The Winter Olympics will start on February 4, 2022. The Games are being held in Beijing, China and will take place over 16 days until the closing ceremonies on February 20, 2022.
The events will be broadcast in the United States over NBC and its broadcast affiliates. They can also be seen on streaming services like Peacock. Beijing is 12 hours ahead of the U.S. eastern time zone. In the U.S., evening events will be seen live in the morning, and morning events will be seen live in the evening.
Beijing and International Politics
Beijing is the capital of the People’s Republic of China. It has a population of more than 21 million. Beijing was the host of the 2008 Summer Olympics and was chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics by the International Olympic Committee in 2015.
Sadly, it is not uncommon for the Olympic Games to be the focus of international politics and diplomacy. China has long been the source of international outrage for its poor human rights history. President Biden has been under pressure to boycott the Beijing Olympics and is considering a diplomatic boycott. That would not interfere with the participation of U.S. athletes.
Past Games have been boycotted for various political motives. The Peoples Republic of China (Beijing) boycotted the 1956 Games because they allowed the participation of athletes from the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The Munich Games in 1972 were tragically the target of a terrorist attack by the Palestinian Black September group that killed 11 Israeli Olympic team athletes. The 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta were the target of a bomb set by a domestic terrorist.
The United States has threatened boycott in the past and did exercise it for the 1980 Moscow Games to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union returned the favor by boycotting the Los Angeles 1984 Games.
Only Chinese citizens will be allowed to personally attend the Beijing Games.
The Games will feature 109 events in 13 venues. Many of the venues for the Beijing competitions are renovated or repurposed venues from the 2008 Summer Games. Some are still iconic architectural attractions.
The opening and closing ceremonies will be held in the National Stadium aptly nicknamed the “Birds Nest”. The National Aquatics Centre, nicknamed the “The Water Cube” from the 2008 Games will be repurposed for curling and rechristened as the “The Ice Cube”.
The National Indoor Stadium (“The Fan”) built for the 2008 Games and resembling a Chinese fan will be used for ice hockey competitions.
The only new venue is the National Speed Skating Oval built for the 2022 Games on the Olympic Green.
The mountainous Yanqing Zone, 78 kilometers north of central Beijing, will include the venues for Alpine skiing and sliding events.