Great Britain flagbearer Dave Ryding takes to the slopes on Wednesday, as he looks to seal the nation's first medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

And he has the support of Liverpool and England footballer Jordan Henderson.

There are two finals in the men's freestyle skiing, too, while Finland and Switzerland's women go for bronze in the ice hockey.

Medals are up for grabs in the biathlon, cross-country skiing and short track speed skating. Here, Stats Perform looks at the main events to come on Wednesday.

Alpine ski

It has been a frustrating Games so far for Team GB, with no medals recorded as of yet. However, one of their big hopes will go for glory in the men's slalom.

Ryding, 35, made history by winning the first World Cup title for Great Britain just prior to the Games. However, he is one of six different winners in the six World Cup slalom events held so far this season, meaning the Olympic field is wide open.

But, he has the full backing of not only Team GB, but his beloved Liverpool, whose captain Henderson sent a message of support to Ryding.

"I just wanted to send you a quick message to say big congratulations on the win and all the very best in Beijing," Henderson said in the video message.

"I hope it goes well. It's nice to hear you are a big Liverpool fan. I hope to see you at Anfield when you get back. Take care mate, good luck.”

Sebastian Foss-Solevag, the 2021 world champion, must be considered among the favourites. 

Biathlon

Belarus will be looking to defend their title from 2018 in the women's 4x6km relay, though Sweden and France – silver and bronze medallists respectively in Pyeongchang – are also contenders.

Sweden are the current World Cup leaders, with Norway second and France third, with Belarus down in fifth place.

Cross-country skiing

There are two medal events in cross-country skiing on Wednesday, in the men's and women's team sprints.

The United States are the reigning women's champions, while Norway hold the title in the men's. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo is part of the team, and he is hunting a fourth medal in Beijing.

Freestyle skiing

Likewise, six more athletes will win medals in freestyle skiing. The men's freeski slopestyle final is perfectly poised. Switzerland's Andri Ragettli topped the qualifying standings, but only just ahead of big air gold medallist Birk Ruud, while reigning Olympic champion Nicholas Goepper came third, with fellow Americans Alex Hall and Colby Stevenson finishing in the top six too.

Another American, Chris Lillis, is going for gold in the men's aerials. He helped the United States to victory in mixed team aerials last week.

Ukrainian Oleksandr Abramenko will be out to defend his title, though World Cup leader Maxim Burov is the favourite.

Short track speed skating

Canada, Italy, China, South Korea and the Russian Olympic Committee will battle it out for a podium place in the men's 5000m relay, with 2018 champions Hungary having failed to make the cut.

In the women's 1500m, South Korea are again well represented, with reigning champion and world record holder Choi Min-jeong involved, along with current World Cup leader Lee Yu-bin.

However, Suzanne Schulting is the 2021 World Short Track Speed Skating champion at all distances and has enjoyed a wonderful Games so far, setting two Olympic records, one world record and winning four medals (two gold, two silver).

The United States enjoyed a fine day at the Winter Olympics, as their athletes added four medals to the nation's count.

There was no change at the top as Norway stayed in the lead thanks to their nine golds, while Germany claimed a bronze medal in the men's team ski jumping final and remain second.

However, the USA nosed ahead of the Netherlands with their seventh gold of the Games, which came courtesy of Kaillie Humphries' historic monobob victory.

Not only is Humphries – who has previously represented Canada – the first woman to win the gold for two different nations at the Winter Olympics, but she is also the first champion in the newly introduced event.

Team-mate Elana Meyers Taylor completed a one-two for the USA, while Canada clinched bronze thanks to Christine de Bruin.

Canada now have 10 third-place finishes to their name in Beijing, becoming the first nation to reach double figures in one particular medal.

The USA's other two medals were both bronze, as they took their grand total to 16 thanks to freestyle skier Megan Nick and ice dance duo Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue.

They are also guaranteed another medal, after their women progressed to the ice hockey final, where they will face Canada.

Austria, meanwhile, moved from sixth to fifth as their men's team took a ski jumping gold.

It marks Austria's first Olympic team gold since 2010 in Vancouver.

"Incredible what happened today, incredible what happened the last two weeks for myself," explained Manuel Fettner, who also won silver in the normal hill individual event in Beijing.

"If somebody would have told me this two weeks ago, I wouldn't have believed him."

Slovenia collected their third silver of the Games, taking them onto seven medals in total. They sit 13th in the overall standings.

It was another good day for China, with ski jumper Xu Mengtao claiming the nation's first gold in the women's aerials.

The hosts are now up to seventh, above the Russian Olympic Committee, who claimed a silver medal in the ice dance, which was won by Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron – that success has moved France up to ninth.

Hanna Huskova was edged out by Xu and had to settle for silver. It is Belarus's second such medal in Beijing.

Medal table:

1. Norway (G9 S5 B7, Total: 21)
2. Germany (G8 S5 B2, Total: 15)
3. United States (G7 S6 B3, Total: 16)
4. Netherlands (G6 S4 B2, Total: 12)
5. Austria (G5 S6 B4, Total: 15)
6. Sweden (G5 S3 B3, Total: 11)
7. China (G5 S3 B2, Total: 10)
8. Russian Olympic Committee (G4 S6 B8, Total: 18)
9. France (G3 S6 B2, Total: 11)
10. Switzerland (G3 S0 B5, Total: 8)

The United States will meet Canada in the final of the women's ice hockey after the two favourites progressed from their semi-finals at the Winter Olympics.

While the USA defeated Finland 4-1, Canada made light work of their semi-final opponents Switzerland, cruising to a 10-3 rout on Monday.

The respective victories tee up a repeat of the 2018 Olympic final, which the USA won via a shoot-out.

Canada have been the form team in this tournament, however, and beat the USA 4-2 in the group stage.

In fact, the Canadians – who have won a medal in every Olympic Games since women's ice hockey was introduced in 1998 and claimed gold in four straight editions between 2002 and 2014 – have scored 54 times, only conceding eight goals in return.

"It is our dream to be there, that is huge for us," explained captain Marie-Philip Poulin, who is in the hunt for her third Olympic gold. "It will be fun. The team is ready.

"We really appreciate it. The smiles at the end of the game, when our young players came off the ice, was pretty awesome. You can see how exciting it is. It is not routine."

Canada will be hoping for another big display from their leader in the final. In 2010, she scored both goals in a 2-0 victory in the showpiece, while she also scored the golden goal winner in Sochi four years later.

History for Humphries

One athlete who will perhaps be torn by the United States-Canada rivalry is Kaillie Humphries. 

She won two golds and a bronze for Canada across the past three games but, in 2018, she switched allegiance to the USA, only receiving clearance to compete in Beijing two months ago.

On Monday, the 36-year-old made history, becoming first female to win a Winter Olympics title for two different nations, and the second athlete overall after speed skater Viktor An for South Korea and Russia, after she won the first ever gold medal in the women's monobob, a newly introduced event.

Elana Meyers Taylor completed a one-two for the USA, while Canada clinched bronze thanks to Christine de Bruin.

French pair triumph on the ice

Four-time world champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won figure skating gold.

They took silver in 2018, meaning that for a third successive Olympics, the ice dance title has been won by a duo that finished second in the previous Games.

Papadakis and Cizeron finished second behind Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov at the European Championships in 2020, but the Russian pair had to settle for silver this time around, with Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue ensuring the USA finished on the podium for the fifth consecutive Games.

"It's sinking in, but before it sinks in, I'll have to lie on the floor and cry," a laughing Papadakis said after claiming France's first gold in the event since 2002. "I am trying to take it all in, very, very, very slowly."

China, Austria add to their tallies

There was more success for hosts China, as ski jumper Xu Mengtao claimed the nation's first gold of the women's aerial events at Beijing.

China had previously won nine medals (seven silver and two bronze), but had never clinched gold – they were already the most decorated nation in the event.

Xu triumphed with a score of 108.61, ahead of Hanna Huskova of Belarus (107.95), with Megan Nick of the United States in third, way behind on 93.76.

Austria also collected a ski jumping gold, with their men's team succeeding. Slovenia came second and Germany took bronze. It is Austria's first gold in the event since 2010.

No man or woman is an island, but if Marte Olsbu Roeiseland classed herself as a country, she would sit ahead of Canada, France, Italy and Japan on the Winter Olympics medal table.

Norway are fortunate to have her, with the 31-year-old on Sunday landing her third gold medal of the Beijing 2022 Games when she triumphed in biathlon's women's 10km pursuit. She also has a bronze from this fruitful trip to China.

Roeiseland became the second biathlete to win the women's sprint and pursuit at a single Olympics, following Laura Dahlemeier four years ago in Pyeongchang.

Just how great her achievement is can be quantified by the fact only one biathlete before Roeiseland has won four medals in a Winter Olympics, and that was her legendary compatriot Ole Einar Bjorndalen, who landed four golds at Salt Lake City in 2002, on the way to his career haul of eight gold, four silver and a bronze.

Norway now have eight medals in biathlon at Beijing 2022, and with five events remaining, Germany's record haul of 11 medals, set in 2006, is in their sights.

Roeiseland still has the 4x6km relay on Wednesday to come before the 12.5km mass start event on Saturday, so her personal collection of medals may not be complete yet.

There were plenty of other stars breaking records and posting remarkable achievements, and Stats Perform looks here at the numbers behind their stories.

5 - Marco Odermatt of Switzerland won gold in the men's giant slalom skiing event, backing up his World Cup form after four wins from five races this season. His feat gave the Swiss their fifth giant slalom gold in the history of the Games, matching Austria's record.

7 - Russian Olympic Committee's 4x10km cross-country skiing relay triumph saw history made by Alexander Bolshunov, a key cog in the ROC team. The 25-year-old became the first male athlete representing either the Soviet Union, Unified Team, Russian Federation, Olympic Athletes from Russia or ROC to win seven medals at the Winter Olympics. Farmer's son Bolshunov won three silver and a bronze in Pyeongchang, and he has two gold and a silver from Beijing.

98 - Biathlete Quentin Fillon Maillet became the first French athlete to win four medals in a single Winter Olympics when he triumphed in the 12.5km pursuit, and the first from his country to take four at any Olympics - winter or summer - since fencer Roger Ducret did so 98 years ago when Paris put on the 1924 Games. He has two gold and two silver medals.

17 - Slovakian ice hockey perhaps has a major new star in 17-year-old Juraj Slafkovsky, who leads the men's tournament scoring charts with four goals already (the same number as Sweden's Lucas Wallmark). Youngster Slafkovsky was expected to be a fringe member of the squad but has shone on the big stage, netting on Sunday in a 5-2 victory over Latvia - Slovakia's first win of the competition. They await a qualification play-off on Tuesday, and may again look to Slafkovsky for inspiration. The boy wonder said: "If someone would have told me before coming here that I would score one goal, I would laugh, but actually it is happening. I am pretty surprised. I was coming here for some other role and I am just so happy it is working so well."

Kaillie Humphries will be hoping to become the first ever women's monobob Olympic champion in Beijing on Monday, while whoever wins the women's aerials will have to go through qualification and the final in the same day.

There are just four medal events to start the week, but there are also some intriguing non-medal events.

The women's ice hockey reaches the semi-final stage as Canada face Switzerland, while the United States take on Finland.

The postponed women's downhill from Sunday will hopefully take place, the men and women's curling round robins continue, and the two-man bobsleigh event begins.

The men's and women's big air events in the snowboard get under way as well, with the gold medallists from Pyeongchang, Sebastien Toutant of Canada and Anna Gasser of Austria, both back to defend their titles.

Here, Stats Perform previews Monday's medal events.

Bobsleigh

One of the new events at the Olympics is the women's monobob, which will see its first Olympic champion crowned on Monday.

In Sunday's first two heats it was Humphries of the United States who led the way ahead of Christine de Bruin of Canada and Germany's Laura Nolte.

Another American athlete, Elana Meyers Taylor, was one of the favourites but sat down in fourth place ahead of Monday's crucial final two heats.

Figure skating

The ice dance pairs will see new faces win gold medals as 2018 champions Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany are not competing in Beijing.

The rhythm dance took place on Saturday and saw French pair Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron take first place ahead of Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of the Russian Olympic Committee and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the United States.

Freestyle skiing

The women's aerials event will take place on Monday, though qualifying was postponed on Sunday due to poor weather and will now take place on Monday afternoon Beijing time. It has been confirmed that the final is still scheduled for later in the day.

When the event finally does get going, Australia's Laura Peel and Chinese duo Xu Mengtao and Kong Fanyu are among those expected to do well.

Ski jumping

The men's team trial round, team first round and final are all scheduled for Monday, with Norway aiming to defend their title from 2018, though Germany and Japan are also likely to be in contention.

It will be the final ski jumping event of Beijing 2022.

Saturday sees us pass the halfway point of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, with six medals on the line in China's capital.

More drama awaits in the snowboarding as the first mixed team snowboard cross takes place at the Olympics, while Japan's Kobayashi Ryoyu looks to cement his place as the world's premier ski jumper.

One of the more intriguing non-medal events of the day will see the United States and Canada face off in the men's ice hockey, the first time that the two nations have met since Canada beat their rivals 1-0 in the semi-finals at Sochi 2014.

Here, Stats Perform previews each of the day's medal events. 

Biathlon

Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe already has two medals from these Games, but is aiming to arguably win his most important one on Saturday in the men's 10km sprint, the only one that eluded him at Pyeongchang 2018.

He will likely face fierce competition from France's Quentin Fillon Maillet, who won gold in the individual biathlon on Tuesday, while Sweden's Sebastian Samuelsson could also be one to keep an eye on.

Samuelsson currently leads the World Cup standings and finished ahead of both Boe and Fillon Maillet in consecutive sprint events in Ostersund earlier in the season.

Cross-country skiing

The women's 4x5km relay takes place on Saturday, with Norway hoping to successfully defend their title from Pyeongchang.

Norway has won two of the last three golds in this race, with Sweden taking the win at Sochi 2014.

Skeleton

Women's skeleton is celebrating its 20th year on the Olympic programme, and Germany's Tina Hermann will be hoping to replicate the success of compatriot Christopher Grotheer, who won the men's gold on Friday.

Hermann won the test event at this track in October, and sits in third place on a time of two minutes, 4.57 seconds after the first two heats on Friday. 

Australia's Jaclyn Narracott is in first place heading into the final two heats on two minutes, ahead of another German, Hannah Neise.

Ski jumping

The men's large hill event qualifying saw Norway's Marius Lindvik and Halvor Egner Granerud take first and second respectively, and both will be fancied in Saturday's final.

Granerud was the 2020-21 overall World Cup winner, but he and his compatriot will have to look out for Japan's Kobayashi Ryoyu, arguably the favourite for gold. The 25-year-old won the recent Four Hills Tournament as well as the normal hill event in Beijing.

According to the Beijing 2022 website, the large hill at the National Ski Jumping Centre has a height of 446 feet, "with the landing funnelling straight into a large stadium which can be used for football matches in the summer."

Snowboard

History will be made as the first mixed team snowboard cross medals will be handed out at the Olympic Games.

Pairs made up of one male and one female competitor will face off in quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final on Saturday, with current world champions Australia among the favourites along with the United States. 

There will be 15 teams competing from 10 nations, with Australia, Canada, France, Italy and the United States having two teams.

Speed skating

Haavard Lorentzen will look to defend his title from 2018 but faces strong competition in the men's 500m. The 29-year-old set an Olympic record in Pyeongchang and became the first Norwegian to win gold in the event since 1948.

Canada's Laurent Dubreuil recorded the fastest time in the 500m last year and is currently at the top of the World Cup standings, while South Korea's Cha Min-kyu will aim to make amends for missing out four years ago when Lorentzen beat him by 0.01 of a second in the final.

Ayumu Hirano finally secured gold in the men's snowboard halfpipe as boarding legend Shaun White narrowly missed out on a medal at his final Winter Olympic Games.

Hirano could only manage silver medals at Sochi 2014 and at Pyeongchang in 2018, and he sat in second place again behind Australian rival Scotty James heading into his third and final run.

The Japanese star executed a perfect 1440 triple cork followed by a back-to-back 1260 and a frontside 1440 to earn a score of 96.00 and his first Olympic title.

James finished in second with a score of 92.50, while Swiss athlete Jan Scherrer claimed bronze with 87.25.

White turned back the clock with a second run that scored 85.00, but on his final attempt, the 35-year-old attempted an ambitious jump that he was unable to land, ending his medal hopes as he finished in fourth place.

An emotional White, who confirmed before Beijing 2022 that these would be his final Games, said: "Snowboarding, thank you. It's been the love of my life."

Hirano was delighted with his victory, and claimed that the anger he felt for receiving a lower score than James for his second run spurred him on to pull off a near-perfect final run.

"I did what I wanted to do right at the end," Hirano said. "I wasn't able to accept the second run's score, but I managed to express my anger well at the end."

Schulting confirms speed skating dominance

Suzanne Schulting won gold in the short track speed skating 1,000m on Friday, retaining the title she won four years ago in Pyeongchang, becoming the first woman since 1998 to win consecutive Olympic titles in short track speed skating.

Having broken the world record in her quarter-final (one minute, 26.514 seconds), Dutch star Schulting narrowly beat South Korea's Choi Min-jeong in a time of 1:28.391.

Belgian Hanne Desmet took bronze after a collision between Italy's Arianna Fontana and Kristen Santos of the United States.

"I became really confident out there after skating a world record," Schulting said after her win. "I was focusing on what I had to do and on my technique. It's insane."

Bittersweet day for Shiffrin

It has been a Games to forget for Mikaela Shiffrin. The American was fancied to take multiple medals away from Beijing, but skied out in both the giant slalom and slalom events, and even cast doubt on whether she would compete further after those disappointments.

However, she took to the slopes for the women's super-G on Friday, and though she did not medal, did at least finish the race.

"It felt really nice to ski that today," Shiffrin said after finishing in ninth. "There's a lot of disappointment over the last week. There's a lot of emotions. [It was] not really easy to reset and know if I was up for the challenge today.

"The track itself is beautiful, and it's sunny, and the snow is amazing. Coming back out and getting the chance to race again was just the perfect thing to do, actually.

"It's possible to feel both proud of a career and sad for the moment you're in."

The super-G was won by Swiss athlete Lara Gut-Behrami, with Austria's Mirjam Puchner claiming silver and another Swiss competitor Michelle Gisin taking bronze.

Germany make no bones about skeleton

It was a German one-two in the first completed skeleton event at Beijing 2022, with Christopher Grotheer and Axel Jungk claiming gold and silver respectively in the men's event.

Grotheer was comfortable in the end with his time of four minutes, 1.01 seconds putting him two-thirds of a second ahead of his compatriot (4:01.67), with China's Yan Wengang taking bronze (4:01.77).

Elsewhere, Iivo Niskanen of Finland claimed his third Olympic gold after winning the men's 15km classic in cross-country skiing, ahead of the Russian Olympic Committee's Alexander Bolshunov and Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo.

An exhausted Niskanen fell into the snow after crossing the line in a time of 37 minutes, 54.8 seconds.

Marte Olsbu Roeiseland of Norway claimed her third medal of the Games with gold in the 7.5km women's sprint in biathlon, hitting all 10 targets on her way to finishing ahead of Sweden's Elvira Oeberg and Italy's Dorothea Wierer.

In the women's ice hockey, the United States and Canada both comfortably secured their semi-final places with wins over Czech Republic and Sweden, with Canada thrashing the Swedes 11-0.

Johannes Strolz was a surprise winner in the Alpine combined race on Thursday, as he repeated his father's Olympic achievement.

Hubert Strolz took gold in the same event at Calgary 1988 and his son made it something of a family tradition at the Yanqing National Alpine Skiing Centre.

Strolz was half a second quicker than anyone else in the slalom and combined with his fourth-best time in the downhill run, it meant he edged out Aleksander Aamodt Kilde of Norway by just over half a second.

It completes a fairytale for the unheralded Austrian, who seemed destined to miss out on the team heading to Beijing after he had his funding cut last year.

Strolz juggled training while working as a police officer to help keep up his income, yet the 29-year-old is now an Olympic champion.

He had a helping hand from compatriot Matthias Mayer, who is a three-time Olympic gold medallist having won the super-G earlier this week, as he lent Strolz some downhill skis to add further charm to a remarkable tale.

"I think I'm a good example of never giving up," said Strolz, who finished only three of 10 World Cup events last season. 

"If you believe in yourself, you have to take your chance and keep going."

Johaug, Schouten double up

Therese Johaug claimed the first gold of the Beijing Games and the Norwegian doubled her personal tally by coming out on top in the women's 10km classic at the National Cross-Country Skiing Centre.

Johaug – who missed the 2018 Games due to a doping ban – beat Finland's Kerttu Niskanen by just 0.4 seconds in an incredibly tight finish. Krista Paramoski, also of Finland, took bronze. 

"It was a close race with the Finnish girls but I was feeling really well at the end of the race. It's so much more fun to stand at the top of the podium when you know that you have won a big fight out there," Johaug said.

"It's a crazy feeling when you’re standing there and you realise it goes your way – 0.4, it's so close."

Irene Schouten, meanwhile, completed a clean sweep of the women's speed skating distance events, setting another Olympic record in the process.

The Dutchwoman triumphed in the 5,000m race, having previously won the 3,000m on Saturday, in which she set a record.

Her time of 6:43.51 on Thursday smashed the Olympic record previously set by Claudia Pechstein (6:46.91) in 2002.

"Schouten is incredible," said silver medallist Isabelle Weidemann. "Just watching her skate, she takes the level up so much. I hope in the future I can push her time and push the event even more. The faster more women can go, the better."

A golden day for Team USA

Nathan Chen capped off a fine day for the United States as he took gold in the men's single free skating.

"I never really felt I'd be able to make it this far in my career," Chen said.

"I'd always of course dream about making the Olympics and winning the Olympics, but I [thought], 'That's hard, I don't know if I can make that happen."

Chen endured a dreadful Olympic debut in 2018 but stormed to the gold medal this time around with a score of 332.60, winning by over 22 points ahead of Japanese duo Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno. 

Team USA's brilliant day began when Chloe Kim made history by becoming the first woman to win two Winter Olympics gold medals in the snowboard halfpipe event, while they also took gold in the freestyle skiing mixed team aerials final.

Their men's ice hockey team, meanwhile, hammered hosts China 8-0.

The Montreal Canadiens have fired head coach Dominique Ducharme, with former Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis replacing him on an interim basis.

Ducharme, 48, was dismissed following a 7-1 rout at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, with Montreal rock-bottom of the league. 

That defeat means Montreal have lost 30 of their 45 games this season, the most of any NHL team the campaign after making the Stanley Cup final.

St. Louis, 46, takes over as a head coach for the first time in his career, having previously held the position of consultant with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2018-19 campaign.

"We are very happy to welcome Martin to the Canadiens organisation," general manager Kent Hughes said in a statement.

"Not only are we adding an excellent hockey man, but with Martin, we are bringing in a proven winner and a man whose competitive qualities are recognised by all who have crossed his path."

Hughes released another statement thanking Ducharme for his work over the past year, having stepped into the role of head coach in February 2021.

"We would like to sincerely thank Dominique for his work and contributions to the Montreal Canadiens organisation," Hughes said. 

"At this point in the season, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to make a change."

St. Louis' NHL career saw him play a combined 1,134 games for the Calgary Flames, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers, racking up 391 goals and 642 assists in that time.

Montreal are on a run of seven consecutive defeats – and 13 from their past 14 games – and have conceded 33 times in their most recent five outings, leaving their new head coach with a mountain to climb to turn things around.

It was quite a day on Tuesday at the Winter Olympics with dramatic medals won and records broken, but Wednesday has the potential to supersede it as Beijing 2022 continues.

The men's ice hockey gets under way, while there are big medal events in the luge, Nordic combined and short track speed skating, among others.

The men will try to follow Tuesday's exhilarating effort from the women in the freeski big air final, while the women's slalom and snowboard cross promise more excitement.

Stats Perform has you covered ahead of Wednesday's action.

Alpine skiing

The women's slalom provides an opportunity for both success and redemption on the 'Ice River' course at the Yanqing National Ski Centre.

Sweden's Sara Hector will be hoping to follow up Monday's gold medal in the giant slalom, while Mikaela Shiffrin of the United States will want to make up for crashing out of the same competition just five turns into her opening run.

Petra Vlhova of Slovakia and Katharina Liensberger of Austria, the reigning world champion, are two who could also challenge.

Curling

After Italy's dominance ended in an inevitable gold in the mixed doubles on Tuesday, the men's competition gets under way.

The opening series of matches will see Denmark face Canada, the United States go up against Russian Olympic Committee, Norway will play Switzerland and hosts China face Sweden.

Three of the US's gold medal team from Pyeongchang return to defend their title, including skip John Shuster.

Freestyle skiing

Following a sensational victory for China's 'Snow Princess' Eileen Gu on Tuesday, the pressure is on the men to follow suit.

The big story had been the return to competition of reigning slopestyle world champion Andri Ragettli, but the Swiss star failed to qualify for the final having only finished 14th on Monday.

American trio Alex Hall, Colby Stevenson and Mac Forehand could challenge for the medals, while Sweden's Oliwer Magnusson and Norway's Birk Ruud are also among the favourites, with the latter topping qualifying.

Ice hockey

With no involvement from NHL players, the men's tournament gets going in Beijing, feeling like it could almost be anyone's game.

Defending Olympic champions Russian Olympic Committee face Switzerland on Wednesday, while Czech Republic play Denmark.

Luge

The doubles event is expected to be dominated by Germany, with the 2014 and 2018 Olympic champions Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt returning, while bronze medallists from 2018 and current World Cup leaders Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken will likely provide stern competition.

Eggert and Benecken are also the track record holders after their November 2021 run of 58.793 seconds.

Nordic combined

One of the primary stories in the Nordic combined is whether Olympic champion Eric Frenzel of Germany and world champion Jarl Magnus Riiber of Norway will be able to compete after both contracted COVID-19.

Should they not make the start line, Austria's Johannes Lamparter is likely to be the favourite after his numerous Nordic Combined World Cup wins, including three in January.

Short track speed skating

The men's 1,500m final takes place on Wednesday, with China's Ren Ziwei looking to add to the two gold medals he already has from the 1,000m and mixed team relay.

Hungary's Liu Shaolin Sandor was disqualified for causing a collision with Ren in the 1,000m and will want to make up for that in the longer form final.

Snowboard

The women's snowboard cross probably sees Great Britain's best chance at a medal in Beijing with Charlotte Bankes among the favourites.

The 26-year-old leads this season’s World Cup standings with five podiums from six events, while Australia's Belle Brockhoff and Italy's Michela Moioli are likely to provide her strongest competition.

The men's and women's halfpipe qualifying also begin, which will see superstar Shaun White - who has confirmed these will be his last Games - and fellow United States star Chloe Kim compete.

Tuesday brought more enthralling action from Beijing, with Olympic records broken and one athlete on the verge of repeating a historic feat.

Ester Ledecka became the first female athlete to claim gold in two separate sports at the same Winter Games back in 2018, and the Czech is out to repeat that achievement this time around.

She is now halfway there, having won the women's parallel giant slalom at Genting Snow Park.

Teenage sensation Eileen Gu was also among the winners on day four, while Canada's women beat the United States 4-2 in the ice hockey, in what many view as a possible dress rehearsal for the final, and Italy defeated Norway to take gold in the mixed doubles curling final.

Ledecka on the brink of double glory

Ledecka clinched gold ahead of Austria's Daniela Ulbing. However, she does not have much time to celebrate, as her focus will now switch from snowboarding to going for the top prize in alpine skiing in three days' time.

"Part of my head is still racing right now on that course," Ledecka said. "The other side of my head is already trying to get through the lines on the skiing course. And then a small part is celebrating the win."

Slovenia's Gloria Kotnik took bronze, finishing on the podium for the first time in a career that has spanned 137 world cup events, 14 world championships and three Olympic Games.

Austria's Benjamin Karl took gold in the men's event. The 36-year-old, who is a five-time world champion, took bronze in the parallel slalom in Sochi and silver in the parallel giant slalom in Pyeongchang, making him the first snowboarder to have a complete set of Olympic medals.

Gu lives up to the billing

Gu had already made several headlines before Beijing 2022 had even begun. The 18-year-old Californian delighted China when she decided to represent the country of her mother's birth instead of the United States.

Nicknamed the "Snow Princess", Gu won two gold medals at both the Winter X Games 2021 and the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships, and on Tuesday came first in the big air freestyle final.

"That was the happiest moment, day, whatever – of my life," said Gu, who landed a perfect left double cork 1620 jump for the first time in competition.

"Even if I didn't land it, I felt it would send a message out to the world and hopefully encourage more girls to break their own boundaries," the teenager added. 

Olympic record smashed

The Olympic record in the men's 1500m speed skating was broken twice over, as Kjeld Nuis defended his title from 2018 in emphatic style.

Dutchman Nuis now has three golds to his name, having also won the 1000m race in Pyeongchang, and has become the fourth man to win the 1500m twice.

Nuis and his compatriot Thomas Krol, who took silver, both broke the Olympic record of 1:43.95, which had stood for 20 years, with Nuis recording a time of 1:43.21.

In the cross-country skiing, Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo dominated as he took home gold in the men's sprint free event. He won three gold medals in Pyeongchang and is a two-time defending world champion.

Sweden enjoyed success in the women's equivalent, with world champion Jonna Sundling and Maja Dahlqvist completing a one-two.

Three in a row for Geisenberger

Natalie Geisenberger is the first female luge athlete to win gold for the third straight Olympic Games, as she triumphed with a combined time of 3:53.454.

Geisenberger's time was just under half-a-second quicker than her fellow German Anna Berreiter, who claimed silver, with Tayana Ivanova taking bronze for the Russian Olympic Committee.

"It's hard to compare Olympic medals, because every one has its own history," said Geisenberger, who took a break away from the sport in 2020 to have a child.

"My first was very, very special because I was a first-time Olympic champion and now I'm a five-time Olympic champion, but it is the first time as a mother. It's just great.

"Training was done around my child. I think we did a really pretty good job as a family. To have another gold is just amazing and a very special moment."

The first gold medal of the Games went the way of Norway's Therese Johaug, who stormed to success in the women's skiathlon.

Johaug missed the 2018 Winter Olympics as she was serving an 18-month suspension for a positive drugs test.

The Norwegian blamed her positive result on tainted lip balm.

However, she has returned to compete in Beijing and clinched the first gold up for grabs with a supreme display in the 7.5km+7.5km skiathlon, which was held approximately 120km northwest of China's capital.

Johaug, 33, crossed the line in a time of 44 minutes, 13.7 seconds to win what is often regarded as one of the toughest cross-country events.

She finished ahead of Natalia Nepryaeva of the Russian Olympic Committee and third-placed Austrian Teresa Stadlober.

"It was huge for me today. When I missed the Olympics Games in Pyeongchang it means is eight years since I was in Sochi," said Johaug, who is a three-time world champion in this discipline.

"The last year there have been many days away from home and to be at altitude to train to be ready for Beijing. It is huge to me to cross the finish line and know I reached my goal."

There was another gold for Norway on Saturday, as they came out on top in the mixed relay 4x6km biathlon, with France taking silver and the Russian Olympic Committee bronze.

Norway's curling team beat China and Australia in the mixed doubles round-robin stage to cap a fine day for the Scandinavian nation.

Olympic record tumbles

The Netherlands' Irene Schouten broke the Olympic record as she took gold in the women's 3000m speed skating.

Claudia Pechstein, of Germany, had set the previous record back in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

"When you say 20 years ago, the record stands a really long time. I am happy I have it now," Schouten said.

"My last lap was really good. There is a gold medal at the finish and I have to give it all and it was a good last lap."

Schouten cannot celebrate for too long, however, as she has to switch focus to the 5000m race and the team pursuit.

Italy's Francesca Lollobrigida claimed silver, while Isabelle Weidemann's bronze brought up Canada's 200th medal at the Winter Olympics.

China get up and running

There is always extra pressure on the host nation to perform and China managed to secure their first gold, triumphing in the mixed team relay of the short track speed skating.

The Chinese team just managed to hold off a late charge from Italy, who almost pipped them on the line. Hungary took bronze.

Sweden's Walter Wallberg took gold in the men's moguls final, while Slovenia's Ursa Bogataj won in the women's ski jump.

USA and Canada run riot

There were emphatic victories for the United States and Canada in the women's ice hockey.

Canada got into double figures against Finland, winning 11-1, while the USA defeated the Russian Olympic Committee 5-0 in the other Group A game.

Japan overcame Denmark 6-2 and the Czech Republic got the better of Sweden 3-1.

After the bright lights, the pageantry and the controversy of the opening ceremony, the first medals of Beijing's Winter Olympics will be won on Saturday.

There is gold, silver and bronze glory up for grabs across a range of skiing and skating events.

Here, Stats Perform provides a rundown of the medal events taking place in Beijing on Saturday.

Biathlon

The mixed relay is the first medal event at the Zhangjiakou National Biathlon Centre, with the 4 x 6km getting under way late in the day.

Norway, Belarus, France, Sweden and Russian Olympic Committee are among the titans in this discipline, so one of those would appear likely to strike gold, with 20 teams entered for the event that mixes cross-country skiing with rifle shooting.

Cross-country skiing

The women's skiathlon at Zhangjiakou sees competitors complete 7.5 kilometres in the classic cross-country format before switching to skate skis for the final 7.5km stretch.

Russian Olympic Committee's Natalia Nepryaeva and Sweden's Frida Karlsson are likely gold medal contenders here, with Norway's Therese Johaug and another Swede, Ebba Andersson, also in the mix.

Freestyle skiing

Canada's Mikael Kingsbury is favourite to top the podium in the men's moguls, one of the most eye-catching sports at the Games. The defending champion began his Beijing 2022 campaign with a flawless run in qualifying for Saturday's final, and is the one to beat.

Kingsbury broke two vertebrae in his back in 2020, but he rebounded to win double gold at the 2021 World Championships, his speed over the bumps and mastery of the aerials an effective combination.

Short track speed skating

The mixed team relay could be where China secure a first gold medal of the Beijing Games. Netherlands and Russian Olympic Committee will likely be in with a shout too, but China led the recent World Cup standings with two wins from four races, plus podium finishes when they missed out on first place.

There are quarter-finals and semi-finals to negotiate, however, as the event makes its debut on the Olympic programme.

Ski jumping

Austria's Marita Kramer was expected to be a leading contender for gold in Saturday's women's normal hill event, but testing positive for COVID-19 has kept her out of the Games.

Calling a likely champion in her absence is a tough call, but Japan's Sara Takanashi, who has won 61 World Cup events, has to be in the conversation. This is her third Olympics, with Takanashi looking to improve on her bronze from Pyeongchang. Slovenian Ursa Bogataj and Germany's Katharina Althaus are in form, and both will fancy their chances.

Speed skating

The women's 3,000 metres features five-time gold medallist Claudia Pechstein, the 49-year-old German who has nine Olympic medals in all. Don't expect her to land a podium finish this time, given that last happened in 2006.

Czech world record holder and three-time Olympic champion Martina Sablikova is in the field, while Netherlands' Irene Schouten has strong credentials, along with her countrywoman Antoinette de Jong and Canada's Isabelle Weidemann.

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