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Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics: Countdown to opening ceremony start and guide to Team GB’s chances

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Beijing will change into the primary metropolis to stage each the Summer time and Winter Olympics when the Video games kick off in China in February. Lots of the venues used to host the summer season Video games in 2008 can be reused, together with the Fowl’s Nest Stadium.

As was the case for the current summer season Olympics on Tokyo, these Video games will happen below the shadow of the Covid pandemic, with restrictions in place, together with a 21-day quarantine on arrival for these not absolutely vaccinated towards coronavirus. 

When are the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics?

The Winter Video games can be held from February 4 to twenty, 2022, though sporting motion begins on Wednesday, February 2.

When is the Opening Ceremony?

The Beijing 2022 Opening Ceremony will happen on Friday, February 4 to formally sign the beginning of the Winter Olympics. It can happen on the Beijing Nationwide Stadium – or Fowl’s Nest as it’s extra generally identified – the identical venue used to host the opening and shutting ceremonies for the 2008 Summer time Olympics.

The Opening Ceremony is because of start at 12:00 GMT (20:00 Beijing time). Organisers have cited chilly climate and the Covid for the decreased size, which is deliberate to run for roughly 100 minutes.

Zhang Yimou, who was answerable for the Beijing 2008 ceremonies, is as soon as once more chief director this time round.

The Opening Ceremony can be obtainable to look at stay on BBC One/BBC Sport web site and Eurosport, the official broadcaster for the Video games.

The place are they being held?

Some occasions will happen in the identical Beijing venues that hosted the 2008 Video games, together with the Fowl’s Nest stadium, which can once more maintain the opening and shutting ceremonies, and the Water Dice, which has been transformed from a pool right into a curling area.

The alpine snowboarding and sliding occasions – bobsleigh, luge and skeleton – will happen at Yanqing, which is throughout the Beijing municipality on the mountainous northwestern outskirts close to a piece of the Nice Wall.

Zhangjiakou, northwest of Beijing in Hebei province, will host cross-country snowboarding, ski leaping, biathlon, snowboarding and freestyle snowboarding. Zhangjiakou is almost 200 km from central Beijing and is linked by a high-speed rail that takes about an hour.

Newest information on the Beijing Olympics

The Covid-19 state of affairs is throughout the “anticipated controllable vary”, regardless of growing constructive instances being detected, a senior official at China’s Olympics Pandemic Prevention and Management Workplace stated.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Organising Committee has reported 200 Covid instances since Jan. 23 amongst airport arrivals and people within the Video games “closed loop” bubble that separates all occasion personnel, together with athletes, from the general public.

“As extra individuals are coming into China the imported Covid-19 instances are growing,” stated Huang Chun, deputy director common of the committee’s Pandemic Prevention and Management Workplace at a press briefing.

Huang stated rising instances have been additionally a results of simpler and correct Covid detection methods by customs.

Video games organisers reported a complete of 24 new Covid instances amongst Video games-related personnel on Jan. 31, of which 16 have been athletes.

Many athletes have been shut out from the Video games after testing constructive on arrival on the airport, whereas many extra are put in isolation after testing Covid however are asymptomatic.

China credit the strict Covid management measures, together with frequent nucleic acid testings, for serving to stop clustered instances contained in the closed loop.

“(The Covid-19 state of affairs) is mostly inside our anticipated controllable vary. So the Video games contributors, together with athletes, and Chinese language public don’t have to fret,” stated Huang.

He stated Olympics organisers weren’t contemplating any main adjustments to Covid management insurance policies on the Video games.

Athletes left bleeding by excessive Covid assessments

By Oliver Brown

China’s Covid-19 testing of athletes arriving at Beijing Airport forward of the Winter Olympics has change into so excessive that some workforce members have described being left “bleeding” by the procedures.

An official grievance by Kazakhstan’s Nationwide Olympic Committee alleges that the nasal and throat assessments required of all athletes on touchdown in China are far too invasive and inflicting pointless misery. “Our workforce arrived as we speak in Beijing and the PCR take a look at for everyone on the airport was such a horrible expertise that a few our delegates had their nostril bleeding after the take a look at and their throat nonetheless hurts,” stated spokeswoman Togzhan Khamzina.

“It felt like ‘they tried to take out the mind and make a gap within the throat’. That is inflicting such discomfort for all of the delegates and so they don’t need to do it once more.”

The 2022 Winter Video games in China, the one nation on the earth nonetheless pursuing an uncompromising zero-Covid coverage, are being held below the strictest biosecurity protocols ever applied in sport. Every day PCR assessments are obligatory for everyone concerned, whereas any direct engagement with the local people is forbidden. Folks in Beijing have been warned to not provide any assist even within the occasion of Olympians being concerned in automobile accidents.

The severity of China’s Covid guidelines is creating concern that these Winter Video games can be an uneven and unfair taking part in subject. One fear expressed by groups is that the subtle Chinese language assessments are detecting inactive remnants of the virus in athletes who’ve recovered from Covid throughout the previous three months. “There can be no good Olympics,” Elena Vyalbe, president of the Russian ski federation, instructed Norwegian tv. “It might be higher to postpone them for a 12 months, however after all it’s too late.”

Will there be spectators?

Organisers are hoping for stadium capacities of at the least 30 per cent regardless of China’s enforcement of tight laws to comprise the unfold of the Covid-19 virus, the Worldwide Olympic Committee stated on Tuesday.

Tickets for the winter sports activities extravaganza haven’t been offered to the native inhabitants however as an alternative organisers are distributing them to “focused” teams of individuals.

They’d already stated in September there can be no worldwide spectators on the Video games whereas these receiving tickets can be required to undertake strict Covid-19 prevention measures earlier than, throughout and after attending Olympic occasions.

“By way of capability we aren’t there but, as a result of it needs to be fine-tuned at a venue-by-venue foundation, however I would say if now we have one particular person out of three (obtainable spots) or out of two, that will already be an excellent outcome,” the IOC’s Olympic Video games Government Director Christophe Dubi stated.

“It may additionally rely on whether or not it’s open air or indoors. However the good thing is that we’re going to have spectators.”

The Tokyo 2020 Summer time Olympics, held final 12 months following a 12-month postponement after the pandemic outbreak, had no followers in any venues, severely affecting the environment throughout the competitions.

Dubi stated whereas worldwide followers couldn’t journey to China, some international residents residing in Beijing would nonetheless get the possibility to assist their residence athletes.

“This isn’t just for Chinese language spectators however for Chinese language residents, and we have been very insistent on that,” Dubi instructed the Video games web site.

“So they’re additionally reaching out to the expat group and ensuring, by way of the embassies and different methods and means, to establish those that stay in Beijing and will attend the Video games.”

What Covid restrictions will there be?

All athletes and associated personnel can be required to stay in a “closed loop” that features the venues in addition to devoted transport services.

Athletes and others who aren’t absolutely vaccinated can be required to bear 21 days of quarantine upon arrival in China, and all contributors can be examined for Covid-19 every day.

As a result of most worldwide flights into China have been cancelled, particular flights from hub cities and completely for Video games contributors can be organized.

In the course of the Tokyo Video games, which operated inside a extra porous bubble, organisers reported 430 constructive instances, though simply 29 have been amongst athletes and 25 amongst media.

What sports activities will there be?

Beijing will see the Olympic debut of seven new occasions together with girls’s monobob, combined workforce relay occasions in short-track speedskating, and snowboard cross.

As was the case with the introduction of sports activities comparable to skateboarding to the summer season programme, the purpose is to draw a youthful viewers, in addition to growing feminine participation. The opposite new occasions are freestyle snowboarding massive air (women and men), combined workforce ski leaping and freestyle snowboarding aerials. 

The core sports activities are biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and snowboarding.

How have Crew GB performed beforehand? 

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