Together for a shared future: 2022 Winter Olympics | Daily News
February 4 - February 20

Together for a shared future: 2022 Winter Olympics

Water Cube - Beijing Aquatics Centre
Water Cube - Beijing Aquatics Centre

Beijing was elected as host city in July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur. The 2022 Winter Olympics will be the first Winter Olympics in China, the last of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia (after the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan). It’s the second overall Olympics to be held in China, after the 2008 Summer Olympics were held in Beijing. For the first time, the Winter Olympics will be hosted by a city that previously hosted the Summer Olympics; four existing indoor venues that were originally constructed for the 2008 Games, as well as the Beijing National Stadium (venue of the opening and closing ceremonies), will be used.

In February 2021, Beijing announced that the 26 venues (including training venues) for these sports would be running on entirely renewable energy. On September 29, 2021, the IOC announced bio-security protocols for the Winter Games; all athletes will be required to remain within the bio-secure bubble for the duration of their participation. The design for the 2022 Winter Games medals was unveiled on October 26, 2021. The concept is based on traditional Chinese astronomy and astrology as the games will be held coinciding with the Chinese New Year festivities. The torch relay started on October 18, 2021 in Greece. The Closing Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics will also be held at Beijing National Stadium on February 20, 2022.

New Winter Olympics events

The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to include a record 109 events over 15 disciplines in seven sports. This represented an increase of seven events from 2018. The men’s and women’s big air freestyle, women’s monobob, mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, snowboard cross, and the mixed relay in short track speed skating were the new events added by the International Olympic Committee in July 2018. The sporting disciplines are Biathlon, Bobsledding, Curling, Ice Hockey, Luge (A luge is a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds in the supine position and feet-first. A luger steers by using the calf muscles to flex the sled’s runners or by exerting opposite shoulder pressure to the seat), Skating and Skiing. As of January 2022 it is said that 87 National Olympic Committees have qualified, with Haiti and Saudi Arabia scheduled to make their Winter Olympic debuts.

Winter Olympics medals

Five ice events will be held at the Olympic Green, the Capital Indoor Stadium and the Beijing Wukesong Sports Centre, which were some of the main venues of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Green is an Olympic Park in Chaoyang District, Beijing constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Since then, the streets around the park have been used for an exhibition street race of the FIA GT1 World Championship in 2011, after a race at Goldenport Park Circuit in the vicinity. It will again serve as an Olympic Park when Beijing hosts the 2022 Winter Olympics. The Capital Indoor Stadium is an indoor arena in 56 Zhongguancun South Street, Beijing that was built in 1968. It hosted matches between national table tennis teams of China and the United States in 1971. Capital Indoor Stadium has undergone a new renovation and expansion that was completed in late 2007 for the 2008 Summer Olympics, where it hosted volleyball tournaments. The National Alpine Skiing Centre is located in Yanqing in northwestern Beijing. It has seven runs with steep slopes. The combined length of the runs is 9.2 kilometres with a vertical drop of 900 metres. The Wukesong Arena is the biggest entertainment venue in Beijing, with many international, regional and local artists having staged their performance at the venue that spans a wide range of musical genres.

Bing Dwen Dwen

Every global sporting event has a mascot to capture and manifest the essence of the said games. Bing Dwen Dwen was chosen from thousands of Chinese designs in 35 countries worldwide. “Bing” means ice in Chinese, and is meant to suggest purity and strength. “Dwen Dwen” suggests robust and lively. Bing Dwen Dwen’s astronaut-like clothes imply that the Winter Olympics embraces new technologies and creates possibilities. The mascot design competition was launched in August 2018, a total of 5,816 designs were submitted for further review and ten were shortlisted. Bing Dwen Dwen is a Giant panda with a suit of ice, a heart of gold and a love of winter sports. The panda is ready to share the true spirit of the Olympics with the whole world.

A new airport for Beijing and the surrounding region, Beijing Daxing International Airport, opened in 2019. The airport replaced the Beijing Nanyuan Airport. Beijing Daxing International Airport, is a large international airport located on the border of Beijing and Langfang, Hebei Province. The airport is Beijing’s second international airport, after Beijing Capital International Airport. It has now become popularly known as “the starfish” due to its spectacular architectural design. This modern international airport began operations on September 26, 2019. After almost five years of construction, the facility features a 7,500,000 sq ft terminal, the world’s largest single-building airport terminal. The first phase of the airport project is designed with a target of 72 million passengers, two million tons of cargo and mail and 620,000 aircraft movements in the long term.

Beijing 2022 hopes to create a legacy of sustainability through its newly built venues, upgraded transport infrastructure, sports and tourism development whilst promoting healthy lifestyles and raising environmental awareness. From July 1, the first batch of seven Beijing Winter Olympic venues and affiliated facilities including the National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest) and the National Aquatics Centre (the Water Cube), will start to use green electricity according to the state grid. Green electricity is generated from sustainable and non-polluting sources like wind, water, biomass and solar power. According to the plan, passenger vehicles used at the Games will be powered by new energy. Charging stations and hydrogenation stations will be installed for official vehicles in competition zones. Security and counter-terrorism measures have been set in motion well ahead of the games, utilizing specialized units and commandos of the Chinese Police Force.

Chinese hospitality will be fully enjoyed by global athletes at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics as the Games are providing 678 dishes to athletes from diverse cultural backgrounds with elements of the Chinese Lunar New Year and environmental protection highlighted to maximize the dietary experience of global athletes. The special menu has 678 dishes from 12 global regions. The menu was designed to meet the different dietary needs of athletes while also taking into consideration religious diversity. Accordingly, vegetarian, halal and kosher meals will be available. By integrating cuisines from all over China, the menu will include famous local dishes varying from Sichuan and Hunan cuisines for their spicy flavour, to light Cantonese food, allowing global athletes to fully experience succulent Chinese cuisine. The Beijing Winter Olympics will redefine winter sports and unite the people in a spirit of sportsmanship and brotherhood.

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