24th Winter Olympic Games set to kick off in Beijing today
The 24th Winter Olympic Games will begin amid unprecedented coronavirus-related epidemiological measures in China’s capital Beijing on Friday, under the slogan ‘Together for a shared future.”
During the 128th IOC (the International Olympic Committee) session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015, Beijing was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games making the Chinese capital the first city ever to host both the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2008) as well as the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games (in 2022). Beijing won the right to host the 2022 Olympics and Paralympics in a tight race, beating Kazakhstan’s Almaty in 2015, by chalking up 44 votes against its rival’s 40. Other contenders, including Sweden’s Stockholm, Norway’s Oslo, Ukraine’s Lvov, Spain’s Barcelona withdrew from the race either following a referendum or due to a decision made by local authorities.
A total of 109 sets of Olympic medals will be up for grabs. The program of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games includes 15 disciplines: Alpine Skiing; Biathlon; Bobsleigh; Cross-Country Skiing; Curling; Figure Skating; Freestyle Skiing; Ice Hockey; Luge; Nordic Combined; Short Track Speed Skating; Skeleton; Ski Jumping; Snowboarding; Speed Skating.
The competition began on February 3, with non-medal events in curling, women’s ice hockey and moguls.
The Olympic zone will be split in three clusters: Beijing, its suburb Yanqing and the Zhangjiakou city area.
Competition venues in the Beijing zone include facilities built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, such as the Beijing National Stadium and the Beijing National Aquatics Center (colloquially known as the Water Cube), hosting curling competitions. The Beijing National Indoor Stadium will host ice hockey competitions. Besides, snowboarding and freestyle big air facilities have been built in the area.
Zhangjiakou will host competitions in biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined, as well as freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The National Alpine Ski Center in Yanqing will host alpine skiing events, while the National Sliding Center will hold competitions in bobsleigh, luge and skeleton.