Kamila Valieva

2022 Winter Olympics Update: Kamila Valieva Fails to Medal, Team USA Struggles Mightily on Wednesday

Kamila Valieva, a 15-year-old Russian figure skater that was allowed to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics amid a doping investigation, failed to medal in the women’s singles event – an event she was favored to win. She skated well, but it was only enough for fourth place. 

Valieva scored an 82.16 in the women’s short program on Tuesday morning, which put her in an early lead in Beijing. Unfortunately, she followed that up with a 141.93 score in the free skate, which was the fifth-best score. Her 224.09 combined score missed the podium by nine points.

Still, the Russian Olympic Committee fared well in the event with Anna Shcherbakova taking home gold with a score of 255.95 (80.20 short program, 175.75 free skate) and Alexandra Trusova taking home silver with a score of 251.73 (74.60 short program, 177.13 free skate).

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Kaori Sakamoto of Japan rounded out the podium with a bronze medal after scoring a 233.13 (79.84 short program, 153.29 free skate). As for the three Americans in the event, Alysa Liu finished in seventh place, Mariah Bell finished in tenth place, and Karen Chen in 16th place. 

As for Kamila Valieva, the doping investigation seems to be getting worse as a report shows she knowingly used two substances to improve heart function – L-carnitine and Hypoxen. Although they aren’t banned substances, the finding undercuts her defense for taking trimetazidine. 

Trimetazidine is a banned substance that’s usually used as a heart medication to improve blood flow and stamina. She originally said it entered her system accidentally, but that’s highly unlikely given the fact that she was also taking two other (legal) substances to improve heart function. 

It’s clear that some sort of punishment is needed, especially as we await the medal ceremony for the team event. If things keep going the way they’re going, Russia may have to give up their gold medal and that would push the United States into the gold medal spot – which is a big deal.

Wednesday Wasn’t Easy for Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics

2022 Winter Olympics: Kamila Valieva Fails to Medal, Team USA Struggles Mightily on Wednesday
Stefan Holm / Shutterstock

Kamila Valieva finishing in fourth place was surprising, but fans of Team USA had much more to concern themselves with on Wednesday. Between curling, nordic combined, and ice hockey, the United States faced plenty of grueling defeats as the 2022 Winter Olympics continued. 

Both the men’s and women’s curling squads were eliminated from medal contention after failing to advance out of round-robin play. The men lost to Great Britain and finished with a 5-4 record (fourth place). The women lost to Japan and finished with a 4-5 record (seventh place). 

In the nordic combined event, Mikaela Shiffrin faced heavy disappointment as she put up a ‘Did Not Finish’ after crashing in the slalom leg of the event. It was her third ‘Did Not Finish’ in Beijing as she attempts to become the second female to compete in all six alpine skiing events. 

Of course, we can’t forget about the women’s ice hockey gold medal game between bitter rivals Canada and the US. Canada took an early 3-0 lead before Team USA scored their first goal. They scored again with under 30 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough as they lost 3-2. 

Don’t worry, it wasn’t all bad news for Team USA on Wednesday. In the men’s ski halfpipe event, Team USA will be sending all four competitors into the finals. Most notable of the four is David Wise, who is looking to become the first three-time Olympic medalist in event history. 

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The 2022 Winter Olympics continue on Thursday and there’s still a lot at stake, despite being just a few days away from the closing ceremony. Who will prevail? Who will face disappointment? Only time will tell, but we know it’ll be exciting to watch regardless!

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