1 min agoMedal winning athletes at Beijing 2022 get to take home panda souvenirFrom CNN’s Nectar Gan in Beijing
(Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)Athletes that make the podium in Beijing will have more than just a medal to take home.
All medal-winning athletes will receive a special souvenir for their achievements — featuring panda mascot Bing Dwen Dwen and a golden garland of pine, bamboo and plum flower, a traditional Chinese art motif known as the “three friends of winter.”
The trio is known as such because they do not wither in winter, embodying “steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience.”
According to the official Olympic website, “Bing” has several meanings in Mandarin Chinese, though the most common is ice. The word also symbolises purity and strength.
“Dwen Dwen” means robust and lively, and also represents children.
The Bing Dwen Dwen design — created by Cao Xue — was chosen from over 5,800 submissions from China and 35 countries around the world as part of a global competition arranged by the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee, added the official Olympic website.
20 min agoDutch speed skater aiming for gold after suffering severe burns in wood-burning stove accidentFrom CNN’s Jack Bantock
Sjinkie Knegt competes at the ISU World Cup in Dordrecth, Netherlands, in November 2021. (Douwe Bijlsma/BSR Agency/Getty Images)Dutch speed skater Sjinkie Knegt competes on Saturday at Beijing 2022, yet the fact he is taking part at the Winter Olympics is an achievement in itself.
The 32-year-old was hospitalized with severe burns for seven weeks after burning wood fell onto a bottle of thinner which exploded as he lit the wood-burning stove at his home in January 2019.
Knegt suffered burns to his face, chest, legs and feet after his clothes caught fire, with his recovery complicated by a leg injury he had sustained a month prior following a forklift truck accident.
His story was the subject of “Sjinkie: Playing with Fire,” a documentary by Dutch broadcaster NOS.
“I knew the images were there, but they really shocked me,” said Knegt, who admitted that he found the program difficult to watch.
“The first time I saw it, it was hard to swallow. Knowing that I made it this far after all that, is something I can only be proud of.
“I sometimes downplayed it all and spoke about it as if everything would be alright, but when I heard the doctors speak about it in the documentary, it was pretty heavy to take,” added Knegt.
The 2015 short track speed skating world champion watched the documentary “four, five times” before it was officially released.
Since the documentary aired, Knegt has received plenty of supportive responses, which have helped motivate him following his return to competition in February 2020.
Claiming silver in the 1500m at the Dordrecht World Cup event in November 2021 was another “a nice boost” for Knegt.
“It was such a relief … after all I have been through,” said the 32-year-old skater as he reflected on being selected for his fourth Games.
“I’m prouder than ever, and I am super happy to be able to compete for the medals again.”
Knegt kicks off his Beijing journey in the mixed team relay at the Capital Indoor Stadium on Saturday, his first of four chances at a medal at the Games.
“Of course, I would love to win a medal individually, but if I win one with the relay I would be more than happy too,” said Knegt, who won bronze at Sochi in 2014 and silver at PyeongChang four years later.
“Although I prefer the gold, I’m happy to win a medal of any color.”
1 hr 53 min agoDutch speed skater Schouten wins women’s 3000m gold in Olympic record time From CNN’s Angus Watson and Jack Bantock
Netherlands’ Irene Schouten won women’s 3000m speed skating on February 5. (Koen Van Weel/AFP/Getty Images)Irene Schouten of the Netherlands set a new Olympic record en route to gold in the women’s 3000m speed skating event.
Schouten pipped Italy’s Francesca Lollobrigida in a thrilling race to win with a new Olympic record time of 3:56.93.
Isabelle Weidemann took bronze to round out the podium, securing Canada’s 200th Winter Olympics medal.
“There was a lot of pressure for myself and for the Netherlands and I’m so happy I made it,” said Schouten.
“I was in the last pair and you see all the girls race in front of you, and they raced really fast.
“Four years ago I did not qualify, so I wanted this one. When I was young I had a big dream to win Olympic gold and now I have it.”
Schouten’s blistering time topped a 20-year-old existing Olympic record set at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.
That year, the gold medal was won by Germany’s Claudia Pechstein. Two decades later in Beijing, Pechstein competed in the race that saw the record change hands — finishing 20th in a time of 04:17.16.
2 hr 1 min agoOldest competitor in Beijing: Claudia Pechstein, 49, competes at record eighth GamesFrom CNN’s Angus Watson and Ben Church
German speed skater Claudia Pechstein celebrates after competing in the 3000m event on February 5, becoming the first woman to participate in eight Olympic Winter Games. (Peter Kneffel/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)German speed skater Claudia Pechstein is the oldest competitor — male or female — in Beijing this month.
And after competing in the women’s 3000m gold medal race on Saturday, the 49-year-old Pechstein now shares the record for most Winter Olympic appearances with legendary Japanese skier Noriaki Kasai having already competed in seven previous Games.
Pechstein’s first Winter Games came in Albertville, France in 1992.
The 49-year-old, who was a flagbearer for Team Germany at Friday’s Opening Ceremony, has a wealth of experience on her side and has won nine Olympic medals during her lengthy and controversial career, including five gold medals.
READ: The youngest and oldest Winter Olympians competing at Beijing 2022
Pechstein was given a two-year doping ban after she returned irregular tests in 2009 but has consistently denied taking performance enhancing drugs — the Court of Arbitration for Sport confirmed her suspension.
She may not be at her peak anymore, but an eighth Winter Games is something to note and no other woman has managed the feat.
Pechstein finished last in Saturday’s gold medal race, but she celebrated with a double fist pump and smile.
“I was not too fast, but I smiled because today I got my goal to race in my eighth Olympic Games. This was important for me,” said Pechstein.
“Yesterday I carried the flag. It was an amazing moment, a top moment in my career.
“The result of today was not so important, it was just to race and to be here. I am super proud.”
2 hr 37 min agoSouth Korea angry over ‘stealing of culture’ during Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony From CNN’s Jake Kwon in Seoul
Team South Korea at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on Febr
Shaun White to retire after Beijing 2022
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