The 2022 Winter Olympics and 2022 Winter Paralympics are coming up in Beijing this February. Kicking off February 4th, the Olympics will last until February 20th, with the Paralympics following shortly after from March 4th to 13th.
Although the 2021 Olympics and 2021 Paralympics were just held in Tokyo last year, the 2022 Games were always scheduled to take place in Beijing this year. The Games in Tokyo only took place in 2021 because they were postponed from the original date in 2020 due to the pandemic.
5 Things to Note About the 2022 Winter Olympics
Here’s what you need to know about the 2022 Winter Olympics:
1. Many Countries Are Participating in a Diplomatic Boycott of the Games
Earlier in 2021, several countries including Canada, Australia and the U.K. announced they would be participating in a diplomatic boycott of the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The boycott comes in response to several alleged human rights violations that the Chinese government has committed in recent years including genocide, concentration camps and residential schools.
2. Strict COVID Protocols Will Be in Place at the 2022 Winter Olympics
Everyone who attends the Games this February will have to take a COVID-19 test every day, and strict social bubbles will be enforced to limit contact. In addition, while some fans will be allowed to attend the games, ticket sales to the Games will be limited to residents of China to discourage global travel.
3. There Are New Events at This Year’s Olympics
Some of the new events that will debut at this year’s Winter Olympics include women’s monobob bobsledding, mixed team aerials in freestyle skiing, women’s and men’s big air in freestyle skiing, mixed team event ski jumping, mixed team relay in short-track speedskating and mixed team snowboard cross.
4. Up-And-Coming Athletes Will Be Competing in the Games
There will be plenty of up-and-coming athletes to cheer on at this year’s Beijing Olympics. Some notable athletes to watch include Sara Takanashi, a 24-year-old ski jumper from Japan, Mikaela Shiffrin, a 26-year-old alpine skier from the U.S. and Yuzuru Hanyu, a Japanese figure skater, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the first Asian skater to win the Olympic men’s singles title.
5. The Olympic Mascot Bing Dwen Dwen Is Adorable
The Olympic mascot for the 2022 Games, Bing Dwen Dwen, is an adorable panda wearing a full body shell made out of ice, which enables them to skate, snowboard and ski. A colorful halo around the mascot’s head represents the latest and greatest technologies of the ice and snow sport tracks, while a heart on their palm represents China’s hospitality towards visiting athletes.
The mascot’s name can be broken down into the word “Bing,” which can be translated into “ice” or “purity and strength,” while “Dwen Dwen” means “robust and lively” and is also connected to children. Chosen from almost 6,000 design submissions from around the world, Bing Dwen Dwen will be at this year’s Olympic Games to bring joy and motivation to the athletes who are competing at the event.