Winter Games 2022

Winter Olympic Games 2022 get underway in China amid turmoil

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The 2022 Winter Olympics have kicked off in China with almost 3,000 athletes from 91 nations taking part, competing to get their hands on one of 109 gold medals on offer.

“The world is turning its eyes to China and China is ready. We will do our best to deliver to the world a streamlined, safe and splendid Games,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday.

The Olympic competitions are to be spread over three locations: Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.

The Chinese capital hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. It’s now the only city to host both editions of the Games. It is also China’s first hosting of the winter Games and the fourth in Asia, after the Japanese cities of Sapporo and Nagano in 1972 and 1998 respectively and Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018 .

No international fans are allowed at the Games and ticket sales to the general public in China was halted last month.

All Games participants, from athletes to volunteers to the media, undergo daily PCR tests and are enclosed in a strict closed-loop system in which movement is limited for the entirety of the Olympics.

Face masks are mandatory at all times, except for during competition and training, and when eating and drinking, or alone in rooms.

Meanwhile, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States are in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics over China’s human rights record. That means that athletes from those countries will still be able to compete in Beijing, but no government officials will be in attendance.

In numbers: $4 billion: The budget Beijing organizers say will cover hosting the 2022 Games. $880 million: What the IOC is giving toward Beijing organizers’ costs.

The closing ceremony will take place on February 20. Beijing will then also host the Paralympic Games, which run from March 4-13.
The mascot for the Winter Olympics is Bing Dwen Dwen — a panda dressed in a full-body “shell” made out of ice — and Shuey Rhon Rhon for the Paralympics, a Chinese lantern child.

The Italian cities of Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo will host the next Winter Games, scheduled to take place from February 6 to 22, 2026.

UPDATE 09/02/2022

At least 32 foreign heads of state, heads of government, members of royal families and heads of international organizations came to attend the Winter Olympics, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced.

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed the heads of state and officials from international organizations. He also had bilateral meetings with presidents from countries in Africa, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Only solidarity and enhanced cooperation will help us tackle all kinds of pressing challenges, Xi told United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the first day of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Saturday.

UPDATE 20/02/2022

Beijing Winter Olympics officially end

After 16 days and 109 events, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics officially ended Sunday with the traditional closing ceremony. Norway finished the Games with with 16 gold medals and 37 total medals won. Germany’s athletes captured 12 gold medals, while China’s had nine. When it comes to the total medal count, Russia with 32 and Germany with 27 were behind Norway. Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

With reporting by news agencies