Top five moments from the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games

Team USA's Oksana Masters (Michael Steele/Getty Images)

After nine days of thrilling competition, the 2022 Winter Paralympics have come to a close. The Beijing Games were filled with bold performances, record-breaking runs and compelling wins.

We break down the top five moments below:

1. Ukraine sweeps the biathlon podium

Ukraine completed a podium sweep in the women’s standing 10km race, with Iryna Bui beating out fellow countrywoman Oleksandra Kononova by 13 seconds for gold and Liudmyla Liashenko finishing just behind Kononova for bronze.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was top of mind for Ukraine’s Paralympians, and Bui addressed those conflicting emotions after the race.

“We would like to dedicate our results and medals to each and every Ukrainian and all the soldiers in the Ukrainian army who protect us,” said Bui, per Japan’s Kyodo News. “With our performance, we represent the whole country, and this is our battle, here.”

Kononova and Bui also topped the podium in women’s middle distance standing. Kononova clinched gold by a winning margin of 28.5 seconds, while Bui took home bronze.

2. Oksana Masters breaks records

Oksana Masters broke the Team USA record for the most medals at a single Paralympics, medaling in seven events in Beijing. The 32-year-old leaves the Winter Games with one gold and three silvers in para cross-country skiing and two golds and one silver in para biathlon, bringing her career total to a U.S. Paralympic-record 14 medals.

3. Brenna Huckaby brings home the hardware

Brenna Huckaby won bronze in snowboard cross and gold in banked slalom in Beijing, adding to her two medals from the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympics. With the first-place finish, Huckaby tied Dutch snowboarder Bibian Mentel-Spee’s record for the most gold medals by a Paralympic snowboarder.

Prior to the Winter Paralympics, Huckaby petitioned to compete in the Games when SB-LL1 banked slalom and snowboard cross were removed from the lineup due to limited participation. Huckaby’s initial request was denied, but the American gold medalist pursued an injunction that led to the ruling being overturned, allowing her to compete in Beijing.

4. China dominates the medal count

Team China ran away with the lead in the the medal count at the 2022 Games. Mengqiu Zhang won gold in the Super-G standing, China’s first individual para-alpine gold, as well as the giant slalom standing events, adding to her three silver medals for a haul of five medals.

Para-cross country athlete Hongqiong Yang clinched gold in the long-distance sitting, middle-distance sitting and sprint sitting events. Yujie Guo topped the podium as well, winning Beijing’s para biathlon sprint standing competition. China closed out the Paralympics with a total of 61 medals, including 18 gold.

5. Canada wins big

Team Canada had an impressive Paralympic outing, placing third in the final medal count. Mollie Jepsen added two medals to her country’s haul, winning gold in the women’s downhill standing and silver in the women’s giant slalom standing. The dominant Winter Paralympics performance earned Jespen a spot as Canada’s flag bearer for the closing ceremony.

Para cross county star Natalie Wilkie also came up big for Canada, securing three medals in Beijing. Wilkie took home gold in the long distance standing and spring standing events and silver in the standing middle distance race. The 21-year-old now has six career Paralympic medals.