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Winter Olympics: Opening Ceremony in Beijing 2022

Update:
The Olympics have already begun in competition, but the much-anticipated Opening Ceremony is just starting, and AS USA gives you a live look at the event.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: As it happened

Torch

The Beijing Winter Olympics have officially begun!

That takes us to the end of the Opening Ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Beijing 2022! Thanks for joining us. Stay up to date with all the latest on the Games right here on AS USA.

Let the Games begin!

The carriers of the torch pass the flame to and high five each other as they make their way around the ring of the stadium. The last to take the torch are a couple and they run into the middle of the stadium.

The music goes quieter and more peaceful than the exciting, fast-paced buildup to the lighting as the couple stands in the snowflake and place the torch in the middle. It lights up and the children break into the snowflake song again.

The cauldron is lit and let the Games begin!

Olympic Flame

Here comes the finale, the best part, the lighting of the Olympic cauldron!

Children sing the official song of the Olympics, featuring more snowflakes. They all carry doves and dance around and form a heart around one big snowflake.

More adorableness! There is a video of children in China learning Winter sports for the first time, an attempt to encourage more interest in Winter sports in the country.

The Olympic flag is carried out and the Olympic anthem is recited.

Olympic Opening Ceremony

A children's choir decked out with the Chinese Yearly Tiger sing the Greek national anthem, which they learned in just three months. Both talented and adorable!

Tribute to the People

A line of hundreds of people walk the stage and images of people from all over the world forms underneath them as they walk.

The words "Together for a Shared Future" appear over the images.

As they walk off, a version of John Lennon's "Imagine" is played as skaters come onto the stage, clearing the path of digital snow.

Fireworks!

A fantastic fireworks display brightens the sky above the stadium to officially open up the Games!

Speeches emphasis on safety and peace in the Games

Cai Qi speaks about a safe and simple yet splendid Olympic Games. Thomas Bach emphasizes his gratitude to China for hosting through the pandemic and excitement for the athletes who get to live their dreams through the Olympics. He also speaks about the need for peace in the world and how the Olympics are a great example, that we can be "fierce rivals" and still respect each other and live peacefully.

"Always building bridges, never erecting walls."

Olympic presidents' speech

The president of the International National Olympic Committee and the president of the Organizing Committee come out to speak.

A mesmerizing performance by the dancers with snowflakes and stars, set to orchestral music, sets the tone for the theme of strength and unity in these Olympics.

Snowflakes

Digital snowflakes with the names of all the participating countries fall over the stage. Dancers with snowflakes wear hats with little tigers on them, representing the Chinese Year of the Tiger, which represents strength and bravery.

That does it for the Parade of Nations...now begins the fun stuff!

People's Republic of China

Here come the hosts to end the Parade of Nations! 

Italy

Italy is rockin flag-printed ponchos, but I'm not sure how I feel about them. They've got a slit up the middle that I'm just not understanding.

USA, USA, USA

Take a Bowe, Brittany! Center stage for the flag bearers...

Mexico

I am loving the outfits from Mexico! They've got the day of the dead skull on the jackets and flower crowns. Me gusta mucho!

Mongolia

Extra points to Mongolia for holding onto the flag with big 'ol mittens on their hands!

Chile

Did Texas finally secede? Oh, sorry, no that's Chile. So hard not to get the flags confused sometimes. Though imagining a Texan competing in the Winter Olympics quickly sets you straight.

Brrr...

Haiti

Oh, Haiti looks NICE in their snow suits! They've got a dragon on the left side of their blue pants and snowflakes covering the rest of the pants and red jackets. They are also wearing fluffy boots. They look both comfy and fashionable. I approve.

I am starting to get concerned for the dancers surrounding the stage. They have been jumping up and down for about an hour now. It should be an Olympic sport itself. They have to be getting tired!

1

Distinguished guests with an energy deal

1

American Samoa

Wow, he looks...cold. Their flag-bearer is just their one competitor, Nathan Crumpron who is wearing a skirt and no shirt, but lots of oil. Let's hope it's the heated kind!

USA

Big country, big competitors. There are 224 athletes in 15 sports in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Kazakhstan

Yekaterina Aidova looks like a Game of Thrones winter princess with her floor-length flared coat and feathery decked-out beanie, and I mean that as a compliment.

I'm really enjoying seeing the different methods of flag-carrying. Some spin, others are rigid, some wave. I personally prefer the spin method. It's bold, risky, and looks fun.

Poland had a man carrying a woman on his shoulders! Just showing off.

Great Britan and France did a nice job on the outfits, but the rest of these...kinda lame.

WINTER OLYMPICS 2022

2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony: order and flag bearers by country

You may be wondering why the athletes and those huge flags are coming out in the order that they are.

Well, wonder no more...

Did you know?

8
Timor-Leste

Best costume award goes to...

Timor-Leste! At least so far. They've come out with red and yellow scarves and headresses with feathers!

7

Spain

Spain's athletes come out spinning the flag around and smiling beneath the masks!

6

Canada

Canada looks like a CROWD compared to Nigeria, who came just before them with just two people representing the country. Canada has 215 athletes in the Winter Olympic Games this year.

5

Ukraine athletes

Despite the problems going on in the country, the Ukrain comes out with smiles and mini flags in their mask, ready to be united by the Games.

4

Jamaica havin' fun as always

Jamaica is dancing on their way out and I like it! It looks even better to the Nutcracker soundtrack they have going in the stadium

Eritrea in the Olympics for the first time

It's exciting to see Eritrea come out with their flags to join the Winter Olympics for the first time!

3

You can tell it's 2022 because some of the flag carriers have cell phones bound to their flags to record.

2

Parade of Nations

Greece walks out to start the Parade of Nations! An wintery, Elsa-looking young woman leads the competitors into the stadium.

1

Breaking Barriers

LED ice hockey players sent a puck into the brick of ice to break down the wall and lift up the rings!

Olympic Rings in Ice

11,600 square meters of lights create an icy blue river flowing from ceiling to floor to create a stunning light display of the names of 24 previous Olympians!

The Chinese flag has been raised and national anthem is being sung for the first time of many to open up the Games!

Leadership importance

The focus quickly switches to the esteemed leaders of China and these Games. And now pride of place is given to the nation's flag... after much pomp about to be hoisted high above the stadium onlookers.

Nature represented

What a stunning start to proceedings here. Not sure exactly how they produced all those lighting effects - actually it reminded of a rave I went to back in the day - but I rather enjoyed it.

After the obligatory countdown, with stunning imagery from around the country... the stage is now lit up! Let's go

WINTER OLYMPICS 2022

2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony: times, TV, and how to watch online

Here is how to watch the Opening Ceremony, where ever you are in the world.

The legendary Zhang Yimou

Remember that filmmaker I glossed over earlier and his tease about the lighting of the torch? Well, let me tell you a little more about this man and why he is so legendary.

He was the director for the 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremonies, China's first Olympic Games, and he set the bar high with an impressive display of colors and pyrotechnics. Performers painted on an LED scroll and thousands of drummers played and chanted.

It's been 14 years since then, a few of which include the Covid-19 pandemic, and China and the world have changed.

Obviously, the pandemic has brought with it some technical difficulties as far as how many performers there can be, the length of the program, and general safety concerns. Not only will that be a challenge, but China's global image has changed greatly since 2008. Whereas then it was a chance for the country to show the world who they are and their history, now the pandemic has tainted their image for many.

It will be interesting to see Yimou's take on the themes of the Opening Ceremony in 2022. So far, we've got just the tease that the lighting of the flame will be a spectacle. Considering in 2008, former gymnast Li Ning circled the stadium on high wires to light the torch, I think we can expect something indeed spectacular.

“I’m very nervous," Yimou said. "I think it’s totally innovative and people will be surprised.”

The countdown has begun!

This is definitely one of the coolest stadiums I've seen. Also known as the Bird's Nest Stadium, it is the biggest in Beijing and the outer shell is the largest steel structure in the world.

WINTER OLYMPICS 2022

2022 Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony: order and flag bearers by country

Team USA will be led by its flag bearers Brittany Bowe who will compete in speed skating, and John Shuster, who will be seeking a medal in curling. Read about each country's flag bearers here.

Significance and Traditions of the Opening Ceremony

Though a few events have already begun over the past two days, the Opening Ceremony marks the official start of the Winter Olympics.

The ceremony will include several traditional events, including the Parade of Nations, in which athletes will march out with their nation's flag and sing the host's national anthem.

Keep a look out for this year's lighting of the torch. Zhang Yimou, a Chinese filmmaker, has plans to make this year's lighting creative and different from other years. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the torch for 2022 was unable to make its traditional trip from Olympia, Greece to Beijing. So the flame was lit in October 2021 in Olympia, then traveled to Athens, and then to Beijing.

You can also expect to see live performances from around 3,000 artists. Compared to previous years, this is much fewer. The ceremony will also be quite a bit shorter. This is due partly to the pandemic but also because of the cold weather.

Hello and Welcome!

Hello everyone and welcome to the very exciting Opening Ceremony for the 2022 Winter Olympics from Beijing!

AS USA has you covered with live updates and entertaining commentary on the event so you don't have to miss a thing. Coverage of the ceremony begins at 6:30 a.m. ET in the U.S., which is 13 hours behind China.

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