The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics showcase the world; everything you need to know
Unity echoes the theme of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics with 84 countries and 2,871+ athletes participating. China chose to celebrate the world this time
The IOC, or International Olympics Committee, describes the emblem for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing as a combination of “traditional and modern elements of Chinese culture,” that “features embodying the passion and vitality of winter sports.”
This year's Games are the second to be held in China, as well as the 24th Winter Games in history, embodying a special message. Let’s find out everything you need to know about the significance and motto behind the 2022 Winter Olympics.
24 solar spring terms kick off the 24th Winter Olympic Games
In the sense of Chinese solar terms, Spring, which is a mighty part of Chinese culture, is just starting in China, with 24 solar terms formed by the Chinese ancestors through observations and changing patterns of animals.
This Winter Olympic Games are the 24th in history, coming hand in hand with the 24-term spring making the 2022 Games extra special, which is exactly what was demonstrated in the exquisite opening ceremony celebration on Friday.
Not only did China demonstrate the celebration of the birth of the cold spring season and its powers at the Opening ceremony, but also visually displayed the potency of ice that for the Chinese, signifies life. As they say, “extreme cold often breeds new life. ”
Accordingly, extreme cold is what these Games bring; around 1.2 million cubic meters of powder has been created, making Beijing the first country to ever use 100% artificial snow at a Winter Olympics.
The opening ceremony that took place on Friday, Feb. 4 brought together all the competing nations at Beijing National Stadium, which was also the site of the opening ceremony for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Over 3,00 performers, most of them teenagers, and 5000 staff worked behind the scenes.
Additionally, out of nearly 3,000 athletes participating at the Games, the United States sent the biggest delegation, with more than 220 athletes, followed by Canada with 215 and the Russian Olympic Committee with 212.
2008 Beijing Olympics vs 2022 Winter Olympics
And while the 2008 Olympics focused on traditions, Chinese stories and heritage that showed off the nation of China, this ceremony had a far more global perspective, which is reflective of how they’re approaching these winter Games: as one world, one family.
The central thread highlighted at the ceremony was around snowflakes, with the understanding being that even though all snowflakes are different, when they come together it’s like people coming to the Olympic Games from all over the world.
2022 Winter Olympics Motto: "Faster, Higher, Stronger - Together"
In addition to the profound message behind the ceremony, the newest addition to the Tokyo 2021 summer Olympics' motto is the exact representation of what embodies these Games: unity.
The IOC added the word “together” to “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” signifying another year coping with the covid-19 pandemic.
How many sports are in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics?
With 90 countries and regions gathering in Beijing, this Winter Olympics is featuring 109 events, including seven new ones, across 15 disciplines in seven winter sports.
The 15 sports include: biathlon, bobsled, curling, men’s hockey, women’s hockey, luge, figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating, Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing, ski jumping, skeleton and snowboarding.
The seven new events making their debut at the 2022 Beijing Games are men’s and women’s big air freestyle skiing; mixed team aerials (freestyle skiing); women’s bobsled; mixed team relay (short track speed skating); mixed team (ski jumping) and mixed team snowboard cross.
What countries have boycotted the 2022 Winter Olympics?
Going along the lines of unity, these Olympic Games are demonstrating the power of sports, once again.
Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States announced a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics over China's human rights record, including the “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity” perpetuated by the regime against the Uyghur ethnic group in the Xinjiang region.
Government representatives from these four countries are not taking part in Beijing, but they did send their athletes out of courtesy to what are politically neutral Olympics.
Uyghur athlete delivers Olympic flame in Beijing Opening Ceremony
And because there is no greater honor than the one offered to the last athlete carrying the flame, China's choice of selecting an Uyghur sent a defiant message to the world.