanwhile, Natalie Geisenberger has the opportunity to tie a record of three straight Olympic singles luge titles. Will she, now that she has confirmed competing?
Germany won five of seven possible medals at Pyeongchang 2018, including all three golds. Will another team step up? Austria's Johannes Lamparter and Norway's Jarl Magnus Riiber lead the overall World Cup standings, but there are four Germans in the top 10.
That said, what can be done at Beijing 2022 to close the gender gap and ensure women's Nordic combined takes place at the next Games??
Short Track Speed Skating
Despite being a top-tier short track nation, Canada has never topped the medal table in the sport at any previous Games. Can they do it in Beijing? This might be as good a year as any for the squad.
And...Maame Biney may have been Pyeongchang 2018's smiliest Olympian for Team USA. How will the fan favorite fare this time around after 14th and 31st places last time?
Will Martins Dukurs win Olympic gold? He has two silvers from Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, and a fourth from Pyeongchang 2018. He's won the World Cup standings. Even more intriguing...older brother Tomass had a rare win over him earlier in the season. Might it happen again?
Can Ryoyu Kobayashi put Japan back on the men's medal table after a rare shut-out four years ago? He's got a good season going.
How will the mixed team event go over? Although women have been ski jumping at the Games since Sochi 2014, this will be the first mixed team competition - a rarely contested event on the circuit. My guess is Japan, Slovenia, Austria in some order...or Germany, or Norway...?
Veteran Lucas Eguibar won his first world snowboard cross championship in 2021. Can he carry that momentum into Beijing after disappoint two previous Games? "There isn't a day in which I don't think about an Olympic medal."
Spain has a veteran contender on the women's side, too. Can Queralt Castellet finally secure a medal for herself? Will Spain win two snowboard medals?
Netherlands' speed skaters won 23 medals at Sochi 2014 and 16 at Pyeongchang 2018...how will they perform in Beijing? Their squad is star-studded again.
Will Joey Mantia complete his transition from inline skating with an Olympic medal? He's a favorite in the mass start and the 1,500 meters.