The 2022 Winter Olympic Games concluded in Beijing on February 20, and the two plus weeks of action offered plenty of dramatic moments. While much of the reporting is focused on who earns the coveted Olympic medals, there were many instances where athletes displayed the Steel Sports Core Values of Teamwork, Respect, Integrity and Commitment.
From The Field
Core Values on Full Display at Winter Olympics
Brittany Bowe, winner of three events at the U.S. Speed Skating Olympic Trials including the 500m, relinquished her spot in the event to teammate and world No. 1 Erin Jackson. Jackson shockingly finished third in the event at the U.S. Trials due to a slip during her race and was slated to miss the Olympics.
“Erin earned her right to be on this 500m team. No one is more deserving than her to get an opportunity to bring Team USA home a medal,” Bowe said. “After that unfortunate slip I knew in my mind before that night is even over that if it had to come down to a decision of mine, she could have my place.”
Jackson went on to win gold in the 500m and made history by becoming the first Black woman to win a speed skating individual medal in Olympic history, but more on that to follow!
Finland’s Livo Niskanen won his third gold medal of the 2022 Games in the men’s cross-country skiing 15km classic. The exhausted skier collapsed across the finish line, but instead of going off to celebrate or recover, he patiently waited for every one of the 94 competitors behind him to complete the race.
Colombia’s Carlos Andres Quintana crossed the finish line last, nearly 20 minutes behind Niskanen and received a warm embrace from the Olympic gold medalist. The act perfectly highlighted the Olympic spirit and the humanity among athletes. INTEGRITY
Lindsey Jacobellis won her first Olympic gold medal during the women’s snowboard cross event and in the process became the oldest American woman to win a Winter Olympics gold medal.
The race was vindication for her disappointing loss at the 2006 Torino Olympics. As she approached the finish line in that competition, she celebrated early and wiped out. Jacobellis lost her lead over Tanja Frieden of Switzerland and came in second to win silver. She failed to medal in the next three Olympic Games. But Jacobellis said she doesn’t look at this gold medal as redemption for Torino.
“I never thought of it that way. That was not in my mind. I wanted to just come here and compete,” she said. “It would have been a nice, sweet thing, but I think if I had tried to spend [time on] the thought of redemption, then it’s taking away focus on the task at hand, and that’s not why I race.”COMMITMENT
As mentioned under “Teamwork,” Erin Jackson ended a drought of U.S. speedskating medals by taking first place in the women’s 500-meter race, becoming the first Black woman to win a medal in the sport. She was also the first U.S. woman to win speedskating gold since Bonnie Blair in 1994.
“I hope I can be an example,” Jackson said. “I would love to see more people of color in all the winter sports. It helps to have some visibility out there, to see other people like you doing something maybe you’d never thought about doing before.”