Beijing 2022 Olympics: Dates, Event Schedule and Medal Predictions

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2022

NANJING, CHINA - JANUARY 29: People walk past an installation with Olympic rings, mascots and the emblem of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at the Xuanwu Lake Park on January 29, 2022 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province of China. (Photo by Liu Jianhua/VCG via Getty Images)
VCG/Getty Images

On Friday, the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympics will officially kick off the Games, though competition will begin Wednesday with the first matches of the curling event. 

From the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony on Feb. 20, the Olympics will see events in 15 disciplines across seven sports: biathlon, bobsledding, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating (figure skating and speed skating) and skiing (snowboarding and ski jumping).

There are a record 109 medals up for grabs at the Beijing 2022 Games, seven more than there were at Pyeongchang 2018. Beijing will also become the only city to have hosted both a Summer (2008) and Winter Games. 

How many of those medals will be claimed by U.S. athletes? Which nation will be the most successful? Let's preview the Games, including medal predictions and athletes to watch. 


2022 Beijing Olympics

Dates: Feb. 2-20

TV: NBC, USA Network

Live Stream: Peacock

Schedule: Full broadcast schedule available at NBCOlympics.com


Gracenote Olympic @GracenoteGold

🆕 - #VirtualMedalTable 3⃣0⃣ days ahead of the #WinterOlympics at #Beijing2022. 🇨🇳Hosts China UP 5⃣medals in our forecast since October, to a record equalling 1⃣1⃣. 🇯🇵Japan UP 4⃣ and on target for a record haul of 1⃣7⃣. More here: https://t.co/Hp5STPYN6Q https://t.co/INpWvKL4Pf

There are plenty of big-name U.S. athletes to watch in Beijing. There are 92 returning Americans, and four of them are competing in their fifth Games: Shaun White in halfpipe snowboarding, Lindsey Jacobellis in snowboard cross, Katie Uhlaender in skeleton and John Shuster in curling.

Eight more U.S. Olympians are competing for the fourth time: Elana Meyers Taylor and Kaillie Humphries in bobsled, Ashley Caldwell in aerials freestyle skiing, Evan Bates in ice dance figure skating, Hilary Knight in ice hockey, Chris Mazdzer in luge, and Faye Gulini and Nick Baumgartner in snowboard cross. 

But in Gracenote's medal projections, the U.S. is projected to finish just fourth in Beijing, with 22 medals overall, behind Norway (45), the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) (32) and Germany (25). 

Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and France round out the projected top 10. 

It's worth noting that, although all international competition leading up to the Games was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was especially true in Asia, where there were stricter lockdowns.

Thus, China's and Japan's medal projections heading into the Games are something of an unknown, but the nations will surely generate headlines. Japan has the potential to sweep the men's snowboard halfpipe podium, with Yuto Totsuka, Ayumu Hirano and Ruka Hirano ranked first, third and fifth in the world, respectively.

In freestyle skiing, Eileen Gu, who lives in the U.S. but represents China, competes in three events (ski slopestyle, ski big air and ski halfpipe) and is a favorite to medal in all of them. In fact, coming in at No. 13 overall, Gracenote projects host nation China will win a record 11 medals.

But it's Norway that is favored to bring home the biggest bounty for the second straight Games. The Nordic nation took home 39 medals in 2018, comprising 14 golds, 14 silvers and 11 bronzes. That set a record for the most medals by one country at a single Winter Olympics, formerly held by the United States for the 37 it took home in 2010.

With 14 golds each, Norway and Canada also tied that record, which the latter set at Vancouver 2010.

Cross-country skiing is Norway's bread and butter. It earned 14 medals in the discipline at the 2018 Games, with Marit Bjorgen winning five and Johannes Hosflot Klaebo, Simen Hegstad Kruger and Martin Johnsrud Sundby each winning three.

The U.S. has historically been dominant in freestyle skiing and snowboarding, but Japan and Canada could edge the Americans off the podium in those events this time around.