2022 Winter Olympics

Last updated

XXIV Olympic Winter Games
2022 Winter Olympics official logo.svg
Host city Beijing, China
Motto
  • Joyful Rendezvous Upon Pure Ice and Snow
  • (Chinese :纯洁的冰雪 激情的约会)
Events109 in 7 sports (15 disciplines)
Opening 4 February
Closing 20 February
Stadium Beijing National Stadium
Winter
Summer

The 2022 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIV Olympic Winter Games (Chinese :第二十四届冬季奥林匹克运动会; pinyin :Dì Èrshísì Jiè Dōngjì Àolínpǐkè Yùndònghuì) and commonly known as Beijing 2022, is an international winter multi-sport event that is scheduled to take place from 4 to 20 February 2022, in Beijing and towns in the neighboring Hebei province, China. [1]

Contents

Beijing was elected as the host city in July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Beijing 2022 will be the first Winter Olympics to be held in China, the second overall Olympics to be held in China (after Beijing 2008), the fourth Winter Olympics in East Asia (after Sapporo 1972, Nagano 1998 and Pyeongchang 2018) and the last of three consecutive Olympics to take place in East Asia, following the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. [lower-alpha 1] Beijing will be the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, having previously hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, and it will be the eleventh city to host the Olympic Games twice. China became the third Asian country to host the Winter Olympics after Japan and South Korea. China became the ninth country to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

The city project includes the use of four existing indoor venues that were built for the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the Beijing National Stadium (commonly known as the "Bird's Nest") will be used again as the ceremonies venue. There have been a number of concerns and controversies at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Bidding

The bidding calendar was announced by the IOC in October 2012, with the application deadline set for 14 November 2013. The IOC Executive Board reviewed the bids from all applicant cities on 7 July 2014 and selected three cities, Oslo (Norway), Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Beijing (China), as the final candidates.

Several cities withdrew their applications during the bidding process, citing the high costs or the lack of local support for hosting the Games. [3] Oslo, which had been considered the clear frontrunner, withdrew after its application to the Norwegian parliament for funding of the Olympics was rejected. Public reception to the application for funding had been highly negative due to cost concerns after the cost overruns of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, and especially revelations about a series of hospitality-related demands that the IOC had reportedly made. The demands notably included "diva-like demands for luxury treatment" for the IOC members themselves, such as special lanes on all roads only to be used by IOC members and cocktail reception at the Royal Palace with drinks paid for by the royal family. Several commentators pointed out that such demands were unheard of in a western democracy; Slate described the IOC as a "notoriously ridiculous organization run by grifters and hereditary aristocrats." [4] [5] [6] [7]

Beijing was selected as the host city of the 2022 Winter Olympics after beating Almaty by four votes on 31 July 2015 at the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

2022 Winter Olympics bidding results
CityNationVotes
Beijing Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China44
Almaty Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Kazakhstan40

Venues

Location of the three Beijing 2022 clusters 2022 Winter Olympics clusters location map-en.svg
Location of the three Beijing 2022 clusters
Beijing National Stadium Beijing national stadium.jpg
Beijing National Stadium
National Aquatics Center Water Cube Ice Cube Beijing 2.jpg
National Aquatics Center
National Speed Skating Oval National Speed Skating Oval Beijing 2.jpg
National Speed Skating Oval

In February 2021, Beijing announced that the 26 venues for these sports would be running on entirely renewable energy. [8]

Olympic Green

Five ice events will be held at the Olympic Green, the Capital Indoor Stadium and the Beijing Wukesong Sports Center, which were some of the main venues of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Village – new

Since 2009, the Beijing Olympic Village on the Olympic Green has been occupied by fixed residents. Therefore, there was a need to build a second village on a smaller scale for the Winter Olympics. These new buildings were located in the southern area of Olympic Green on the area of the National Olympic Sports Center. [9]

Other venues

The Big Air snowboarding and freestyle skiing events will be held in a new area of urban development in Shijingshan District, a district in the urban area of Beijing. [10]

Yanqing cluster

Yanqing District is a suburban district of Beijing. Competitions for luge, bobsleigh and alpine skiing will be held in Xiaohaituo Mountain area in the West Dazhuangke village [13] of Zhangshanying in Yanqing District, northwest of urban area of Beijing, 90 kilometres (56 miles) away from the city center of Beijing and 17.5 kilometres (10.9 miles) away from the town of Yanqing, using artificial snow because of the rarity of natural snow in this region. [14] [15]

Zhangjiakou cluster

All other skiing events will be held in Taizicheng Area in Chongli District, Zhangjiakou city, Hebei province. It is 220 km (140 mi) from downtown Beijing and 130 km (81 mi) away from Xiaohaituo Mountain Area. [16] The ski resort earned over 1.54 billion yuan (US$237.77 million) in tourism during the 2015–16 snow season for a 31.6% growth over the previous season. In 2016, it was announced that Chongli received 2.185 million tourists, an increase of 30% from the previous season, during the first snow season after winning the Olympic bid. The snow season lasted for five months from November, during which Chongli has hosted thirty-six competitions and activities, such as Far East Cup and Children Skiing International Festival. A total of twenty-three skiing camps have also been set up, attracting the participation of 3,800 youths. All venue construction started in November 2016 and will be finished by the end of 2020 to enable the city to hold test events. [17]

Transport

The new Beijing-Zhangjiakou intercity railway opened in late 2019, starting from Beijing North railway station and ending at Zhangjiakou railway station. It is built for speeds of up to 350 km/h (220 mph); travel time from Beijing to Zhangjiakou has decreased to around 50 minutes.

The Beijing Subway is expected to continue expanding and is projected to reach 781.5 km (485.6 mi) in length by the end of 2021. [18]

A new airport for Beijing and the surrounding region, Beijing Daxing International Airport, opened in 2019. The airport replaced the Beijing Nanyuan Airport and is operated together with the Beijing Capital International Airport. [19]

Budget

The estimated budget for the games is US$3.9 billion, less than one-tenth of the $43 billion spent on the 2008 Summer Olympics. [20]

Sports

The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to include a record 109 events over 15 disciplines in 7 sports.

  1. Biathlon
  2. Bobsledding
  3. Curling
  4. Ice hockey
  5. Luge
  6. Skating
  7. Skiing

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of medal events contested in each separate discipline.

New events

In October 2016, the International Ski Federation (FIS) announced plans to begin sanctioning women's competitions in Nordic combined, with the objective of contesting the discipline at the Olympic level for the first time in Beijing. [21] In November 2017, a further three events were put forward by the FIS for possible Olympic inclusion: a ski jumping mixed team competition and men's and women's big air in freestyle skiing. [22] At their May 2018 Congress at the Costa Navarino resort in Messenia, Greece, the FIS submitted several additional events for consideration, including a proposal to make telemark skiing an Olympic discipline for the first time in Beijing, with proposed competitions to include the men's and women's parallel sprint and a mixed team parallel sprint. The Congress also approved to submit the aerials mixed team event, and several new snowboarding events: the men and women's snowboard cross team event; a mixed team alpine parallel event; the men's and women's parallel special slalom; and a mixed team parallel special slalom event. [23] The individual parallel special slalom events were featured at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, but were dropped from the Olympic program in 2018 to make way for the snowboarding big air competitions.

The International Luge Federation (FIL) proposed the addition of six new events, including natural track luge (men's and women's singles), a women's doubles competition on the artificial track, and sprint events (men, women, and doubles) on the artificial track. [24] [25]

The International Skating Union (ISU) continued to campaign for the addition of synchronized skating as a new event within the discipline of figure skating. [26] The ISU also proposed a new mixed team event in short track speed skating. [24]

In biathlon, a single mixed relay was proposed by the International Biathlon Union (IBU) to complement the four-person mixed relay that featured at the 2018 Winter Olympics. [24] Also, the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) proposed a new team event, but there was no plan to introduce a four-woman bobsleigh event despite the recommendation from the federation's executive board to propose such an event in the interests of gender equality. [24]

In July 2018, the IOC announced changes to the program for the 2022 Winter Olympics as part of a goal to increase the participation of women, and appeal to younger audiences. Seven new medal events were added (expanding the total program to 109 events), including men's and women's big air freestyle, women's monobob, mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, and snowboard cross, and the mixed relay in short track speed skating. [27]

Participating National Olympic Committees

In May 2019, the IIHF announced nine nations that had secured Olympic qualification in the men's tournament. [28] As the host nation, China qualified teams automatically, thus making a total of ten teams per event in the curling tournaments. [29]

On 30 May 2019, the first eight countries classified for the men's ice hockey tournament were announced. These countries were the first to confirm that they will send a delegation to Beijing. [30] [31] [32] On 24 April 2020, the IIHF confirmed the first six countries that qualified for the women's tournament. [33]

On 9 December 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from all international sport for a period of four years, after the Russian government was found to have tampered with lab data that it provided to WADA in January 2019 as a condition of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency being reinstated. As a result of the ban, WADA plans to allow individually cleared Russian athletes to take part in the 2020 Summer Olympics under a neutral banner, as instigated at the 2018 Winter Olympics, but they will not be permitted to compete in team sports. The title of the neutral banner has yet to be determined; WADA Compliance Review Committee head Jonathan Taylor stated that the IOC would not be able to use "Olympic Athletes from Russia" (OAR) as it did in 2018, emphasizing that neutral athletes cannot be portrayed as representing a specific country. [34] [35] [36] Russia later filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the WADA decision. [37]

After reviewing the case on appeal, CAS ruled on 17 December 2020 to reduce the penalty WADA had placed on Russia. Instead of banning Russia from sporting events, the ruling allowed Russia to participate at the Olympics and other international events, but for a period of two years, the team cannot use the Russian name, flag, or anthem and must present themselves as "Neutral Athlete" or "Neutral Team." The ruling does allow for team uniforms to display "Russia" on the uniform as well as the use of the Russian flag colors within the uniform's design, although the name should be up to equal predominance as the "Neutral Athlete/Team" designation. [38]

On 19 February 2021, it was announced that Russia would compete under the acronym "ROC" after the name of the Russian Olympic Committee although the name of the committee itself in full could not be used to refer to the delegation. Russia would be represented by the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee. [39]

As of 4 July 2021, the following 80 National Olympic Committees have qualified.

Participating National Olympic Committees

Calendar

OCOpening ceremonyEvent competitions1Event finalsEGExhibition galaCCClosing ceremony
February2nd
Wed
3rd
Thu
4th
Fri
5th
Sat
6th
Sun
7th
Mon
8th
Tue
9th
Wed
10th
Thu
11th
Fri
12th
Sat
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14th
Mon
15th
Tue
16th
Wed
17th
Thu
18th
Fri
19th
Sat
20th
Sun
Events
Olympic Rings Icon.svg CeremoniesOCCCN/A
Alpine skiing pictogram.svg Alpine skiing 1111111111111
Biathlon pictogram.svg Biathlon 111112111111
Bobsleigh pictogram.svg Bobsleigh 11114
Cross country skiing pictogram.svg Cross-country skiing 112111121112
Curling pictogram.svg Curling 1113
Figure skating pictogram.svg Figure skating 11111EG5
Freestyle skiing pictogram.svg Freestyle skiing 1111121112113
Ice hockey pictogram.svg Ice hockey 112
Luge pictogram.svg Luge 11114
Nordic combined pictogram.svg Nordic combined 1113
Short track speed skating pictogram.svg Short track speed skating 1211229
Skeleton pictogram.svg Skeleton 112
Ski jumping pictogram.svg Ski jumping 111115
Snowboarding pictogram.svg Snowboarding 1121211211
Speed skating pictogram.svg Speed skating 11111111211214
Daily medal events00067810686766976494109
Cumulative total000613213137455158647079869296105109
February2nd
Wed
3rd
Thu
4th
Fri
5th
Sat
6th
Sun
7th
Mon
8th
Tue
9th
Wed
10th
Thu
11th
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12th
Sat
13th
Sun
14th
Mon
15th
Tue
16th
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17th
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18th
Fri
19th
Sat
20th
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Total events

Marketing

Broadcasting

In some countries, broadcast rights to the 2022 Winter Olympics are already agreed upon through existing long-term deals. In France and the United Kingdom, these are the first Games where Eurosport will be the main rightsholder; the BBC will sub-license a limited amount of coverage on free-to-air television, as part of a deal in which the BBC sold the pay-TV rights to the 2018 and 2020 Games to Eurosport. [40] [41]

In China, domestic rights to these Games are owned by China Central Television (CCTV), with rights being sublicensed by China Mobile's Migu streaming service. [42]

In the United States, these Games will once again be broadcast by NBCUniversal properties, as part of its US$7.75 billion contract [43] to air the Olympics through 2032. [44] The 2022 edition of the Super Bowl—championship game of the National Football League (NFL) and historically the most-watched television broadcast in the United States annually—is tentatively scheduled during an ongoing Olympics for the first time in its history. On 13 March 2019, it was announced that NBC had traded 2021's Super Bowl LV to CBS (which, alongside Fox and NBC, alternate airing the Super Bowl on a three-year rotation) in favour of the 2022 games. Holding rights to both events will prevent them from competing for viewership and advertising sales, and also allow NBC to create synergies and advertising packages for them (as it did during Super Bowl LII, which was played prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics and also televised by NBC). [45] [46]

In Canada, these Games will be broadcast on all CBC/Radio-Canada platforms, Sportsnet, TSN and TLN.

Concerns and controversies

Critics questioned the Beijing bid, citing that the proposed outdoor venue sites do not have reliable snowfall in winter for snow sports. Concerns have been raised that snow may need to be transported to the venues at great cost and with uncertain environmental consequences. [47] [48]

The environmental impact of hosting the games near Beijing has been questioned. Some of the proposed venues will be adjacent to the Beijing Songshan National Nature Reserve and part of the same mountain system; the environmental impact on the nature reserve of construction, as well as artificially covering parts of the mountain with snow, is uncertain. [49] [50] The Government of China has responded to these concerns by expanding the nature reserve by 31% of its original size. [51]

Shortly after the announcement of the 2022 host city, some musical critics alleged that the official song used during the bid was "suspiciously" similar to "Let It Go" from the Disney film Frozen . [52] [53]

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in changes in qualifying for curling and women's ice hockey due to the cancellation of tournaments in 2020. The World Curling Federation proposed that qualification for curling be based on placement in the 2021 world championships and a dedicated qualification tournament to complete the field (in place of points earned across the 2020 and 2021 world championships). The IIHF based its qualification for the women's tournament upon existing IIHF World Rankings, without holding the 2020 Women's World Championship. [54] [55]

Boycott of the games

As with the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics (the first and previous time China hosted the Olympics), there have been calls to boycott the Olympic Games hosted by the People's Republic of China. In the aftermath of the 2019 leak of the Xinjiang papers, the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests, China's Wolf warrior diplomacy, and the Uyghur genocide, calls were made for a boycott of the 2022 Games. [56] [57] [58] [59] [60] In a July 30, 2020 letter, the World Uyghur Congress urged the IOC to reconsider holding the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing because of the Uyghur genocide. [61] [62] In September 2020, United States Senator Rick Scott spoke with IOC Vice President Anita DeFrantz about reconsidering the IOC's decision to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. Scott expressed disappointment that the IOC refused to commit to move the games out of China. [63] In October 2020, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested the United Kingdom may boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics. [64]

China's use of trade sanctions and economic coercion [65] [66] against Australia has led to increased calls within Australia to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics. [67] In November 2020, Australian Senators Jacqui Lambie and Rex Patrick officially proposed a boycott. Their proposal was later voted down. [67] Some human rights organizations have called for a diplomatic boycott that would mean countries not sending their heads of state or high-ranking officials to the Olympics but still sending athletes. [68] 13 Canadian Members of Parliament signed a letter calling for the games to be moved outside of China. Three party leaders have supported relocation of the games, and one leader even stated that she supported the games to be moved to Canada. [69] [70] In February 2021 six more Republican U.S. Senators called for the Games to be moved. [71] Dutch MP Sjoerd Sjoerdsma said the Olympics should also be stripped from China citing the Uyghur genocide. [72] In March 2021 American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin said that she should not have to choose between her morals and her job due to the human rights issues raised over the games. [73] In April 2021, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that U.S. government officials boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics "if the Chinese government's crackdown on religious freedom continues." [74] After the report, Senators Mitt Romney and Tim Kaine added an amendment to a larger China bill calling for a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics, where U.S. officials would not attend but U.S. athletes could still compete. [75] In May 2021, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also called for a diplomatic boycott. [76] Former U.S. President Donald Trump said a full boycott would be "unfair to athletes." [77]

In February 2021, the Chinese state-run outlet Global Times warned that China would "seriously sanction any country that follows a boycott.", [78] [79] and in March 2021 Chinese spokesperson Guo Weimin stated that any attempt to boycott the Olympics would be doomed to fail. [80] Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also told EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that they should attend the games to "enhance exchanges on winter sport," and to “foster new highlights” in bilateral cooperation. [72]

The IOC has stated that it remains neutral in all global political issues and that the award of hosting the games does not mean that the IOC agrees with the political structure, social circumstances, or human rights standards in the country it is held in. "We've repeatedly said it: the IOC isn't responsible for the government. It only gives the rights and opportunity for the staging of the Olympic Games. That doesn't mean we agree with all the politics, all the social or human rights issues in the country. And it doesn't mean we approve of all the human rights violations of a person or people," the committee's response to AFP read. The position has generated criticism with Jules Boykoff accusing the IOC of hypocrisy by saying that it ignores its charter that promotes equality and anti-discrimination when it's convenient to do so and that the IOC "has shown an "unfortunate propensity for turning away from human rights atrocities to make sure that the games go on. [72]

In a nationwide survey conducted in March 2021, 54% of Canadians said the country should boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, while 24% believed it should not and 21% were not sure. [81]

See also

Notes

  1. The 2020 Summer Olympics was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [2]
  2. Neutral athletes from Russia, competing under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee

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United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics Sporting event delegation

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Preceded by
Pyeongchang
Winter Olympics
Beijing

XXIV Olympic Winter Games (2022)
Succeeded by
Milan–Cortina d'Ampezzo