Slovakia shared 21st spot with Czechia and Belarus in the medal ranking at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, as all three countries collected one gold and one bronze. Norway was first in the ranking having won 34 medals (15 gold, 8 silver, 11 bronze), ahead of athletes competing for the Russian Olympic Committee with 27 medals (5, 9, 13) and Canada with 24 (4, 7, 13).
Slovakia celebrated medals in alpine skiing and ice hockey, which has never happened in the country’s history. Skier Petra Vlhová won in a slalom discipline in a spectacular fashion – coming back from the eighth spot in the first round. She also competed in the giant slalom, where she missed the top 10. Vlhová was among the top favorites in both the slalom and giant slalom.
On the other hand, the bronze of the ice hockey team was one of the surprises of the games. Slovakia took advantage of the fact that the National Hockey League did not allow its players to go to Beijing due to the pandemic. Had that happened, the top 6 teams would have had much better quality players on their rosters. The Slovaks needed to qualify for the tournament and expectedly lost their first two games against Sweden and Finland in the group stage. Subsequently they defeated Latvia and Germany. The squad coached by American Craig Ramsay eliminated in quarterfinals the best team of the tournament so far – USA, lost 0:2 against Finland in semifinals, with the Finns scoring the second goal to the empty net and beat Sweden 4:0 in the bronze medal game.
Moreover, seventeen-year-old forward Juraj Slafkovský has been voted the most valuable player of the Olympic ice hockey tournament by journalists. Having collected seven points in seven games for seven goals and no assists, he became the best scorer and also shared the first place for the player with most points in Beijing with Finn Sakari Manninen (4G+3A) and Canadian Adam Tambellini (3G+4A).
In addition, Slafkovský made it into the tournament’s All Star team, along with his teammate and goalkeeper Patrik Rybár, who averaged a 96.58 save percentage in the tournament, the highest among all the goalies who minded the net at least for forty minutes.