The Winter Olympics are coming!!

         Riding deep into the snowy ecstasy of winter, what’s a better way to celebrate the winter spirit than with the Winter Olympics! The 2022 Winter Olympics will take place in Beijing, China, from February 4th to 20th. 91 countries and 2,861 athletes will participate in Beijing 2020, with Haiti and Saudi Arabia making their Winter Olympics debut. It is the first Winter Olympics hosted by China and the last of three consecutive Olympics in East Asia.

         The 2022 Winter Olympics are scheduled to include a record 109 medal events from the following 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, and Speed Skating. Beijing 2022 is hosting 7 new events, including men’s and women’s big air freestyle, women’s monobob (bobsleigh), mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, and snowboarding cross and mixed relay in short track speed skating. 

         Many things have changed since the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Beijing 2022. Now all participants must remain within the limits of the biosecure bubble and cannot travel beyond the game locations. Public tickets to the games are also unavailable this year, and limited spectators can attend by invitation only. Moreover, the National Hockey League is withdrawing its players from the Olympics because of COVID-related safety issues and game schedule delays. 

         What hasn’t changed is the enthusiasm and competitiveness of the attending athletes. Among these, 3-time olympic champion snowboarder Shawn White, 2x champion alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin, 1x champion snowboarder Chloe Kim are highly anticipated athletes representing America. China’s Olympic rookie skier Eileen Gu, Japan’s 2x champion figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu and young snowboarder Ayumu Hirano are some of the other highly expected athletes.

         The opening ceremony is on Friday, February 4th, but curling, freeskiing, and ice hockey all occur before the ceremony. You can watch the Winter Olympics on NBC, CNBC, USA. Streaming options like Peacock and Hulu are also available. Take into consideration the time difference between Beijing and where we are; Beijing is 13 hours ahead of the east coast’s timezone.