Winter Olympics 2022-Curtain Raiser Opening Ceremony


Beijing, 5 February 2022 (TDI): The world’s attention was on the Beijing National Stadium on Friday as it hosted the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics 2022 which officially began on 04 February by lighting the Olympic flame.

The ceremony began soon after President Xi Jinping and International Olympic Committee Chairperson, Thomas Bach entered National Stadium. As it began, the Chinese flag was passed among 56 people who represent China’s different ethnic groups, and then it was raised with the national anthem performance.

The ceremony was held on the first day of spring by the Chinese calendar, so it was opened by dancers waving glowing green stalks to convey the energy of the season, followed by white and green fireworks that spelled the word “Spring”.

Lasers carved imagery from each of the previous 23 Winter Games on a three-dimensional cube resembling a block of ice. This block was then “broken” by ice hockey players, allowing the Olympic rings to emerge, in white color.

A general view of the Olympic rings was displayed inside the stadium during the opening ceremony which was followed by the traditional “parade of nations”, with each of the 91 delegations preceded by a woman carrying a placard which was made in the shape of a snowflake resembling a Chinese knot.

The parade of nations entered the stadium by following the order of Greece, as tradition dictates, entered first as the first-ever host of the Olympics, and China as the host nation entered last.

Around 3,000 athletes from 91 nations would compete across 109 medal events in the Winter Olympics 2022, which will conclude on February 24.

Opening Ceremony in a Covid-19 Pandemic

This is the second Olympics that are held during the Coronavirus pandemic. Last year, during Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a number of Covid-19 countermeasures were introduced called “closed-loop system.”

Likewise, the Winter Games 2022 will also be held inside a “closed-loop system.” This “closed-loop system” is a bubble that is completely isolated from the rest of the city. Tickets will be distributed by authorities only and will not be sold to the general public.

Although the general public was not allowed due to the pandemic except the Chinese residents, there was a crowd of several thousand attendees.

The “closed-loop” separated athletes and other personnel from the Chinese public throughout the Olympics. The organizers instructed fans to refrain from verbally cheering and instead clap.

The Bird’s Nest Stadium

The Beijing National Stadium is also called the Bird’s Nest due to its design on its exterior made of curving steel beams. It was built and used for the 2008 summer Olympic Games, thus making Beijing the first city in history to host both Summer & Winter Olympics Games.

China’s famous artist, Ai Weiwei, helped in the design of the stadium to symbolize freedom, openness, and optimism.

Noteworthy Attractions

• The opening ceremony was directed by Zhang Yimou, the Oscar-nominated cinematographer. He also directed the opening and closing ceremonies in 2008.

• The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach made a speech during the ceremony with a message of “no discrimination whatsoever” and urged to “give peace a chance”.

Winter Olympics 2022
Thomas Bach addressed the audience during the opening ceremony

• The ‘Torchbearer’ Dinigeer Yilamujiang is a teenager and an ethnic Uyghur from Xinjiang. Seven torchbearers carried six Olympic torches in the final leg of the relay.

• The final leg featured two carriers, a male and a female, to signify gender equality.

• All torchbearers are past winter sports champions born in different decades, starting with the 1950s.

• A children’s choir from Hebei Province sang the Olympic anthem, in Greek which is the native Olympic language.

• The Olympic oath was also recited in the ceremony.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan during the opening ceremony of Winter Olympics 2022

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on a four-day visit to China, also joined other world leaders at Beijing in the opening ceremony to support Pakistani athlete Mohammad Karim from Gilgit Baltistan, parading at the ceremony. He is a 26 years old Skier who will compete in the Alpine Skiing Slalom event on 16 February.

Winter Olympics 2022
Delegation of Pakistan with the Pakistani athlete Mohammad Karim from Gilgit Baltistan