2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

The 2022 Winter Olympics are in full swing in the city of Beijing.

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On February 4, the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympics welcomed delegations from 84 different countries and even though this was the day of the Opening Ceremony, some sports had already begun (curling, figure skating, ice hockey, etc.). Already, Nathan Chen (American figure skater) scored the “second-highest short program score ever with 111.71 points” says Dan Levinsohn. The U.S. Women’s Hockey Team beat Finland 5-2 in their first match and in their second match they beat the ROC (Russian Olympic Comity) 5-0; the U.S. team is the defending gold-medalist, and they are already on the path to keeping their title. The figure skating duo Hubbell-Donohue scored 86.56 placing them in first for the ice dance at the moment.

Events in the Winter Olympics this year are 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. The United States has sent 244 athletes to the Olympics this year, the largest team that the games this year!

Strict rules have been imposed on the teams to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All athletes had to have been fully vaccinated before they went to the Olympics; athletes, coaches, and staff must undergo daily testing and screening for COVID; and athletes are advised to minimize contact with one another; there are few spectators at the events. Yet, there have already been small outbreaks of COVID-19 among some teams.

There are other tensions that are part of the games this year, besides COVID-19. The United States has declared a “diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics, which includes President Joe Biden, stems from the White House calling out China for human rights abuses.” This diplomatic boycott means that while the United States will send athletes, it will not send diplomats to Beijing for these Olympics. New Zealand, Lithuania, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom have all followed the U.S. in the diplomatic boycott.

The games started on February 4 and will end on February 20th, and the Paralympic Games begin on March 4 and end on March 13. All in all, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are off to a great start, despite some high tensions surrounding the games.