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Women and the 2022 Winter Olympics - All the things

Photo: Getty Images

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Games marks the most gender-inclusive winter Olympic games to date. Pretty rad. Not to mention during the games women absolutely thrived. From major pushes from National Olympic Committees to have equal representation of athletes to women breaking records and performing better than ever, it is easy to see that when we support, uplift and encourage women, they can do anything. 

So what are some of the coolest things about women and gender equality this winter games? Let’s take a look…

  • The 2022 Winter Olympics were the most gender-balanced to date. 1314 women competed meaning 45% of competitors were women.

  • Increasing the number of women’s events from 44 to 46. Adding women’s monosleigh (bobsleigh) and women’s freestyle big air. Also adding 4 new mixed-gender events including the number of women who compete in the games. The events added were freestyle skiing, team ski jumping, border cross, and short-track speed skating.

  • Since 1924, as the first sport to allow women to compete in the Olympics women have had to compete under “ladies” while men have been able to compete under “men.” - a seemingly small change, yet very significant. Skating has been known to be exclusive and non-accepting of anything outside of the gender binary. This year there is also an increased number of skaters competing who are out as LGBTQIA+. Ladies are important because calling the category ladies instead of women was intentional and reluctant to change for many years. In the figure skating world, the word lady represented what a woman should aspire to be - in line, polite, beautiful, etc. which of course only reinforces gender roles and all the toxicity associated with it.

  • Women’s events were showcased on weekends and during more popular viewing times than previous Olympic games to increase the amount of attention given to the women’s major events. 2 events, the women’s biathlon 12.5km mass start, and the two-women bobsleigh were both moved to the final Saturday of the Olympics to give the events prime viewing time.
  • The USA Women's Team Gold Medal count was the highest at a count of 13 metals, and out of the USA's 17 metals women won the majority! 

  • Both the USA and Canada have broken the record for the number of women from one country to compete - the USA has broken this record for 11 years straight! 

  • There have been some monumental wins for women over these Olympic Games including Eileen Gu's three free ski medals, Ireen Wuest's record of the first person (of any gender) to win gold at five Olympic Games, Chloe Kim's defending Gold Medal win for women's snowboard halfpipe, Lindsey Jacobellis's women's snowboard cross gold medal - being the first US gold medal of the games and many more. 

  • More National Olympic Committees have included women and there is a large push from the Olympic Board for all countries to do so. Three countries, Ecuador, Kosovo, and Malaysia have included women on the NOCs for the first time in the 2022 Beijing games. 

All of these awesome advancements are so important to working towards gender equality in sports and the Olympics in general. It's great to see so many major changes for women these past games and we hope this leads to advancements for all genders and people in sport. 

 

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