2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Fast Facts

Here’s a look at the 2022 Winter Olympics held in Beijing. The games took place February 4-20, 2022. The Paralympics took place March 4-13, 2022.

Facts

Beijing is the capital of China, and its population is over 20 million. It is one of the largest cities in the world.

Beijing is the first city ever to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games. The 2008 Summer Olympics were also held in Beijing.

In total, 13 venues, split between the zones of Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Yanqing, were used during the 17 days of the Games. One new venue, the National Speed Skating Oval, was built in Beijing, and existing venues were renovated for the Games.

A total of 109 events were held, in 15 disciplines across seven sports: biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing.

The entire Games featured artificial snow for the outdoor events since it doesn’t snow much there.

Under Covid-19 protocols unveiled by the IOC, the Games were held in a “closed loop” — in place from January 23 until the end of the Winter Paralympics on March 13 — covering all stadiums and competition venues, as well as accommodations, catering, and the opening and closing ceremonies.

The Olympic torch, called “Flying,” has a curled ribbon design, and is similar to the design of the 2008 torch.

The Beijing 2022 mascot’s name is “Bing Dwen Dwen.” It is a cute cartoon panda dressed in a spacesuit. In Mandarin, “Bing” means ice, and “Dwen” means robust.

The Beijing Games included new mixed men’s and women’s team events in freestyle skiing, short-track speed skating, snowboarding and ski jumping.

The Games have been heavily criticized amid allegations of China’s human rights abuses, notably towards the minority Uyghur population.

Norway won 16 gold medals, the most any country has won in a single Winter Games.

Timeline

July 31, 2015 – The International Olympic Committee announces that Beijing has been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, beating out Almaty, Kazakhstan.

December 30, 2019 – The Jing-Zhang high-speed railway goes into service. The driverless bullet train, which can go 350 kilometers per hour (217 mph), connects Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, all three of which will host events during the upcoming Winter Olympics.

March 4, 2020 – Twelve US senators led by Republican Rick Scott submit a bipartisan resolution requesting that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) remove the 2022 Games from China and reopen the bidding process.

February 2, 2021 – A letter signed by more than 180 campaign groups calling for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing warns the Games could “embolden” human rights abuses in China. The letter is put forward by “a coalition of Tibetan, Uyghur, Southern Mongolian, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Chinese Democracy, and human rights campaign groups.”

September 8, 2021 – The IOC announces North Korea has been barred from competing at the 2022 Winter Olympics as part of its punishment for its “unilateral decision” to drop out of the Tokyo Games this summer.

October 18, 2021 – The Olympic flame for the Beijing Games is successfully lit during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece.

December 6, 2021 – The Biden administration announces that they will not send an official US delegation to Beijing as a statement against China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.” US athletes will still be allowed to compete, but the administration will not be sending government officials to the games.

January 8, 2022 – US Figure Skating announces that 31-year-old American figure skater Timothy LeDuc is set to become the first openly non-binary athlete to compete at an Olympic Winter Games. They will participate in the pairs event with skating partner Ashley Cain-Gribble.

February 13, 2022 – US speed skater Erin Jackson wins the women’s 500m gold medal in a time of 37.04. Jackson becomes the first Black woman to individually medal in Olympic speed skating, according to Team USA, and the first American woman to win a gold medal in speed skating since 1994.

February 19, 2022 – US bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor becomes the most decorated Black athlete in Winter Olympics history after she won a bronze medal in the two-woman bobsleigh. The medal is the fifth for Meyers Taylor as she becomes the most decorated woman Olympic bobsledder of all-time.

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