Winter Olympics schedule: Day-by-day guide to key events and British medal hopes

Hosts: Beijing, China Dates: 4-20 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sounds; live text and video clips on BBC Sport website and mobile app.

The Winter Olympics is under way and here’s your day-by-day guide to all the action in Beijing.

The sporting programme includes a record 109 events over 15 disciplines in seven sports.

Team GB, consisting of 50 athletes, are participating in 11 of the disciplines.

All times are GMT and events are subject to change.

Friday, 11 February – day seven

Medal events: 7

Alpine skiing (women’s super-G), biathlon (women’s sprint), cross-country skiing (men’s classic), snowboard (men’s halfpipe), skeleton (men’s), short track speed skating (women’s 1,000m), speed skating (men’s 10,000m)

Highlights

He’s back! Shaun White, winner of Olympic snowboard gold in 2006, 2010 and 2018, returns to the halfpipe for the United States in what he says will be his final Games. Not that an unprecedented fourth title in his event will be a stroll – he’s had ankle trouble and Covid-19 in the build-up to the Games, and Australia’s Scotty James and Japan’s Ayumu Hirano (who competed in skateboarding at the Tokyo Olympic Games) will be out to stop him. Watch from 01:30.

Men’s skeleton reaches its climax with the final two runs from 12:20 and the climax just before 14:00. Skeleton has delivered at least one medal for Team GB at every Olympics in which it has featured, but only one this century – Dominic Parsons in 2018 – was won by a man. Matt Weston won World Cup gold in a remarkable three-way tie for first place in November, while Marcus Wyatt took silver in the Olympic test event on the Beijing track. Evergreen Latvian brothers Martins and Tomass Dukurs are still going – and still searching for a first Olympic title – and the Germans will be medal threats, too.

Brit watch

Friday’s cross-country 15km men’s classic (07:00) falls between Andrew Musgrave’s focus on longer-distance events and the preference of James Clugnet and Andrew Young for sprints. At the business end of the race, you’re likely to find Finland’s Iivo Niskanen, Russian Alexander Bolshunov, and potentially Norway’s Johannes Hosflot Klaebo, all of whom are suited to both the distance and the classic format.

Women’s skeleton begins with runs one and two at 01:30 and 03:00. Laura Deas returns for Team GB following her bronze medal-winning performance in Pyeongchang, joined this time by Olympic debutant Brogan Crowley. Lizzy Yarnold, the Olympic champion in 2014 and 2018, retired from the sport after Pyeongchang and can be found on BBC TV this time around.

Friday’s curling pits GB’s men against the US (01:05) and Norway (12:05), while the women face South Korea (06:05).

World watch

Ester Ledecka will be back in the women’s super-G (03:00) – one half of her famous Pyeongchang 2018 double in which she won gold in both alpine skiing and snowboarding’s parallel giant slalom. She has already retained her snowboarding title and remains a top-10 athlete in super G. Rivals could include Federica Brignone, who in 2020 became the first Italian woman to win the overall World Cup title.

Speed skating holds its longest individual event – the men’s 10,000m (08:00). In 2018, this was the first speed skating event not to be won by a Dutch skater – sort of. Canada’s Ted-Jan Bloemen, who switched from the Netherlands to represent Canada before Pyeongchang, won gold four years ago. Bloemen returns, as does Jorrit Bergsma, who finished second for the Dutch last time around.

Biathlon’s women’s 7.5km sprint (09:00) could be a battle between Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff, the world champion, and Marte Olsbu Roiseland, who won silver in Pyeongchang. The 2018 champion, Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier, has retired.

Expert knowledge

China has been drumming up the hype for short track speed skating by airing a 29-episode TV drama series titled Beyond, which tells the stories of several generations of the nation’s top skaters. Meanwhile, preparations in South Korea – normally a short-track powerhouse – have been distracted by a legal battle over disparaging text messages sent by star Shim Suk-hee about team-mates. Shim will miss Beijing 2022 after being banned by her national federation in response.

How to watch

Full details here.

BBC live TV coverage

All times listed are GMT (Beijing is eight hours ahead). Event start times are subject to change and the BBC is not responsible for any that may be made. Also, coverage can be subject to late schedule changes, so details may differ from this page.

00:00-06:00 – BBC One

06:00-09:15 – BBC Two

09:15-13:00 – BBC One

13:00-18:00 – BBC Two

Plus additional stream of live action here:

01:00-16:00 – BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and mobile app

BBC highlights

16:00-01:00 – BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and mobile app

19:00-20:00 – Today at the Games – BBC Two

20:00-20:55 – Winter Olympics Extra – BBC Three

BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live will be on hand to bring you all the key moments, stories and reaction through the Breakfast, Nicky Campbell and Adrian Chiles shows.

Other TV coverage:

Discovery is also a rights holder for Beijing 2022 in the UK. You need a subscription to watch, and have a choice of live action on TV channels including Eurosport 1 or Eurosport 2, or in-depth live coverage by event on streaming service Discovery+. Live coverage starts at 01:00 GMT each day until around 16:00, followed by highlights of the action. For the full schedule visit the Discovery+ website.external-link

Saturday, 12 February – day eight

Medal events: 6

Biathlon (men’s sprint), cross-country skiing (women’s relay), snowboard (mixed team snowboard cross), ski jumping (men’s large hill), skeleton (women’s), speed skating (men’s 500m)

Highlights

This is probably the first day Team GB’s chef de mission looks for when each Winter Olympic schedule is released: the women’s skeleton finale. At every Olympics since its introduction in 2002, women’s skeleton has delivered a medal for Britain – bronze in 2002, silver in 2006 and gold at every Games since. No pressure, then, on Laura Deas to match or upgrade her 2018 bronze. Recent results would suggest that will be tough, but then you could have said the same prior to Pyeongchang. The Netherlands’ Kimberley Bos starts as the favourite. Run three is from 12:20 and the fourth, final run begins at 13:55.

Snowboard cross was already one of the liveliest events on the Olympic calendar. Now there’s a new format to enjoy: the mixed team event sends the men off first, then hands whatever time advantage the male athlete earns over to the woman. The first female athlete across the line wins for the team. As usual, it’s a head-to-head knockout format and promises to be gripping. Starts at 02:00, final just before 03:00. GB’s entrants are Charlotte Bankes and Huw Nightingale.

Brit watch

Figure skating’s ice dance begins with the rhythm dance (previously known as the short dance) from 11:07 till 14:38. Lilah ‘No’ Fear and Lewis Gibson are the British entrants. Lilah has her own podcastexternal-link where you can hear her interview Lewis as well as the likes of Jayne Torvill, who of course was one half of the last British ice dance duo to win an Olympic medal. Other interviewees include Canadian figure skating legend Tessa Virtue and US star Nathan Chen. Fear and Gibson placed seventh for GB at the last World Championship.

Just one slice of GB curling action on Saturday: the women play the US at 12:05.

World watch

The relays are usually where the Norway-Sweden rivalry in cross-country skiing reaches a climax. As an example, at Pyeongchang 2018, the two nations’ women’s relay teams were just two seconds apart after 20 kilometres – and more than 40 seconds ahead of anyone else. Expect similar this year. Starts 07:30.

Canada play the US in men’s ice hockey at 04:10. The lack of NHL players means each nation had to be creative at short notice in who they selected, and that’ll create an interesting match-up. For example, Canada’s squad includes youth in the form of Owen Power, 2021’s number one draft pick who has yet to play an NHL game, and Eric Staal, who played in the NHL for 17 years – and won Olympic gold at Vancouver 2010 – before leaving the league last year.

Expert knowledge

Ski jumping progresses to the men’s large hill event (11:00). In this sport, distance is all about the K-point, the distance roughly two-thirds of the way down the hill that is considered the equivalent of a par score. Jump beyond the K-point and you gain points, come up short and you lose them. (You’re also judged on style by a panel of judges positioned around halfway down the jump). A hill’s size is measured by its K-point. An average normal hill might be referred to as a K90, and a large hill would be a K120, for example, 120 being the distance in metres from the top of the hill to the K-point.

Sunday, 13 February – day nine

Medal events: 7

Alpine skiing (men’s giant slalom), biathlon (women’s and men’s pursuit), cross-country skiing (men’s relay), short track speed skating (women’s relay, men’s 500m), speed skating (women’s 500m)

Highlights

In short track speed skating, the men’s 500m is the sport’s quickest event (from 11:00). The hosts have huge potential in Ren Ziwei and Wu Dajing but they could be outwitted by a pair of Chinese-Hungarian brothers. Liu Shaolin and Liu Shaoang race for Hungary and are ranked first and fourth in the world respectively in this event. Their Chinese heritage makes Beijing something of a homecoming, although a strange one since the pandemic will limit who can actually attend. “Beijing is a huge opportunity for us,” Shaolin said before the Olympics. “Since there can only be local spectators, I hope they will support us in the same way as domestic competitors.”

Settling in for a serene Sunday of curling? Britain’s men face hosts China at 01:05 for night owls, then return at 12:05 against Denmark. GB’s women also play Denmark at 06:05.

Brit watch

On what is otherwise a quiet day for British action, the freeski slopestyle trio of Izzy Atkin, Kirsty Muir and Katie Summerhayes are in qualifying from 02:00 till 04:00.

World watch

Most of the new events at Beijing 2022 are mixed gender, but one exception is the women’s monobob – the first appearance of a one-person bobsleigh at the Olympics. (There is no equivalent men’s event, but the men have a four-person event and the women do not, so there are still nearly 80 more bobsleigh places for men in Beijing than there are for women). The discipline’s leading names may be familiar: topping the rankings heading into the Games are US duo Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries, both winners of multiple Olympic medals (Humphries won two Olympic two-woman titles for Canada before switching to the US team).

Following the women on Saturday, cross-country’s men hold their relay on Sunday (07:00). It’s twice the distance of the women’s event and is Norway’s event to lose. This was the scene of a signature Johannes Hosflot Klaebo moment in 2018 as he powered away to turn a close race into a comfortable Norwegian victory on the last leg of the Pyeongchang relay.

Speed skating’s rankings state there is no quicker woman in the world over 500m than the United States’ Erin Jackson. But she almost missed the Olympics. A slip during trials in January left her in third place and without a place on Team USA despite her track record – until team-mate Brittany Bowe gave Jackson her 500m place. “This is an act I’ll never forget,” said Jackson, who is the first black American woman to win a speed skating World Cup. The women’s 500m begins at 13:56.

Expert knowledge

It’s pursuit day at the biathlon, which brings with it a unique start. Competitors begin the race based on their performance in the sprints held on the previous days. Say you won the sprint by 10 seconds from your nearest rival. You would start the pursuit 10 seconds earlier than them, and the rest of the pursuit is them, well, pursuing you based on that initial advantage. So whoever performs well in the sprints at Beijing 2022 begins the pursuit with a better chance of securing another medal. The women’s event starts at 09:00 and the men’s race at 10:45.

Monday, 14 February – day 10

Medal events: 5

Bobsleigh (monobob), freestyle skiing (women’s slopestyle, women’s aerials), figure skating (ice dance), ski jumping (men’s team)

Highlights

Not many medals to be won on Monday. It’s almost as though the athletes have other things to think about on 14 February. Head to the figure skating for a matchless marriage of romance and resilience as the ice dance reaches its conclusion (01:22-04:36). This is probably the sport’s most open event in Beijing – winners could come from France (Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron), Canada (Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier), Russia (Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov) or beyond. GB duo Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson have improved from 24th to seventh at the World Championships since 2018.

Women’s ski slopestyle concludes from 01:30. Izzy Atkin was on the podium for GB as a bronze medallist in 2018 but any of Atkin, Katie Summerhayes or Kirsty Muir could challenge for medals in Beijing four years later. Atkin is having to come back from a broken pelvis sustained eight weeks before the Games. Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru, who first won an X Games gold medal at the age of 13, is a leading contender.

Brit watch

Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson started the year with World Cup silver in the two-man bobsleigh, a result that Hall said demonstrates “we’re serious Olympic medal contenders”. Monday is the day to start proving that in the first two of four runs (from 12:05 and 13:40).

Curling pits Britain’s women against Canada at 12:05. Eve Muirhead’s rink won bronze at Sochi 2014, the Games at which Canadian skip Jennifer Jones took gold, and a win here would be a statement for the Britons. Muirhead’s team is entirely changed from eight years ago and even from her last appearance, in Pyeongchang. Jones’ team retains Kaitlyn Lawes and Dawn McEwen from 2014 (Jones herself did not skip Canada’s team in 2018).

Men’s ski slopestyle qualification starts at 04:30 and features James Woods beginning his bid to improve upon fourth place in 2018.

Snowboard big air qualifying also takes place (women from 01:30 and men from 05:30), marking another medal opportunity for Katie Ormerod, who has six career World Cup big air podiums to her name.

World watch

Athletes ascending to the top of the Beijing ski jump will be met with a view of the Great Wall of China, local reports state, as they prepare to fling themselves down the ramp. In ski jumping’s team event in Pyeongchang, Norway took gold, breaking a cycle in which the top two podium places were shared by two of Germany, Austria or Finland for four straight Olympics. Ski jumping always looks great under lights so it’s one of the later events to start, at 11:00 (final round from 12:06).

Women’s freeski aerials (11:00) should be a happy hunting ground for the hosts. Xu Mengtao and Kong Fanyu have both reached the Olympic podium before but have never won gold. They’re the two leading athletes in the sport this season.

Expert knowledge

The monobob (concludes 03:00) introduces not only a new, one-person bobsleigh but also a new approach to the equipment athletes use. Traditionally, sliding sports benefit from the same kind of technological “marginal gains” as other sports like track cycling, where comparatively rich nations can invest large sums in developing sleds that outpace those of their rivals. Monobob changes that. The rules state only standardised one-person sleds can be used, and limitations are placed on the extent to which those sleds can be modified. In theory, that should serve to highlight the talent of the athlete and minimise the impact of behind-the-scenes research and development.

Tuesday, 15 February – day 11

Medal events: 9

Alpine skiing (women’s downhill), bobsleigh (two-man), biathlon (men’s relay), freestyle skiing (men’s slopestyle), Nordic combined (large hill), snowboard (women’s and men’s big air), speed skating (women’s and men’s team pursuit)

Highlights

The women’s downhill is among the day’s early events at 03:00. Team USA’s aptly named Breezy Johnson is considered a top contender in the speed events although her build-up hasn’t been without complications – she crashed twice in two weeks on the World Cup circuit in January. Mikaela Shiffrin, her team-mate, is always a threat. The aftermath of another crash may open up this race: Italy’s Sofia Goggia, the 2018 champion, fractured a leg bone, partly tore a ligament and sprained her knee in a race just three weeks before the Games. She’s trying to make it back in time for the downhill but it would take an extraordinary recovery for Goggia to be competitive.

Nobody British has stepped on an Olympic two-man bobsleigh podium since Tony Nash and Robin Dixon won gold in 1964. Brad Hall and Nick Gleeson are ranked fifth in the world heading into Beijing 2022 and, if Monday’s first two runs were competitive, could be in a position to reset the clock from 12:15. Canadian pilot Justin Kripps and German equivalent Francesco Friedrich are back after dramatically sharing gold four years ago.

On paper, there are plenty of athletes standing between James Woods and a ski slopestyle medal (01:30-02:50). In practice, Woods delivers at big events: top four at Pyeongchang 2018 and last year’s World Championships, winning the world title in 2019. Favourites for gold will include Switzerland’s Fabian Bosch, this season’s world-leading athlete, who can only improve on a 2018 Olympics at which his unorthodox approach to escalatorsexternal-link outshone his 24th-place finish.

Brit watch

Katie Ormerod will hope to feature in the women’s snowboard big air final from 01:30. In the men’s event (05:00), Canada’s Sebastien Toutant is hoping to defend his Olympic title. He warmed up by snowboarding through the streets of Montreal in January.

Natasha McKay skates in the short programme as the women’s figure skating begins (from 10:08). The 27-year-old finished 17th in the European Championships a month before the Games.

Round-robin curling continues. Britain’s men face Sweden at 12:05 after the women play Japan from 06:05.

Lloyd Wallace, whose mum and dad both appeared at the Olympics as freestyle skiers in the late 1980s and early ’90s, features in men’s aerials qualifying from 11:00.

World watch

Biathlon legend Martin Fourcade left the sport in a blaze of glory, winning three Olympic titles at Pyeongchang 2018. The 13-time world champion’s departure means a new generation of French biathletes are learning to win without him. Watch out for France as underdogs in the men’s relay (09:00), an event ordinarily dominated by Scandinavia, Germany and Austria.

Expert knowledge

Speed skating’s team pursuit will look familiar to anyone who enjoys track cycling at a Summer Olympics. Two teams race head to head, starting on opposite sides of the track. The race ends when the fastest team crosses the line or catches the other team (a rarity in speed skating). This is one event the Dutch have failed to dominate, winning only two of eight men’s and women’s titles since team pursuit was introduced to the Games in 2006. The women’s final is at 08:28 and the men’s final at 08:47.

Wednesday, 16 February – day 12

Medal events: 7

Alpine skiing (men’s slalom), biathlon (women’s relay), cross-country skiing (women’s and men’s team sprint), freestyle skiing (men’s aerials), short track speed skating (women’s 1,500m, men’s relay)

Highlights

Dave Ryding’s astonishing World Cup slalom win in Kitzbuhel, less than a month before the Olympics, sent a wave of energy through Team GB on the eve of Beijing 2022. Wednesday is men’s slalom day, when Ryding will try to summon the same form that turned him into Britain’s first alpine skiing World Cup winner. He’ll be joined by GB’s Billy Major for the first runs at 02:15 and second runs from 05:45.

Speaking of GB firsts, nobody British has ever reached an Olympic cross-country skiing podium. Changing that in Wednesday’s team sprint will be a difficult task but an entertaining one to watch (from 09:00, finals start at 11:00). Two team-mates alternate short, ultra-fast laps at the same time as their rivals, often creating pandemonium at the finish and memorable finales like American Jessie Diggins plucking gold away from Sweden by a fifth of a second after nearly 16 minutes in 2018.

Brit watch

Five of the top male freeski aerials athletes in the world right now are Chinese, so the hosts’ expectations will be as sky-high as the jumps from 11:00 on Wednesday. Maxim Burov, a three-time world champion from Russia, could spoil the party. GB’s Lloyd Wallace has shown he can post top-10 finishes on the world stage.

Kathryn Thomson skates in the women’s 1500m short track speed skating from 11:30. Dutch skater Suzanne Schulting has obliterated the field over every distance in the past season and will be a favourite here. Unusually, Thomson tied with GB Olympian Elise Christie in August’s British trials – a photo finish couldn’t separate them.

World watch

Ice hockey’s women’s bronze-medal play-off takes place at 11:30. The popular wisdom would dictate that Canada will face the United States in the final, but it’s possible Finland – narrowly beaten finalists at 2019’s World Championship – could bump one of those two into the battle for third place. Still, half of the bronze medals awarded since women’s ice hockey entered the Olympics in 1998 have gone to Finland, so the odds are this is where they’ll end up, and the odds are they’ll win.

Expert knowledge

Sweden’s Niklas Edin has won five of the past eight men’s world curling titles, dating back to 2013 – the only skip in history to rack up that many world gold medals in the men’s game. Yet somehow, that has never translated into an Olympic title. Edin won bronze in Sochi and silver in Pyeongchang. By the time we reach the penultimate day of the 2022 round-robin tournament, whether Edin is on track to go one better in Beijing will be much clearer. Meanwhile, GB’s women play China from 01:05 and the men face Russia’s athletes from 06:05.

Thursday, 17 February – day 13

Medal events: 6

Alpine skiing (women’s combined), freestyle skiing (women’s ski cross), figure skating (women’s), ice hockey (women’s), Nordic combined (team), speed skating (women’s 1,000m)

Highlights

The Olympic women’s figure skating is one of the most viewed moments of any Games. Whose career-defining moments will come on Thursday? All the buzz is about 15-year-old Kamila Valieva and though she’s the favourite, she isn’t even the only Russian with an opportunity to win. Alexandra Trusova, 17, could pounce if Valieva slips up, as could Anna Shcherbakova – the reigning world champion. GB’s entrant is Natasha McKay. The women’s free skate starts at 10:08.

Snowboard cross has been and gone by this point in the Games. Step forward ski cross, which is every bit as exciting, just with added limb-flail. Thursday is women’s ski cross day with head-to-head racing from 06:00, culminating just after 07:10. Canada recorded a one-two in Pyeongchang and while Olympic champion Kelsey Serwa has retired, Canada easily has the talent to record the same result again. Sweden’s Sandra Naeslund is a leading contender too, as is Switzerland’s Fanny Smith.

Brit watch

There could be a lot on the line as both GB curling teams head into their final round-robin games. Britain’s men, in particular, will have to get past a major curling power in Canada (01:05) if they need a result from their last group game. GB’s women play the Russians from 06:05.

World watch

OK, so we’ve established that the women’s hockey gold-medal game at Pyeongchang 2018 ordinarily involves the same two teams – Canada and the US. That doesn’t stop the final being an exciting watch. Whenever these two have met in an Olympic final, the winning margin has always been two goals or fewer. In the past two Games, we needed overtime (and, in 2018, a shootout) to separate them. So either strap yourself in at 04:10 for another great match-up between the North American rivals, or enjoy a surprise final if one or both of them don’t make it.

Speed skating’s women’s 1000m (08:30) will mark one more opportunity for the Netherlands’ Ireen Wust to add to a tally that stood at five gold medals at the start of Beijing 2022. The 35-year-old, a champion at every Winter Olympics since 2006, has never won the 1000m event at the Games. The closest she came was silver at Sochi 2014.

Expert knowledge

Qualification begins in the freeski halfpipe (from 01:30 for the women and 04:30 for the men). GB are represented by Zoe Atkin and Gus Kenworthy. Kenworthy’s CV is, to put it mildly, varied. He won slopestyle silver as a US athlete in 2014, staying behind to help adopt stray puppies after the Sochi Games. He came out in 2015, becoming one of winter sport’s most prominent openly gay athletes. In 2019, he switched his competitive allegiance to Britain. He has also appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and starred as Chet Clancy in TV show American Horror Story: 1984. Asked about his decision to compete for GB instead of the US, he said: “I guess I’ve always looked good in red, white and blue.”

Friday, 18 February – day 14

Medal events: 4

Biathlon (men’s mass start), freestyle skiing (women’s halfpipe, men’s ski cross), speed skating (men’s 1,000m)

Highlights

Zoe Atkin, younger sister of Izzy, is Britain’s hope in women’s ski halfpipe (01:30-02:49). The 19-year-old has two World Cup podium finishes to her name, including a gold medal when she was just 16. She took bronze in last year’s World Championship too. US freeskier Eileen Gu, Estonia’s Kelly Sildaru and Russian Valeriya Demidova are among the other contenders.

Curling medals start to be handed out, beginning with the men’s bronze-medal play-off at 06:05. At Pyeongchang 2018, Britain’s men lost a tie-breaker that would otherwise have seen them advance to the bronze play-off, and eventually finished fifth.

Brit watch

Ollie Davies became the first Briton to reach the ski cross big final at a World Championship last year, finishing fourth. Friday marks his Olympic debut with the knockout runs beginning at 06:45 and the finals starting just before 08:00.

Cornelius Kersten returns in speed skating’s 1000m event. He’s ranked 11th in the world over this distance in the 2021-22 season. The field includes Dutch skaters like Thomas Krol and Kjeld Nuis against Norway’s Havard Holmefjord Lorentzen and Canada’s Laurent Dubreuil.

Mica McNeill and Montell Douglas go in the first two runs of the two-woman bobsleigh (12:00 and 13:30).

World watch

Biathlon’s mass start does what it says on the tin: everyone starts at the same time. At Pyeongchang 2018 the top two biathletes even managed to finish at the same time: Martin Fourcade and Simon Schempp each crossed the line in a time of 35 minutes 47.3 seconds, requiring close scrutiny of the finish camera before Fourcade was handed the gold medal.

The men’s ice hockey semi-finals take place at 04:10 and 13:10.

Expert knowledge

Figure skating has two Olympic events that feature a man and a woman competing together: ice dance and pairs. To understand the difference, watch the pairs event’s opening day (10:38-13:43). Pairs involves more acrobatic moves like jumps and overhead lifts, while ice dance places more emphasis on choreographic elements like twizzles and step sequences. Pairs is also easily recognisable for elements like throw jumps – jumps where the man throws the woman into the air and she must then land without assistance – and death spirals, where the woman spins around the man while virtually parallel with the ice.

Saturday, 19 February – day 15

Medal events: 9

Alpine skiing (mixed team parallel), bobsleigh (two-woman), biathlon (women’s mass start), cross-country skiing (men’s mass start), curling (men’s), freestyle skiing (men’s halfpipe), figure skating (pairs), speed skating (women’s and men’s mass start)

Highlights

The men’s halfpipe (01:30-02:49) will be the last event of Gus Kenworthy‘s career, he says. The Sochi 2014 silver medallist, then representing the US but now competing for GB, has reached Beijing 2022 despite having barely competed for the past year following a range of setbacks like head injuries and Covid-19. Even so, when he competes, he’s invariably a medal contender. New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, Canada’s Brendan Mackay and American Alex Ferreira are the form athletes heading into this event.

The last time Britain won a men’s curling gold medal was in 1924. By now we’ll know if there’s a chance of a repeat performance almost a century later. The battle for men’s curling gold begins at 06:05 and while Canada and Sweden are the most likely contenders on paper at the Games’ outset, Bruce Mouat led Scotland to last year’s world final so has demonstrated he can reach this stage. The women’s bronze-medal play-off follows at 12:05.

Brit watch

Two-woman bobsleigh concludes with run three (12:00) and run four (13:30). The selection of Montell Douglas, competing for GB alongside Mica McNeill, makes her the first British woman to compete at both a summer and winter Games – she ran in the 100m at Beijing 2008, meaning both of her Olympic appearances will have come in the same city. McNeill is looking to improve on eighth at Pyeongchang 2018, which was the best performance by a British women’s bobsleigh team at an Olympics.

Four-man bobsleigh also begins on Saturday. Brad Hall’s team will be in action from 01:30 (run one) and 03:05 (run two).

World watch

Figure skating’s pairs event concludes from 11:05. Russian athletes could dominate, with two duos – Anastasia Mishina and Aleksandr Galliamov, and Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov – equally capable of winning gold. The Chinese team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, world and Olympic silver medallists, will try to go one better on home ice.

Ice hockey’s men’s bronze-medal play-off takes place at 13:10.

Cross-country skiing’s longest slog – a 50-kilometre race expected to take two hours or more – begins at 06:00. Finland’s Iivo Niskanen and Russian Alexander Bolshunov, the top two in 2018, remain two of the biggest medal threats. Of the British contingent, Andrew Musgrave is most likely to have a shot over this distance.

Speed skating’s mass start, described as ‘Nascar on ice’ after its introduction at the Pyeongchang Olympics, begins at 07:00. Up to 24 skaters line up at the start, then it’s a mad dash – or as much of a dash as skating more than six kilometres can be – to finish the 16 laps first.

Expert knowledge

Alpine skiing wraps up with the mixed team parallel event from 03:00 (final 04:46). In each round, nations select two men and two women. In four races, athletes from two teams ski head-to-head down identical courses at the same time. Whoever wins each race scores a point. At the end, whichever nation has the most points advances to the next round. If it’s a 2-2 tie, the team with the aggregate fastest time goes through.

Sunday, 20 February – day 16

Medal events: 4

Bobsleigh (four-man), cross-country skiing (women’s mass start), curling (women’s), ice hockey (men’s)

Highlights

On the Olympics’ final day, the two team events that have been the backbone of the schedule finally conclude.

Curling’s women’s gold-medal game takes place early in the day at 01:05. Unlike the men, who can’t buy an Olympic gold, Sweden’s women have won three of the past four Olympic titles. Britain’s women haven’t reached the final since 2002, when Rhona Martin’s team won gold.

Ice hockey’s finale, the men’s gold-medal game, begins at 04:10. The absence of NHL players makes this the second successive wide-open Olympics, although the strength of Russia’s KHL means the ROC are hotly tipped to successfully defend their gold from 2018.

Brit watch

Brad Hall’s British four-man bobsleigh team competes in runs three (01:30) and four (03:20) to round off the event. Hall, Greg Cackett, Nick Gleeson and Taylor Lawrence have been racking up World Cup podium finishes this season so there’s hope for a significant improvement on Hall’s 17th-place finish at Pyeongchang 2018.

World watch

Cross-country skiing concludes with the women’s 30km mass start. This was the scene of Norwegian Marit Bjorgen’s stunning swansong at Pyeongchang 2018, when she won gold and her record 15th medal at a Winter Olympics. Bjorgen’s retirement means Norway will look to Therese Johaug but Sweden’s Frida Karlsson may see an opening.

Expert knowledge

Beijing 2022’s closing ceremony (12:00-14:10) will see organisers formally hand the torch to Milan-Cortina 2026. The Italian city of Milan and Alpine community of Cortina d’Ampezzo will be the next hosts of the Winter Olympics, the fourth time Italy has staged the Olympic Games and the second to visit Cortina d’Ampezzo, which also hosted in 1956. There are shades of London 2012’s logo in the stylised 26external-link that represents the next Winter Games.

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